The Ticker: Modern business life

Luck still appears to be on Packer's side, by hyping Ebola are we forgetting about the flu? And even with Dad jokes, iPhone launches generate more buzz than iPad launches.

The best of this week’s The Ticker

So ends our first week running our new blog The Ticker. We hope you have enjoyed our spin on the week’s news. We’ll be back next week with more snippets of analysis and intrigue. If you are stuck wondering what this blog is all about, here’s a link to a quick note on it from earlier this week.

For now, here’s a list of what we consider to be this week’s best posts.

Also feel free to get in touch for any feedback on blog. My Twitter account is @HarrisonPolites or shoot me an email ( 

The rest of Friday's blog is below

On today's blog:

Got something you would like to add to the blog? Email ( or get in touch on Twitter.

1.55pm - Even with Dad jokes, iPhone launches generate more buzz than iPad launches

Apple’s product launches always spark media hype, but they don’t always translate into social media buzz.

If you’re willing to gauge popularity and interest by the number of tweets, than the two graphs below pretty much prove that more people are interested in Apple’s iPhone than they are about the iPad and the Mac combined.

It makes sense. After all, the iPhone is the company’s number one selling product.

Here’s how Apple fared on Twitter during the iPhone launch, courtesy of Twitter’s Reverb chart service.

And here’s today’s result: 

As for what was said, it seems users weren’t too happy with Apple’s new affection for Dad jokes. 

You can read more about Apple’s latest products here.

1.40pm - ANZ’s Mike Smith and The World Bank agree: China’s economy is “okay”

By Michael Roddan, BusinessNow

ANZ chief executive Mike Smith said he has no worries about China’s growth, and it’s a sentiment echoed by the World Bank.

Speaking at the Business Leaders Forum in Melbourne, hosted by The Australian and Deutsche Bank, Mike Smith, said China’s slowing growth was not an issue raised at recent World Bank meetings.

“China didn’t get much of a breifing,” he said. The World Bank was, however, preoccupied with the [US] quantitative easing and Ebola.

“China didn’t get much airplay. I was in China a couple of weeks ago, business is getting along as usual.”

While Smith said the Chinese economy does have some problems with over-capacity, a little froth in the property market, and a problematic mining sector, but “fundamentally the economy is moving okay”.

The slowdown in China is policy driven and deliberate, and was of no great concern, he said.

On the recent protests in Hong Kong, Smith said Beijing would likely build up Shanghai as an international market quicker than it would the Hong Kong market. “China would not look at Hong Kong the same way,” he said.

In relation to the recent move by Chinese authorities to block the import of low-grade coal, Smith said that it may be a move of either protectionism or gamesmanship as the free trade agreement between Australia and China progresses.

12.05pm - Spot the difference

Here’s a bit of an odd spot for a Friday afternoon. From a news piece we published earlier today:

OZ Minerals chief executive and managing director Terry Burgess will officially exit that position today, to be replaced in an interim capacity by the miner's chief financial officer Andrew Coles.

​Mr Coles will serve as interim CEO until new chief executive Andrew Cole takes up the position on December 3. 

Yes, this is not a typo. Andrew Coles and Andrew Cole are indeed two different people. 

12pm - By hyping Ebola are we forgetting about the flu? 

At the end of this viral video doing the rounds in the US, Fox reporter Shep Smith suggests concerned Americans stop panicking about Ebola and instead immunise themselves against the flu. He has a point, and it has some relevance to Australia.

Ebola is yet to hit our shores, but the flu is a common ailment for Australians. It also has a death toll, though unlike Ebola with can fell any age group, the flu mostly has dire consequences for the young and the elderly. Here’s how many Australians were taken by the flu in the past decade. 

11.35am - Kiwi clanger: RBNZ releases wrong statement, $NZ falls a cent

By Chris Kohler, BusinessNow

A blunder by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cost the $NZ about a cent this morning, but everything is back to normal now.

The central bank accidentally released its September 25 statement on changes to the circulation of its trade weighted index instead of the new one.

The New Zealand dollar fell from $US0.7929 at 9:40am AEDT to as low as 0.7878 before jumping straight back up as it became apparent there had been a blooper.

The situation surely raised a chuckle from the Australian Reserve Bank.

Read more breaking business news on BusinessNow.

11am - Luck still appears to be on Packer's side

It was reported late yesterday afternoon that luck was the main factor driving losses in Crown’s VIP business. A closer look at its VIP win rates reveals a more complex picture.

Crown operates its VIP business on the basis that regardless of how much money it loses to VIPs, in the long term it will always reap in 1.35 per cent of the money gambled. If the normalised win rate comes at any of these casinos in above this 1.35 per cent mark, then Crown takes in more revenue from its gambling activities than it typically expects to.

As you can see from the interactive below, only Packer’s London Aspinall Casino’s win rate fell below the 1.35 per cent mark. Luck-wise, Packer appears to have had a better year with VIPs in 2014 than he did the previous year. 

So perhaps “luck” isn’t the only factor behind the losses in this business after all. 

9.10am - Three things you need to know this morning

It’s Friday and the end of the first week of The Ticker. As always, I’m keen for your feedback, so shoot me a message or a tweet, the details are at the top of the blog. If you are new to this blog (more than likely, given it’s only been operating for four days), here’s a quick wrap as to what it’s all about.

Otherwise, here are today’s top stories:

1. CSL, the Australian maker of blood-plasma therapeutics, says it is exploring whether it can develop a plasma product to treat Ebola. 

2. The “true atomic age” of limitless electricity without any radioactive waste or carbon dioxide emissions could be a reality within a decade, thanks to a new breakthrough in nuclear fusion.

3. Clive Palmer’s wife, Anna Palmer, is seeking pre-selection for the Palmer United Party for the Gold Coast seat of Gaven.

From elsewhere:

More than just recipes and crafts: Why Pinterest is the next ad giant that could dwarf both Twitter and Facebook.

They’re not just good for reconnaissance and grocery deliveries. Drone racing is finally a thing.

Total recall: Scientists have found a way to delete and fabricate memories in mice, are humans next?

Holding a party this weekend? Here’s a data analysis that will help you estimate when people will show up to your shindig.

Chocoholics beware: Nestlé is worried that the Ebola crisis may disrupt the supply of cocoa.

Crocodile is the new black. The company that manages Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen is getting intro crocodile management and conservation.

Following Google and Apple, a Queensland IVF firm is subsidising egg freezing for its staff members. They’re calling it “social freezing”. 

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