1. Tony Abbott has the full support of his party, Malcolm Turnbull says, delivering the line that’s seen just about every AFL, NRL and national rugby coach spiralling back to the junior leagues within days. Christopher Pyne says “there could be a vote” as soon as Tuesday, but he won’t be the one moving or supporting it.
2. There’s a “trust barometer” and not surprisingly, it’s currently not showing a good forecast for our embattled PM Tony Abbot. Less than half of Australians are now on board with him, according to the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer, which, in the wake of the Coalition Government victory in 2013, showed a 13 percentage point increase in trust in government from the prior year. Still, at 49%, he’s doing a lot better than our CEOs, who can only convince 33% of Australians that they’re doing a good job.
3. To the markets where locally, it could be 12 days in a row of rallies if the futures are to be believed. After a rise of 0.6% yesterday, futures are indicating a rise of 32 points with the March SPI 200 currently at 5,786 bid.
4. In Asia yesterday, the Shanghai composite is getting the wobbles. It closed down 1.17%, 37 points to 3,137 but that’s way below the high of the day at 3,251. That’s a big move and focuses attention back on the 3,095 level once again. Tokyo was also lower yesterday, down 0.98%, 174 points, but futures indicate most of this should be recouped today. Likewise, the Hang Seng futures are pointing higher after yesterday’s 0.35% rally to 24,765.
5. The US dollar fall has helped lift the Aussie dollar back to 0.7816. That won’t please the RBA, according to Westpac.
6. How’s your investment property going? It might not be doing much for very long if the Bank of International Settlements has anything to do with it. The BIS, a global standard-setter for how banks do pretty much everything, has a new consultation paper out on credit risk and in it are 12 words which, if Australia adopted them, could reshape the entire country’s economy. The BIS says that banks should assess loans “without providing any recognition to rental income derived from the property collateral”. Read that again, slowly. Got it?
7. But in good news, it’s just a proposal, so no need to call your financial advisor. Yet. Greg McKenna has the details.
8. The King of Jordan rocks. He’s had a gutfull of Islamic State terrorists and their brutal executions, especially the burning alive of a Jordanian pilot this week. So he kitted up and, according to some reports, personally led an airstrike against the Islamist militia:
It’s not been confirmed, but it’s not unlikely either. King Abdullah II has 35 years of military service behind him and enrolled in the UK’s Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst to become an elite Cobra attack helicopter pilot. Here’s 11 more pictures of him being a badass.
9. The best of the Aussie startups. 2014 was a cracking year for our shiniest entrepreneurs, headlined by Campaign Monitor’s $US250 million funding from a group of US venture capital firms. But there were a raft of other flourishing startups raking in the millions, from bike-makers to productivity experts and the ever-present online retailers. Here’s 17 of the best that had a great year.
10. Human limbs were found floating in a river in Melbourne’s western suburbs. A woman walking alongside the Marybyrnong River spotted a forearm missing its hand yesterday afternoon. Police divers later found another body part. Both the remains were described as “reasonably fresh”. Obviously, it’s been treated as suspicious, especially as there are reports of black plastic bags found nearby.
BONUS ITEM: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, absolutely did not fall down some steps. Look, here’s the official story from Information Minister Jonathan Moyo:
“What happened is that the president tripped over a hump on the carpet on one of the steps of the dais as he was stepping down from the platform but he remarkably managed to break the fall on his own.”
And here’s the video of Mugabe falling down steps just to prove Mugabe did not fall down the steps:
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