10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

This guy. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning, and welcome to Friday. Let’s get it started.

1. Scurrilous rumour of the day. Via a senior equities fund manager at one of the major banks, there’s talk that one of the major international investment banks is about to wind up its broking arm. The added spice is in three delightful words being mentioned in the chatter: management buy-out. If that’s true then there may be a lot of golf left to play (excellent!) on the deal. Now, we’re not going to name the bank but there are only a handful of big-brand international investment banks in Sydney. If you’ve heard about it and want to tell us more, feel free to drop us a line at businessinsider [at] alluremedia.com.au.

2. To the markets, where in Asia yesterday, Shanghai was the beneficiary of another PBOC easing with CNY 25 billion being placed into the market by the PBOC via reverse repos. That enabled the market to rally when all else were down around the globe. It’s a continuation of the stimulus-driven rally in China. In Tokyo, traders didn’t like the big run in the yen or the geopolitical tensions emanating from the Middle East. Today, however, the release of Japanese CPI will be the big driver.

3. Overnight, the US dollar weakened while the yen, euro and sterling soared on oil and German consumer confidence news. Then the US hit back this morning and everyone else went back into their boxes. Apart from the Aussie, which is still holding steady around 0.7817 this morning.

4. The autopilot on the Germanwings Airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday was switched to descend to 100 feet, its lowest possible setting, before it began its fatal plunge. French prosecutors say black box recordings leave little doubt that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz intended to destroy the plane after locking the pilot-in-command out of the cockpit. He can do that because while a keypad allows cabin crew access to the cockpit, the pilot gets a warning that someone’s trying to enter first and can refuse them with this switch:

5. The dream World Cup final will happen after Australia put India to the sword in a somewhat belittling display at the SCG last night. The highlights were many. Steve Smith’s century. Steve Smith throwing the stumps down. Steve Smith convincing Michael Clarke to use DRS to send Rahane on his way. Let’s hope the ODI selectors pick Steve Smith for Sunday’s final at the MCG, because they didn’t at the start of the summer.

6. Back in December, Aussie exec Jon McCormack was a big deal at Amazon, overseeing 1500 staff which developed software for the company’s various Kindle gadgets. Until he got poached to Yahoo, presumably not cheaply, as an Amazon colleague claimed McCormack was a million-a-year hire. This week, Marissa Mayer’s win backfired – McCormack’s back at Amazon.

7. Australia’s un-unemployable. If you want an almost guaranteed job, Indeed has released a list of the 20 positions Australian employers can’t fill within 90 days. Out ahead by some margin is Actuary – mainly, Indeed says, because there aren’t a lot of them.

8. Dale Vince left school at 15 to join a hippie commune where he lived in an old fire engine. He’s now the CEO of Britain’s biggest green energy supplier Ecotricity and is not your typical multimillionaire corporate executive. He’s worth about $200 million. He’s also at war with Elon Musk, whom he once partnered with until an errant email showed Vince that Musk was going to try to betray him. Here’s a look at Vince’s incredible life so far.

9. Holden has finally released a new Sandman … but don’t get too excited. It’s a Commodore wagon with bigger wheels and some stickers.

You even have to buy the shagpile as an extra.

10. Instant wine expert. You don’t need to drink wine for decades and grow a huge strawberry of a nose to know your gris from your grigio. Psychology student – now doctor – Alex Russell spent seven years studying how quickly novices can improve their wine knowledge and found a vast improvement can be made with an intense four-hour session. Here’s his 10 tips to turn you into an instant wine expert.

BONUS ITEM: Today’s most clickable headline. Jimmy Nsubuga, your Walkley is in the mail:

Have a great weekend. I’m on Twitter.

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