10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Big ideas. Big hair. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning and welcome to your brave, frightening new world.

1. Donald Trump is running for US president. He’s threatened for several campaigns, but the world’s worst, richest hairdo is really going for it this time. He announced it by saying “I’m really rich” and declared his wealth at $US8.7bn (here’s the breakdown). And here’s all his big ideas, including a plan to build a giant wall along the Mexican border – and make Mexico pay for the whole lot of it.

Now, to the markets:

2. The ASX bathed in the afterglow of news that Warren Buffet says he’ll be buying more Australian shares, including stocks in a bank. That’s after the market received news this morning that he had bought shares in Australian insurer IAG. Yesterday the market backed off at the 200-day moving average which has been an important level traders have watched over the past three months. They’ll be watching again today.

3. In Asia yesterday, Chinese stocks finished Tuesday’s trade nursing hefty losses. That still leaves the market in nose-bleed territory but being back below 5,000 seems to make more sense than being above it. But that’s an arbitrary level and anyone who has studied markets for more than a few seconds knows that China is going to end badly. At least there will be a decent correction at some point.

4. World gone mad. Private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) recently published its Decade Forecast in which it projects the next 10 years of global political and economic developments. And it looks like a wild ride, with the breakdown of Russia and the emergence of four Europes and 16 mini-Chinas. Here’s Stratfor’s 11 chilling predictions for what the world will look like a decade from now.

5. These fabulous lives. It’s cold and weekends are never further away than on a Wednesday. But these multibillionaires are having an awesome time – check out the fabulous lives of Prince Alwaleed, who just won a court battle to force Forbes magazine to add $US9.6 billion to his wealth, and the fabulous life of Mark Zuckerberg, who’s just being Mark Zuckerberg.

6. Russia had a space shuttle program too. It was launched in 1974 and called the Buran program, but only one shuttle ever went into orbit and it was shut down in 1993. But the hangar that houses two shuttles remains and photographer Ralph Mirebs got inside and found, incredibly, two full shuttles that never left the ground. Here’s his amazing pics from that day.

7. Cool spaceships, but not in the league of Elon Musk’s favourite. In a recent interview with the Royal Aeronautics Society, Musk spoke about his love for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which he said helped him through an early existential crisis. One of the novel’s great creations is the Heart of Gold spaceship, and Musk told the RAS why it’s actually the best, ever. Here’s what it looks like:

Picture: BBC

8. Top Gear officially has a new host. Sadly, it’s not Gene Hunt, the Audi Quattro-thrashing DCI from “Life on Mars” – it’s English radio and TV personality Chris Evans. In the end it was a no-brainer. Evans is a huge personality and a huge car fan with a collection that includes a couple of 60s Ferraris worth $35 million… and the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

9. Rich Australians are richer than poor Australians. Much, much richer, according to research from Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC). Wage equality isn’t the worst in the developed world – disposable income of the top 20% is less than four times that of the bottom 20%. The big difference is what that means for savings. At $1.3 million, the average savings of the top 20% is a staggering 200 times that of the bottom 20%. There’s more here that shows why there’s nothing average about the average household.

10. And statistics that show “average Australians” make up the vast majority of property investors and landlords are a myth. The ABC’s Michael Janda took the HIA to task on its claim that nearly three quarters of Australians who declare rental income earn a taxable income of $80,000 or less. They might, Janda says, but that’s after tax deductions, and nobody uses negative gearing quite like the wealthy. So he’s amended the figures for the HIA, free of charge.

BONUS ITEM: Some carp in the US fly. Some Americans like to water ski. And some Americans like to combine the two for an awesome extreme sport. This is skarping:

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