10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

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Good morning.

1. The Aussie dollar opened the new trading week above the 81 US cent level for the first time since January 2015. You can thank Bank of Japan governor Kuroda for that. But the weak USD is feeding stocks, helping the S&P500 hit yet another record high to close the week. ASX200 SPI futures are buoyant, 30 points up, but the big news is Australian economists Chris Richardson and Saul Eslake teasing everyone by claiming the pre-conditions are finally ripe for a wage increase in Australia.

2. “Sustainability” has been a trendy term in business circles for years, but as Business Insider’s Paul Colgan reports, among the global elite gathered at Davos last week for the World Economic Forum annual meeting, it has taken on a new and somewhat ominous meaning. It’s now more about values that will give a company a future in a world where disruption comes at you faster than a shark with knees. It’s not likely to go down well in some corners of Australian business – but it’s very much a live conversation at the top of global business, so maybe it’s time to start thinking about it.

3. Roger Federer is ageing well:

His 6-2 6-7 6-3 3-6 6-1 win over Croatian Marin Cilic saw him claim his sixth Australian Open title – equalling Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson’s record – and his 20th grand slam title. Federer is 36, but even that is a year younger than Ken Rosewall was when he held the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup high in 1972. There were tears. Lots of tears.

4. It’s almost February already and the data is in full swing. This week’s big domestic release is Q4 inflation from the ABS on Wednesday, which is expected to pick up thanks to holiday petrol costs, but not enough to move the needle on a rates outlook. And on Thursday, we’ll check in on Sydney’s housing slowdown. Around the world, January PMI releases start coming in, and the Eurozone’s current rude health gets a checkup with preliminary Q4 GDP readings and January inflation on Tuesday and Wednesday. All the rest is here in Sam Jacobs’ diary.

5. Two minutes to midnight. Not just a classic metal track, but also the closest the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved the hands on its Doomsday Clock to that fateful hour in its 71-year history. You can thank Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un for that. Here’s how the two could start an accidental nuclear war.

6. Why is bitcoin so volatile? Andy Bryant is glad you asked. The European COO of bitcoin exchange BitFlyer says the reason is simple and has a lot to do with the fact all the bitcoin in the world is still worth only two Warren Buffetts. So get used to it.

7. Benjamin Zhang spent a day at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi and sadly, it was a bit rubbish. But then again, he has spent plenty of time at real racetracks in real supercars. So if you are also the type to spend time in real supercars at real racetracks, you need to consider this:

Kahn Media

It’s called the Thermal Club and if you buy one of the 268 available plots just out of Palm Springs, you can race the 8km track whenever you want. Here are all the pics of what a very exclusive racing club looks like.

8. Have you IoTeed your home yet? No? That’s probably because you’ve been burnt by getting in too early before, and you’re waiting for the simple option that just does everything. But it’s starting to look very likely that the simple option that does everything will be Amazon. Here’s why it’s in a better position than any other company to dominate ambient computing.

9. Ingvar Kamprad has died, aged 91. You might know him better as the guy who invented furniture you can put together with a single Allen key. Kamprad founded IKEA from his family farm in Småland, Sweden at 17. With apologies:

10. There might be a light at the end of the tunnel for Britain’s economy as it approaches Brexit. In a rare bright spot for the slowing economy, the UK’s latest GDP number came in ahead of expectations, employment rose to a record high, and the deficit fell more than expected. But in the same week, three former Conservative ministers were caught in a sting selling Brexit information to a fake Chinese company. Because the biggest hurdle in front of every good thing in life is lobbyists.

BONUS ITEM: Pick your soundtrack to that coldly choreographed scene in the Flash Gordon Room where Rey and Kylo Ren fight the Praetorian Guards. We plumped, obviously, for everyone to cut loose:

Have a great day.

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