10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Ferrari – your bargain buy gift For Him. Picture: Getty Images

1. You might have heardthe US Fed raised rates this morning, ending 7 years of crisis-era monetary policy. The US has lived with nearly 0% rates since 2008, aimed at driving an economic recovery following the worst recession since the Great Depression. Now the heavy lifting begins – here’s Janet Yellen explaining the historic decision and here’s the “dot plot” from the 17 Fed board members forecasting how they think rates will track from here:

2. To the markets, where it’s business as usual, meaning the Fed played its hike to perfection. Interestingly, while forex markets are still dithering about whether to buy or sell the US dollar, the Aussie has emerged as the only currency to be making headway against the greenback. Santa is coming, kids, and Futures are pointing to a sensible 0.7% lift on the ASX today.

3. It took Bill Gates seven years and $63 million to build his Washington estate, ““Xanadu 2.0”. But hey, it’s worth at least $123 million today, so chalk that up as another great investment for the Microsoft cofounder. At 6100 square metres, it’s a biggie, too. Here’s 14 crazy facts about the house that Microsoft built.

4. Housing is a nightmare, right? And every Australian is mortgaged up to the hilt and the economy’s on a knife edge and what if we all lose our jobs? Disaster. So maybe there’s a case for a big housing price correction. But it won’t happen overnight, because RBA assistant governor Guy Debelle pulled this out of his hat yesterday:

What you’re looking at is the almost half of Australians who could skip paying their loan for 12 months and still be ahead of the scheduled balance. Hold that one up your sleeve for the doomsayers at the Christmas barbie.

5. There’s no other way to say this, so here’s the headline this morning so, so many get-rich-quick hopesters didn’t want to hear – “It has been an absolutely horrible year for IPO performance”. Seven of the top 10 IPOs have dropped below their list price (the disaster chart is here, where you can find Ferrari) but if you got in on Fitbit, Merry Christmas.

6. Get eaten by a shark. Western Australian wildlife documentary filmmaker David Riggs was shooting some underwater footage some where off the coast of WA when a couple of great whites decided his camera looked like breakfast. It survived, gave Riggs one of the greatest money shots in shark doco history and you can see it here.

7. The hottest toy for Christmas this year:

Not only do hoverboards not hover, even, they’re destroying homes and injuring 11-year-old girls. So don’t be tempted by bargains at thrift stores. Not only can the huge lithium ion batteries explode when your kid runs into a lamp post, Mark Serrels tested one and confirmed it makes him look like a wanker.

8. Instead, if it’s a guy you’re buying for, try one of these 10 gifts he really wants for Christmas which won’t incinerate him.

9. We’re a weird mob. Google has released its annual list of all the things people Googled, and the best of it has to be all the “How to” searches. Check out number two if you want to know what “enduring appeal” looks like:

  1. How to use the new Snapchat update
  2. How to solve a rubix cube
  3. How to get legendary marks
  4. How to play Charlie Charlie
  5. How to upgrade to Windows 10
  6. How to get the new emojis
  7. How to authorise a computer on iTunes
  8. How to hit the quan
  9. How to lose 10 pounds in a week
  10. How to use Apple Pay

10. We’re pretty sure Donald Trump has never had a day where he thinks it’s bad to be Donald Trump. But even by his standards, he’s copped some pretty heavy criticism overnight. Human-rights activist and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai called his comments and plan to ban Muslims from entering the US “full of hatred”. And if Trump does indeed become the Leader of the Free World, he one day face UK PM David Cameron across the table knowing Cameron reckons he’s stupid.

BONUS ITEM: It takes a drone to catch a drone. Japan is best.

Have a great day.

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