Welcome back to our third edition of a Sniippet of news.
In this issue, we have crammed in some extra goodness with two new sections: personal finance tips and our meme of the week. It is always good to balance the helpful with the absurd.
Our one-minute weekly recap takes time to TikTok, look at some important stats, and who wants to buy Virgin.
The one-minute weekly recap
- House prices fell 0.4 percent nationally. It is the first national decrease since June 2019. The top end of Melbourne and Sydney were most affected.
- The Australian dollar has surged against the greenback this week on the back of strong iron ore prices and a recovering China. It is now around 24 cent higher from its low in mid-March. Amazon, here I come!
- The Reserve Bank left interest rates at 0.25 percent citing concern over the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Australian economy and future uncertainty. No surprise there.
- Australia exported more than it imported by a record of $8.4bn in the March quarter (called a Current Account Surplus) according to the ABS. This is the first time since the 1970s that Australia has had four straight quarters of surpluses. Australia the iron ore republic.
- Virgin Australia has narrowed down its potential buyers to US based Private Equity fund Bain Capital and US hedge fund Cyrus Capital Partners. An agreement is expected to be in place by 30 June. Hopefully whoever wins will hang on to the velocity frequent flyers scheme and continue to give Qantas points chasers something else to think about while in the lounge.
- The number of electric vehicles registered in Australia has doubled over the past year but they still only comprise 0.1 of all registered vehicles. It’s a start. Now all we need is some of those Elon Musk tunnels.
- Wheat farmers are expecting a bumper crop following increased plantings and extra rain. Good to hear some good news for our farmers.
- Recently released financial figures show that TikTok’s 2019 revenue (US$19bn) surpassed Youtube’s (US$17bn). The kids are onto something.
- International news has been dominated by countrywide protests in the US following the murder of Afican-American man George Floyd by US police officers in Minneapolis. Protests were also held in many cities around the world as a sign of solidarity. A protest was also held in Sydney with protestors highlighting issues faced by local indigenous communities.
A Snippet for You
- Identity thieves have set up myGov accounts and lodged fake early release super applications worth up to $10,000 each
- The government and ATO say they have tightened up security measures
- Check your super balances for any unauthorised withdrawals
NSW to open gyms on 13 June, ABC News, 2 June
- Group classes will be permitted, but class sizes will be capped at 10 people
- Gyms have already reopened in Western Australia, South Australia, the ACT, and the Northern Territory
- Kids sports can resume from 1 July
- Telstra’s 5G network will reach at least 35 cities by June
- The auction of the 5G ‘millimetre wave’ (mmWave) spectrum is scheduled for early 2021
- The mmWave spectrum can be used to deliver high speeds over the mobile network and develop fixed-line services, which can compete directly with the NBN
Melbourne’s Little Italy, Lygon Street, may not recover, ABC News, 1 June
- The famous restaurant strip has one of the highest vacancy rates in Melbourne
- “I know of quite a few businesses that were just on the edge, and I think something like this will just throw them over,” Alex Brosca, owner of the restaurant Papa Ginos
- Melbourne’s Italian community has been getting smaller
Facebook is making it easier to bulk-delete your embarrassing old posts, The Verge, 2 June
- An upcoming feature will allow you to bulk-delete old posts
- You will be able to filter by people and time
- It will be available on the mobile apps first
Tiger King’s Carole Baskin handed control of Joe Exotic’s zoo, The Guardian, June 2
- A further twist in the Tiger King story has emerged, with Carole Baskin gaining control of Joe Exotic’s zoo after Exotic failed to pay her $1m in copyright and trademark suit
- Joe Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison after being found guilty of animal abuse and plotting to murder Baskin
A Sniippet of Finance advice
How to get rich – make a lot or save a lot? AFR, May 22
- Spending should always be a function of what you can afford. Practise mindful spending.
- Recognise that your willpower is finite. Strike for balance rather than rigid frugality.
- Experiences tend to beat material goods in terms of money well spent
A Sniippet of Brain food
- Brain scans show that rejection feels similar to physical pain
- Blame rejection on the circumstances rather than the other person. Work out how to improve those circumstances next time.
- Do not take it personally, one success or failure will not define you
- Use rejections as information sources for improvement
- The best defense against rejection is success. The more success you have, the smaller will be the pain from rejection.
A Sniippet of Trivia
Music Synchronizes the Brains of Performers and Their Audience, Scientific American, 2 June
- A new paper in the journal NeuroImage finds that the brain activities of an audience and performer synchronize during a performance
- The greater the degree of synchrony, the study found, the more the audience enjoys the performance
- Musical performances caused increases in oxygenated blood flow to areas of the brain related to understanding patterns, interpersonal intentions and expression
A Sniippet of Fun