Quartz Daily Brief—Bank earnings, China’s new floor, Portugal’s deepening crisis, wearable computers for dogs

July 12, 2013
July 12, 2013

What to watch for today

Egyptians back on the streets? Supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi called for more protests on Friday to oppose his detention. Clashes between the military and protesters have killed around 90 people in the last week.

The BoJ will release its monthly report for July. The report is due a day after the central bank said Japan’s economy was recovering for the first time in 2.5 years. Not all parts of the country are feeling the benefits.

US banks report second-quarter profits. Healthy gains from trading and investment banking are anticipated. JP Morgan’s earnings are expected to rise to $1.42 per share on revenue of just under $25 billion, and Wells Fargo is expected to book a profit of 92 cents a share, but its revenue is expected to decline 6% year-on-year.

Status quo in Mexico. Mexican central bankers are expected to leave their official interest rates unchanged at 4%. Inflation is dropping toward the central bank’s 4% target ceiling, and some analysts expect rate cuts later in the year aimed at boosting Mexico’s economy.

While you were sleeping

China’s finance minister said he would accept slower growth. Speaking at a joint US-China dialogue, Lou Jiwei said GDP growth of 6.5% wouldn’t be a “big problem,” though he is confident of achieving 7% growth this year. Even that figure is less than the government’s official 7.5% target.

Portugal sank further into crisis.presidential proposal on Wednesday for urgent cross-party cooperation and early elections seems to have backfired. Portugal’s leadership is trying to recover from the resignation of two senior ministers, but only succeeded in pushing up bond yields, sending the country into “a deeper crisis than it was a week ago” (paywall).

Singapore is sizzling. Its economy expanded by an impressive 15.2 percent in the three months through June compared with the previous quarter, beating all estimates for the fastest growth since 2011. Strong local demand compensated for the uneven global recovery.

Carl Ichan upped the stakes for Dell. The billionaire investor said he would increase his offer for the PC maker for a fourth time in an attempt to outbid founder Michael Dell, who wants to take the company private.

Apple and Google are friendly. The two rivals have had “lots and lots” of meetings, according to Google chairman Eric Schmidt, and are in “constant business discussions.” The two companies are fierce competitors in several market segments, not least smartphones and software.

Steve Ballmer restructured Microsoft. The broad reorganization is aimed at pulling sprawling units together, as it aims to focus more on devices (paywall) such as tablet computers and the services that run on them. It’s also a way for Ballmer to consolidate power.

US stocks hit highs. The S&P 500 index and Dow Industrials both had record closing levels, as comments Wednesday by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke eased concerns the US central bank was close to tapering its bond buying.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on how China’s banks continued to lend despite the central bank’s directions: “The ‘Big Four’ state-owned banks—China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commerical Bank of China, Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China—lent a combined $27.7 billion in the first week of July (link in Chinese), reported the Shanghai Seucrities News (SSN). That’s compared with $44 billion for all of June. Some $35.4 billion of that was lent out in the first ten days of June, before rates hit prohibitive heights.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

China’s dangerous shadow banking can be a fabulous opportunity for those who bet against it.

The recession’s legacy will be empowered cities. And America is leading the charge.

The high-end art market is blatantly manipulated by galleries. That is bad news for art lovers and most artists.

China’s blackout of US websites isn’t just a media freedom issue. It’s also inconsistent with free-trade commitments under the WTO.

Globalization is the unsung hero of the empowered global middle class. Protests are about getting globalization right, not a fight against it.

Surprising discoveries

3D printed rocket parts could make space travel cheaper. Production costs could fall by 70%.

You no longer need water to irrigate a field. This chemically engineered powder will do just fine.

Human-powered helicopters are now reality. You just have to cycle really hard.

The 9/11 mastermind redesigned the vacuum cleaner.CIA officials were trying to keep Khalid Sheikh Mohammed occupied to undo the psychological effects of interrogation

The inventor of Google Glass is developing wearable computers for dogs.They may let pets send messages to humans.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, magic powder and prison inventions to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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