10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

If anyone gets #MeToo, it’s Floyd Mayweather. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. It was all about bonds overnight. US yields jumped after Chinese authorities indicated they may scale back their purchases of US treasuries. The story of 2018 could be that the three-decade bull market in bonds may be nearing its end. Moves in stocks overnight were negligible, the Aussie rose as high as 0.7868 US cents, and iron ore isn’t doing a lot. It’s a big day in data though – we get to see how well retailers did in the lead-up to Christmas.

2. Will the US strike North Korea? All the talk yesterday was about the “bloody nose” option, but all the forms that might take involve significant risks, mainly for the US. The chief advocate for a strike is Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, who has a lot less patience for diplomacy than Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis. Here’s why McMaster thinks it’s time to Make America Fight Again, starting with a bomb for Kim Jong Un.

3. It’s not the best catch of the season, but it’s comfortably the coolest:

Proof positive that Joffra Archer doesn’t belong in England, with English people. And the Hobart Hurricanes have made it four wins in a row, thanks to an extraordinary 122-run knock from D’Arcy Short. It’s the highest score in BBL history, and at 68.5%, the highest percentage of a team’s total runs.

4. Ripple’s XRP was the hot cryptocurrency of the week, and here’s how you buy it. Before you do, note that it took a huge hit over the weekend, mainly because rumours it was going to be added to the Coinbase exchange turned out to be premature. But all the noise about XRP hides the fact that Ripple is actually a very successful startup that has the ear of many financial institutions looking for ways to make international currency flows faster and cheaper. Here’s why it’s betting big on Asia, rather than the US, for liftoff.

5. In other crypto news, it’s Bitcoin Cash’s turn to shine, that story about how much energy crypto mining uses won’t go away, and Warren Buffett said bitcoin “definitely will come to a bad ending” and would “buy a five-year put on every one of the cryptocurrencies”. He might be right, given the ATO and Kodak have finally discovered it.

6. Amazon, already a growth story to put all the cryptocurrencies together to shame, would have to surge 66% from current levels to achieve a 13-digit valuation. JPMorgan says yes, it can.

7. Avery Hartmans was offered a ride in an autonomous vehicle through Las Vegas by Lyft, except it came with a driver and a co-driver:

But she saw enough of the car working on its own to be impressed, if a little bored. It stopped for an orange light, and once even let two cars merge in front of it! But the most exciting bit was when it stopped and executed a perfect U-turn on a busy street, with the wheel moving spookily.

8. You might have read this elegant advice on life penned by a 27-year old Australian woman before she died of cancer. Now read the version from the UK quant analyst who survived cancer, then sent this 4,000-word note to clients questioning the purpose of the financial sector.

9. Floyd Mayweather, boxing champion, served prison time in 2011 for domestic battery. So when he was on stage at CES to talk about his new boxing VR game, the interviewer asked him about his feelings on the #MeToo movement. Mayweather chose his words… poorly:

When you say ‘me too’, my thing is this, when somebody is like, ‘I got a Rolls Royce’, I be like ‘me too’. When somebody say they got a private jet, I say, ‘I got two. Me too.’

But now he knows what #MeToo means.

10. Men like Mayweather make the thought of a world populated entirely by women seem like a good idea. But it would actually be terrible, because everyone would be dead not long after. Which is why scientists are glad they’ve figured out why up to 99% of endangered sea turtles in Australia are now being born female, because they might be able to stop it before it’s too late.

Have a great day.

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