10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Drink to the fact there’s a little bit of George in all of us. Picture: NBC

Well hello, 2016. Let’s see what happens next.

1. Bricks and mortar, that go-to investment choice for every Aussie mum and dad, is on a roll. Well, bricks are, according to one guy who makes them – Brickworks boss Lindsay Partridge. He told the AFR that for the first time in a decade, he kept all of his factories running through the Christmas period. In 2014-15, we all broke ground on 211,860 new homes, up 13 per cent on the previous record of 187,000 set in 1994. And Partridge told the AFR he only just keeping up with demand for stock at some sites entering 2016, especially those on Australia’s eastern sea border.

2. To markets, where, according to the Stock Traders Almanac, “the direction of January’s trading predicts the course for the year 75 percent of the time”. So while Santa eventually rocked up in the last two weeks of December to lift the ASX 8%, it still finished 2.1% down on the year, and about the same for Wall Street, which finished the year in the red for the first time since 2008. So get cracking, but don’t expect too much in 2016.

3. Especially since we already have to first shot at a black swan event, with the Saudis and Iran in a standoff over the beheading of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia. The Iranians have promised “divine” retribution, with the Saudi embassy in Tehran already attacked. In reply, Saudi Arabia has broken off diplomatic relations with Iran and given their representatives 48 hours to leave the Riyadh.

4. Our military and defence team actually did a decent job of predicting how 2015 would turn out geopolitically. So for the forward skinny on China, Syria, ISIS and World Cup soccer, here’s what they think is going to happen in 2016.

5. Ever wondered what it’s like to earn an average of $2537 per week and live in one of the world’s most liveable cities? Sydneysiders can tell you, because they do. But if you’re thinking of moving there, or are already a resident and looking for some kind of self-affirmation, the NSW Government has pulled together this cut-out-and-keep guide to living in every part of Australia’s only global city.

6. To the movies. There were some welcome deserved hits in 2015, such as “The Martian”, “Mad Max: Fury Road” and that one which today should become the most successful movie of all time. But there were some stinkers, too. If you haven’t seen any of them yet, avoid these worst 17 movies of 2015, as rated by Rotten Tomatoes. Especially “The Road Chip” as it could scare you off ever entering a cinema ever again, and you’d miss one of these most anticipated flicks of 2016. And this guy:

Picture: Marvel

7. Happy New Year. Did you hold a stubbie of beer or glass of wine on December 31, 2015? Then you looked like a complete idiot, according to this roundup of common behaviours that outside observers may associate with low intelligence.

8. Serenity now. A great surprise for George Costanza fans, with a new bar opening in Melbourne on NYE dedicated to the beloved “Seinfeld” character. George’s Bar owner Dave Barrett told The New Daily he started with the name “George’s” and worked his way back to Costanza. “I think he is probably the most suited of any of the characters … his humour is fairly dark and dry and fits in with a bar, it probably works more than any of the other characters would,” Barrett said. And right on cue:


Here’s what’s inside.

9. NYE resolution – stop wasting money. Here’s 13 bad money habits you should break immediately if you want to build more wealth. And here are 6 changes BI’s Kathleen Elkins made this year that saved her hundreds of dollars.

10. Was your Uber late? There’s been some speculation that Uber’s rubbery wait-time estimates might be an opening for a competitor who can get it spot on. But Uber CEO Travis Kalanick went on a rare tweetstorm saying why the app’s time estimate for a car arriving is “almost always” a minute or two out, in case you were wondering. Read it while you’re waiting an extra 42 minutes for a cab, maybe.

BONUS ITEM: Did you ignore all those warnings about hoverboards incinerating your children and buy them one for Christmas anyway? Mike Tyson did, and still nearly died:

Have a great 2016.

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