Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Obama’s econ policy push, SAC charges, Dell vote, princely birthing bargains

July 24, 2013
July 24, 2013

What to watch for today

US President Barack Obama’s economic policy push. His Midwestern campaign-like trip will begin in Galesburg, Illinois, and include a major economic agenda-setting speech.

Prosecutors prepare to announce criminal charges against SAC. The US hedge fund has been subject to a multi-year probe looking for evidence of fraud and insider trading. The company’s founder, Steven A Cohen, is also facing scrutiny, but prosecutors are reportedly not planning to announce charges against him personally.

Moment of reckoning for Michael Dell. The PC maker’s shareholders will vote on the $24.4 billion buyout offer by a group led by the company’s founder. Or at least they are scheduled to—the initial vote was postponed last week, and the saga has had no shortage of last-minute twists.

More earnings to dissect. GlaxoSmithKline’s numbers will likely be muted as the company addresses a growing China bribery probeFacebook, Ford and Boeing are optimistic about strong earnings, and PepsiCo’s performance will be of special interest after activist investor Nelson Peltz said the company should spin off its underperforming beverage business and buy Oreo cookie maker Mondelez.

Detroit bankruptcy hearing. The US federal judge overseeing the case will hold a hearing to determine whether lawsuits filed by retired public employees, workers and pension funds can block the biggest Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy in US history.

What does Google have up its sleeve? The tech giant has sent out a mysterious invite for a breakfast event with the head of its Android and Chrome units. Google watchers believe the company may unveil a second generation Nexus 7 tablet or Android 4.3 update.

While you were sleeping

Demand for Japanese goods improved. Exports rose 7.4% last month from a year earlier, falling shy of estimates. A weakened yen and improved demand from the US and EU has helped sustain export growth, although Chinese demand is still tepid.

Chinese manufacturing balked, slowing to an 11-month low in July, according to a preliminary survey from HSBC.

Bulgarian blockade turns violent. Anti-government protesters barricaded around 100 lawmakers inside parliament on Tuesday, throwing stones and scuffling with police to protest corruption and politicians’ links to organized crime. .

Apple’s profits fell for the second straight quarter. The 22% drop in earnings was still better than expected. Sales grew just 1% as Apple shipped 20% more iPhones and 14% fewer iPads than the corresponding quarter last year.

Huawei’s mobile push paid off. China’s largest maker of phone equipment reported 11% growth in first-half sales, generating $18.5 billion in revenue. No profit figures were reported, but the company projects full year growth of between 7% and 8%.

Quartz obsession interlude

Christopher Mims on why the biggest opportunity in mobile right now is not smartphones. “Rather, the big play for some companies, especially any that wish to expand into emerging markets, is on the “dumbphones”—aka non-smartphones, or in industry parlance, feature phones—that most people in rich countries have now left behind.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Bribery keeps Chinese hospitals’ lights on. The health system would struggle to function without illegal payments to poorly paid medical staff.

Britain’s young prince should enjoy his first few hours. The rest of his life will be ruined by the scrutiny of media drones.

Tight US labor markets are here to stay. Older people area working longer and employers are demanding more hours by paying overtime instead of hiring.

Al Jazeera in Egypt: golden child to pariah. Once seen as an anti-Mubarak ally, now tainted by a serious distrust of Qatar.

Marketers are doing it wrong. Here’s how to raise prices with minimal backlash.

Surprising discoveries

Babe for your buck. The British royal birth cost around $15,000, compared to the average American delivery which is billed at $30,000.

Holy smoke. The Pope’s election tripled internet video streaming traffic.

Apple’s record cash haul could repay Detroit’s debt eight times over. But the company would rather borrow than spend it.

The NSA can search everyone’s emails but its own. “Antiquated and archaic” technology prevents the National Security Agency from searching its own employees’ email.

Menthol cigarettes may be harder to quit. The mint flavoring also makes them easier to start smoking, says the US Food and Drug Administration as it weighs a ban.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, baby birth bargains and suggestions on how Apple could spend its billions to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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