1. The most anticipated IPO has finally been lodged. Uber filed for its IPO yesterday and will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol UBER (sounds obvious, but people have been known to excitedly buy the wrong stocks). Uber hasn’t filed at a particular share price, but its last private valuation was at US$120 billion.
2. “I told you so”: Assange to be extradited over Wikileaks. Ecuador has official revoked asylum for Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, following a number of controversies. The US Department of Justice has charged Assange over state secrets that were leaked in 2010 via WikiLeaks. Assange has been in the Ecuadorian Embassy for over seven years.
3. Island invasion training in South China Sea. The US has been training alongside Philippine military in the event that there might be an island invasion. As tensions rise in the South China Sea, military training has ramped up. Both the US military and the Marines have stressed that the ongoing exercises are not aimed at China.
4. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot. Citigroup CEO believes we are our own greatest threat to the economy, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy based on negative sentiment. “We clearly see a disconnect between what we see in our business on an anecdotal basis and what the markets are saying,” he said on the bank’s fourth-quarter earnings call.
5. Coming to a front yard near you! Amazon extended its “sting” operations outside of their company walls (and trucks). The US$797 billion company is now working with local US police departments on a national operation to lure potential thieves with Amazon branded packages that are rigged with GPS devices. Amazon has previously launched these stings on their delivery drivers by planting fake packages in trucks.
6. Big brother is watching. Microsoft has been accused of being complicit in China’s human rights abuses. Politicians have criticised Microsoft’s partnership with a Chinese military university to develop technology that Beijing can leverage to monitor and suppress citizen activity. In particular, the Uighur ethnic minority population in China is at risk of being targeted through AI facial recognition technology.
7. PROPERTY: Consumers are confident, but the industry has lost faith. The latest ANZ Bank-Property Council of Australia survey shows that confidence has dropped to its lowest levels in six years, particularly among residential property professionals. This is in contrast with Westpac-MI’s recent consumer survey, which saw a slight uptick in consumer confidence.
8. Take risks for innovation. Jeff Bezos says the Amazon Echo device was a huge risk for the organisation that has ultimately paid off. Over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices are now in homes, but when development began “no customer was asking for Echo,” said Bezos.
9. One of Australia’s largest exports is soaring. Prices for iron ore, Australia’s largest export, have hit fresh multi-year highs. Supply disruptions and expectations for strong Chinese steel demand have helped to push prices up between 33-100% since late November. Higher prices have boosted revenues for the Australian government, and the improvement in the budget bottom line. David Scutt has more.
10. Spending on exercise is a good long term investment. Jean Chatzky, the financial editor of NBC’s “Today” show and the author of 11 books, says the help exercise offers in the short term and long term will give you good returns on your investment. Research shows people generally have four major stressful life events a year and ongoing exercise will lessen stress and help you stay on track.
It’s the scientist who is taking the internet by storm. This leader for women in STEMM fields was part of the team that captured the first image of a black hole. Here’s her TED talk from 2016, now made reality.
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