10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

ohai! Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. So you might have heard Elon Musk made history yesterday by launching a rocket into space, dropping off 11 satellites, then landing back on Earth in a scene like something from an old-timey sci-fi flick:


Sick burn, yes? Oh wait – that’s what was reserved for Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, who thought he’d welcome Musk “to the club”, and instead unleashed one of the longest smackdowns in Twitter history upon himself.


There’s so, so many more here. More importantly, Musk’s little side project has revolutionised space travel for less than the price of Victoria’s idiotic Myki public transport card system. Here’s why that’s important.

2. The hottest toy for Christmas this year? Hoverboards, which are a) not actually hoverboards and b) literally, hot. Why can’t kids want simple things like a tiny ball made from glass, or a spring? If you liked the good ol’ days best, don your sepia tint glasses and check out what kids hoped to find under the Christmas tree from 1910 through today. And if you’re looking for a Christmas playlist with a difference, look no further, thank us later.

3. The Big Australian is officially in big trouble in Brazil. As in, billion-dollar trouble. As the environmental and social toll mounts from the damage caused by a dam burst at its joint venture with Vale, a Brazilian court has ordered BHP to deposit $676 million to a Court-managed bank account within 30 days. And that’s just a 10% deposit on what it’s gunning for.

4. Here’s what it’s like to willingly shed $300 billion in assets in a year. Henry Blodget sat down with GE CEO Jeff Immelt and got a great end-of-year interview about reshaping GE, shedding businesses, and reversing a century of conglomeration.

5. Name the chart, and spot the problem:

It’s the Nasdaq 100 since 2009. Dan Nathan, a veteran trader and editor of Risk Reversal, makes it his pick of the charts to worry about ahead of 2016. Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Google – collectively known as FANG – make up 40% of the weight in this index, with their $US2.15 trillion market cap. Nathan said:

“Microsoft is at a post financial crisis P/E high of nearly 20x, Facebook trades 12x expected 2016 sales, Amazon is only expected to have $2.3 billion operating profit on $107 billion in sales, Google trades 7x expected 2016 sales. These stocks are masking a bear market in a majority of Nasdaq stocks.”

In his view, “there are few equity indices that pose as much risk to the bull market in global equities as does the Nasdaq 100”.

6. Are you a jerk? Congratulations. According to this latest study, your enduring love for yourself and relentless manipulation of those around you means you’ll do very well for yourself. But if you’re actually nice, you’ll have to rely on having these facial features if you want a better chance at getting a pay rise.

7. Lower for longer has become the conventional wisdom about the outlook for interest rates the world over. Perhaps it should apply to the oil price too. Here’s Credit Suisse’s projections for the commodity that drives everything:

Credit Suisse’s global head of research Ric Deverell and his team said: “At around $65/b WTI and $70/b Brent, the industry should be able to generate enough supply growth to match basecase demand growth in the medium term, if indeed Opec supplies grow as well — from Iran and later from Iraq, Libya, and possibly Saudi Arabia as well. As for risks, plenty remain.” The tanking of oil prices – and energy and some resources stocks as a result – has been one of the themes of the year. This would be a scenario for a slow recovery.

8. Bugger. Nic Cage has to give back that tyrannosaurus skull he beat Leo DiCaprio out for in a bidding war in 2007. Apparently, it was a stolen tyrannosaurus skull. Hate that.

9. Be a perfect Uber passenger. There’s a lot of focus on dodgy drivers right now, but pretty much none on passengers, who can be just awful. But even if you’ve only used Uber one time, you have an Uber passenger rating – and it could mean you won’t get picked up at 1.30am next week a long, long way away from your bed. So we talked to some Uber drivers about how to keep your 5-star rating, and they gave us these 10 rules to follow.

10. In some countries and parallel universes, workers get a thing called a “Christmas bonus”. It’s kind of like a “sorry for all the s..t we put yout through this year, try to forget about it and please come back in 2016” handshake. If you happen to live in such a place, here’s a list of all the dumbest things you can do with your Xmas bonus. So, don’t.

BONUS ITEM: Happy Holidays, Mr President. Barack Obama’s taking in a little small ball while on Xmas hols in Hawaii. So far, so great:

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