What to watch for today
US factories come back to life. Industrial production is expected to increase 0.4% in August after stalling in July, while the Empire State manufacturing index for September is seen posting a strong pickup. European consumer prices are also due for release.
Chrysler’s failsafe IPO. The carmaker will reportedly file documents for a public offering this week after Fiat and an employee trust failed to agree on a market price for a deal to combine Chrysler and Fiat.
Siemens heirs call for calm. The “usually secluded” descendants of Werner von Siemen weighed in amid a dispute over leadership of the German engineering giant, the Wall Street Journal reported, following the ouster of chief executive Peter Löscher in July.
Japan will halt its last working nuclear reactor. Reactor 4 at Ohi in western Japan will stop generating electricity, 2.5 years after the country’s worst nuclear accident. There is no timeline for restarting operations.
Portugal’s bailout under review. The IMF, EU and ECB could face resistance from new deputy prime minister Paulo Portas, who wants to ease deficit targets for 2014, after nearly bringing down the Portuguese government in July over austerity measures.
Over the weekend
Larry Summers bowed out. The former US treasury secretary pulled out of the running to succeed Ben Bernanke as big dog at the Federal Reserve, citing the potential of an ugly congressional confirmation battle (paywall). His exit drove US stock and treasury futures higher and sent the dollar slumping on the expectation that Janet Yellen, now seen as the Fed frontrunner, would extend the era of easy credit.
India’s unexpected inflation. Wholesale prices climbed 6.1% in August from a year earlier, outpacing analyst expectations and making life more difficult for Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan as he prepares to announce his first policy decision this week.
The US and Russia worked out a deal on Syria. The al-Assad regime will have to submit a complete list of its chemical weapons within a week, and destroy its entire arsenal and production facilities in less than a year. US president Barack Obama called the deal a potential first step toward a political settlement of the civil war. A UN report due today will likely confirm the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but will probably not identify a specific perpetrator.
Repsol is on the prowl in North America. In an effort to boost its investments in politically stable economies, the Spanish oil giant is reportedly looking to spend $5 billion to $10 billion (paywall) for a US or Canadian exploration and production company.
Shopping for shopping malls. Westfield Group, the world’s biggest shopping center operator, is selling seven US malls to Starwood Capital Group for $1.6 billion.
China’s newest $100 billion company is Internet giant Tencent, owner of the QQ and WeChat messaging services, whose stock rose 2.5% to HK$421.20 in Hong Kong on Monday, for a market capitalization of HK$782.8 billion ($101 billion). The company’s shares are up 69% on the year.
Quartz obsession interlude
Tim Fernholz on why the internet of things will save the US from the great stagnation. “Innovation guru Michael Mandel figures (pdf) that the increasing number of machines equipped with internet-connected sensors will expand the US economy by $600 billion and $1.4 trillion in 2025, roughly the equivalent of boosting GDP by 2% to 5% over the intervening time period. That could be the difference between so-so growth and the kind of stable growth that drives down debt and unemployment.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The Shanghai free trade zone is dead on arrival. China already has other tariff-free export-processing zones; it’s unclear what more the government can do to boost commerce.
The new Syria deal is a win for everyone except Syrians. The deal strengthens al-Assad and Putin and saves face for Obama, but ordinary Syrians will continue to be slaughtered.
Edward Snowden actually helped the US tech sector. Fears of NSA colluding with US firms could be counterbalanced by increased demand for the encryption services they provide.
A major city will be nuked by mistake. There have been 32 little-known nuclear weapons mishaps on US soil alone.
Tesla’s Model S is the Model T of our time. Elon Musk’s electric sedan is driving a cleaner, smarter and less expensive future for personal transportation.
Dark side of the mooncakes. Luxurious Chinese treats to celebrate the mid-autumn festival are out of fashion amid a corruption crackdown.
A 450-meter tower with stealth mode. Light-emitting diodes and cameras in a proposed skyscraper in South Korea will allow it to blend into the background.
Life-saving drones. A German non-profit is developing a flying defibrillator for remote regions.
Piracy as market research. Netflix uses the most popular illegal downloads to choose which TV shows to license.