Weekly Digest – 15 March 2023

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Australian markets take a hit after multiple US banks collapse

Australian markets experienced a sharp decline on Tuesday after multiple banks collapsed in the United States. The ASX200 opened down 1.6% and fell a further 2%, wiping out all gains made this calendar year, with financials bearing the brunt.

Bank collapses lead to a gold rush in Australia

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the US, which had $315 billion in assets, has led to a surge in Australian gold miners on the ASX. The bank was seized by US regulators last week after depositors withdrew funds amid concerns the bank might become insolvent as it lends to tech companies, which are vulnerable to the boom and bust cycles of tech.

Australian consumer sentiment at historically low levels

Australian consumer sentiment remained at historically low levels in March, with concerns over inflation and interest rates impacting purchasing decisions, according to a survey by the Westpac-Melbourne Institute. The index reading of 78.5 was unchanged from February, with pessimists outnumbering optimists, and both months were rare instances of readings below 80.

Debate over regulating Airbnb amidst concerns over its impact on Australia’s housing crisis

The impact of short-term rental platforms like Airbnb on Australia’s housing crisis has reignited the debate on how to regulate them. The depletion of housing supply, rising rents, and changing neighbourhoods are some of the issues caused by these rentals.

Albanese’s AUKUS plan scrutinised

The revelation that the AUKUS nuclear submarines will cost up to $368bn has raised concerns about the hit to Australian taxpayers, with questions about how the bill will be footed and whether it will come at the expense of other programs such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Daughter of former ATO official found guilty of tax fraud

Lauren Cranston, daughter of a former Australian Taxation Office deputy commissioner, has been found guilty of siphoning more than $105m in taxes to fund a lavish lifestyle. She was convicted of conspiring with four others to cause loss to the Commonwealth and conspiring to deal with the proceeds of crime.

Why Australia’s banking system is more resilient than America’s in the face of bank collapses

As the US battles bank collapses, Australia is not immune to its effects. However, there is an upside for Aussie mortgage payers. The US has way more banks per person than Australia, leading to intense competition, low prices, and a high risk of failure – conditions that aren’t likely to be replicated here.

Pfizer to Acquire Cancer Biotech Firm Seagen for $64 Billion in Move to Tackle Cancer

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has announced that it will acquire cancer biotech firm Seagen for $64 billion. Seagen is known for its innovative cancer treatments, including antibody-drug conjugates, and is expected to grow by 12% this year.

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