10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

That’s a wrap. Picture: Disney

1. The Aussie dollar’s fall isn’t over yet, according to a Commonwealth Bank expert in one of the most bearish outlooks you’ll ever get from an Aussie major. Richard Grace, CBA’s head of currency strategy, wrote a note to clients telling them the Aussie dollar will not “remain immune” to the move toward a stronger US dollar.

Furthermore, the demand and currency adjustment in favour of the USD vis-à-vis the JPY and EUR appears set to remain in place for at least twelve months; and more likely a number of years. Consequently, with upward pressure on the USD, then AUD/USD must move lower, even if AUD continues to hold up relatively well on a trade-weighted basis.

And he cites several more reasons before suggesting “maintaining a strategy of selling into rallies on the AUD/USD”.

2. In Asia yesterday, the Nikkei dipped back after the USDJPY surged to 115.50 before reversing more than 100 points, taking sentiment and stocks with it. The fall of 0.86% to 16,792 must be viewed in the context of the previous five-session gain of 10%+. The Hang Seng dipped 0.2% to 23,649 while stocks in Shanghai were up 0.28% to 2,426. With only the Japanese foreign investment data out, it’s a bit of a data vacuum in Asia today, but we get the RBA’s quarterly statement on monetary policy this morning at 11.30 (AEDT).

3. Locally, overnight on the ASX futures market, traders ignored yesterday’s trade and pushed it up 29 points to 5,522 bid this morning. Iron ore and coal both fell again and gold remains becalmed, so it might be an interesting day on the local market.

4. Facebook is going down the drain, just like Yahoo did in 1999. That’s today’s most unlikely theory and huge overreaction to the social media giant’s recent on-par earnings report. The theory, in a nutshell, is along the lines of Facebook is doomed because so much of its advertising depends on venture-backed tech startups. Once rates in the US rise, the money flowing to those startups will dry up, and advertising budgets will be cut. And yes, if a recession hits, Facebook will lose money, but so will everyone else. Here’s why it will survive.

5. Taking one (or three) for the team. 65-year-old Estalyn Walcoff visited a delightful living room on campus at New York University, where the nice researchers gave her a pill and asked her to lie down. Within an hour, she “experienced great anxiety”. The it turned to a sense of “oh my gosh” connectedness. 27-year-old Nick Fernandez saw all the colours of the rainbow. They were both tripping on psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, in a trial studying why the drug appears to possess depression and anxiety-fighting qualities.

6. Jacqui Lambie is sticking up for the soldiers. As well she might, being a former one herself. But there’s a big story going on right now in the ADF with our fighting men and women being offered a pretty paltry below-inflation salary offer of 1.5% per year over three years. Lambie, being a PUP senator, holds a fair whack of power over the Federal Government and just said she’s going to use all of it to block as much legislation as she can until Tony Abbott coughs up for her fellow soldiers.

7. The new Star Wars film is filmed. But not ready, because about a year’s worth of CGI has to be added before next year’s December release. It has a title though, look:

As a thank you gift, director JJ Abrams gave all the cast a thank you note and a cap.

8. The Australian National Architect Awards were announced in Darwin last night and community-oriented projects dominated the show. Honours went to a housing project with an emphasis on communal spaces, a mental health facility with a welcome feel, a primary school which provides a sanctuary for the culturally diverse locals and a surf club which celebrates the coastal features and protects a fairy penguin habitat. All up, 43 awards and commendations were given to 36 projects across the 12 national categories. Here’s all the pics of the biggest winners.

9. The world’s second smartest man. There’s actually a thing called The World Genius Directory, which lists all the world’s top minds based on IQ tests. Rick Rosner is second on that list (right after first!) Rosner is writing his memoir “Dumbass Genius”, detailing his life as a stripper, roller-skater waiter and bouncer, and he told BI what really makes him feel dumb. For the record, the top mind belongs to Dr Evangelos Katsioulis, Greece, and the highest Australian is Tim Roberts (18th, IQ 178).

10. “I don’t know much about wine at all.” The understatement of the week from New Jersey resident Joe Lentini. If he did, he might have recognised that when the steak restaurant waitress said the Screaming Eagle Oakville 2011 was “thirty-seven fifty”, she meant “$3750”. Cue world’s most outrageous bill shock. He should have taken a bag of goon – BI’s Megan Willett is hooked on the stuff and happy to tell the world why.

BONUS ITEM: Headline of the Week to the Metro, UK, who came up with this after a bunch of West African illegal immigrants turned up on a beach showing signs of fever:

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