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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Want a job done properly? Get Sean Penn to do it. Picture: Open Road Films

Good morning.

1. They got El Chapo. Well, Sean Penn did. Maybe. Because no one knows what to think of the fact the actor version of Bono thought it would be cool to drink tequila with history’s biggest drug lord in a jungle somewhere without telling the cops. Cops who’d been looking for El Chapo since he escaped from prison – for the third time – six months ago. Is fawning over a criminal importing 500 tonnes of cocaine into the country which made you a millionaire actor “grotesque”? Or is the fact that El Chapo is back behind bars (for the moment) all that matters? At the very least, it’s a great story, but you should also read about what happens to real journalists who try to report the truth about drug barons in Mexico.

2. Quote of the year to date comes from Deutsche Bank, who just want everyone to stop freaking out over the disastrous opening weeks for markets. Here’s their take on it:

…market jitters have their juniors squealing for mummy and reaching for the sell button. Expect a tad more perspective next week when bosses switch on their screens for the first time since December 18th

3. That’s probably small consolation for ASX traders, who face at least another day of downs even if Deutsche are right. Futures are pointing to a very ugly open on the ASX today with the March SPI200 contract down 80 points when it closed on Saturday morning.

4. Here comes the data. We had our first big number Friday night with a huge print for US non-farms payrolls, adding 292,00 jobs. This week, the local stuff starts rolling in, starting with the two drivers of the domestic economy — employment (ANZ job ads, today) and housing (finance, Thursday). But the big one also comes Thursday, with the release of December’s employment report at 11.30am AEDT. And because everyone’s watching China, Exports/Imports is the big one globally on Wednesday. Here’s the NAB’s excellent diary for the week ahead.

5. End of an era. And of the life of one this country’s great visionaries with the passing of winemaker and Wild Oats XI owner Bob Oatley, who died yesterday, aged 87. Bob built the Rosemount wine business in 1969 and sold it to Treasury in 2001 for a cool $1.4 billion. He turned Hamilton Island into a world class resort fit for Taylor Swift’s birthday party. And he completely owned the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, winning it eight times in 10 attampts with Wild Oats XI. He will be greatly missed.

6. Tesla owners got another one of Elon Musk’s surprises on the weekend, waking up to find their car can now park itself. Here’s “Summon” working its magic painfully slowly:


But the cool bit is it’s called “Summon” because it can also un-park your Tesla and bring it to you – if you’re within 13 metres. Musk says that range will one day extend from LA to New York…

7. Should profits on houses valued above $2 million be taxed? Yes, says the Australia Institute. Yes, they should.

8. LinkedIn is awesome, right, because of all those employers looking to headhunt people like you? And you’re awesome too, because your resume is amazing. So why did you only get 6 profile views in the past 30 days? Check your Summary – if it’s less than 40 words, it won’t trigger inclusion in a search. And here’s a bunch more tips to make you stand out from 400 million others on the world’s biggest networking site.

9. Here’s a great story about a two-and-a-half hour booze session in the Horse and Groom pub in Great Portland Street, London, where billionaire investor Mike Ashley allegedly made a bet with former Merrill Lynch banker Jeff Blue challenging Blue to persuade The City not to be hostile to Ashley’s company. If, as a result, the value of Ashley’s stock in Sports Direct rose by £1.6 billion, Ashley would pay Blue £15 million. That was back in 2013, and now the stock has hit the target, Blue wants his money – and is suing to get it.

10. There’s all sorts of reasons to get excited about “The Big Short”, which opens in cinemas here on Thursday. It’s based on a book written by “Flash Boys” author Michael Lewis. It’s got Christian Bale in it and it’s directed by the guy who directed “Anchorman”. And best of all, if you tell us a story about you and the GFC in 200 words or less, we might pay for you to go see it and give you a copy of the book and money clip! Here’s the entry form.

BONUS ITEM: The Australia Day lamb ad is in:

Have a great day.

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