10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Six-wicket Ashes humiliation rescue efforts aren’t good enough.

Good morning. Happy cricket season, unless your name is Peter Siddle, who won’t be lining up against the Kiwis today.

1. “December is live.” If you know we’re talking about US rates, and Fed chair Janet Yellen’s comments about them, you’re probably not surprised to hear stocks were a little lower last night. But it didn’t hurt futures on the ASX too much, with the December SPI200 futures up 3 points. So, a quiet day then? Greg McKenna reckons that hardly ever happens, so the action might be intra-market rather than in the index. Crude’s back down, iron ore… isn’t.

2. Westpac thinks something interesting is going on with the Australian dollar. Richard Franulovich, their New York currency guy, says that real money is back and buying in “eye-catching” catching amounts. McKenna’s got the details here, along with this eye-popping chart which highlights the big turnaround after a year or two of selling:

3. Here’s another great chart. Martin Whetton and Savita Singh, rate strategists at ANZ, discovered that when the RBA board uses certain phrases in its policy statement, it’s often a precursor to a reduction in interest rates. So they drew a chart to prove it. And earlier this week, the RBA used one of those statements…

4. Malcolm Turnbull will outline plans for tax reform today and there will be some interest in any talk about an increase in the GST. On ABC’s “7.30 Report” last night Cassandra Goldie, CEO of the Australian Council of Social Services, said their research showed that if GST was increased to 15% and there was a 5% across-the-board income tax cut, “there’s no doubt people on low, modest incomes will be definitely be worse off”. But surely she was mistaken when she said it will cost those low-earners “up to about $100,000 in household income”?

5. Let’s give this badly misled young lady just one more run in the sun:

We now know her name is Sarah Finn, she’s 24, and not surprisingly, sorry for her actions at the Melbourne Cup. “I deeply apologise for my actions,” she told 7 News, adding that she’d taken legal advice from gangland lawyer Zara Garde Wilson. “I acknowledge a massive error in judgement on my behalf. My level of intoxication is no excuse.” She’s posted this pic to her Facebook account, ramping it up to Charm Offensive Level 9, but it’s not there now:

CHiPs? Picture: Sarah Finn/Facebook

6. Chat wars. Don’t rush out to drag your entire office over to Slack just yet. For starters, it’s unAustrayan, unlike Atlassian, which isn’t. And Atlassian’s HipChat has been doing what Slack does now since 2010 – that’s 5 whole years. And today, as they prepare for a possible IPO by the end of the year, they’ve just updated HipChat so you can embed your apps right inside it. As opposed to having to constantly switch apps and copy-and-paste photos or text between them. Clever, clever.

7. Set phasers to “stun”, Star Wars nerds, because we don’t want anyone to get hurt while you’re distracted by all today’s news about “The Force Awakens”, kicking off with this poster:

And a bunch of others featuring the main cast. (Still no Skywalker.) Then we’ve pulled together 11 jaw-dropping fan theories about what “The Force Awakens” is actually about, most of which will be wrong. And Science is there, with Neil deGrasse Tyson patiently explaining to us how lightsabers will work in real life.

8. This isn’t from “Star Wars”:

But it’s just as cool. It’s called the Protopiper, it’s made by the Hasso Plattner Institute and it shoots sticky tape – in tubes, which allows its wielder to build stuff in 3D shapes, such as large-scale wireframes of sofas, cabinets and other kitchen appliances. Watch it in action.

9. Don’t get fat and happy, and know how to explain what you do is the lesson from an incredible story told by legendary activist investor Carl Icahn at the Dealbook conference overnight. Icahn recalled walking into a particular division of a company he had bought and asking everyone what they did. Nobody could explain – it all seemed evasive and technical. So he fired them all, 12 floors of people, and sold the lease for $10 million.

“Here’s the crazy thing: If you shut down a grocery store, you’d hear from somebody. Apple’s aren’t delivered, pears go bad, something… It was like out of a science fiction, nobody called me. It was like the bomb hit and killed all the people and nobody stayed.”

Bonus: he got the real answer he was looking for about how useless everyone was from a manager over martinis.

10. Self-help. Today we’ve got 12 public speaking habits to avoid at all costs, including that one where you start off by telling everyone how nervous you are. And if you’re in your 30s, a) lucky bloody you and b) you’re most likely making one of these 11 dumb mistakes with your money. Don’t.

Have a great day.

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