Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—The Navy Yard shooter, the Fed debates tapering, UK unloads Lloyds shares, marathon selfies ban

September 17, 2013
September 17, 2013

What to watch for today

Details emerge about the Navy Yard shooter. Aaron Alexis, 34, was a former Navy reservist with a deep interest in Buddhism who had been involved in several violent gun-related incidents. Authorities say he shot and killed 12 people before being killed himself by police.

JP Morgan gets punished for the “London Whale.” The bank’s board is meeting to approve a settlement with global regulators over trading errors that led to a $6 billion loss in 2012. But symbolically more important than the estimated $700 million to $800 million fine is the bank’s likely admission of wrongdoing.

The Fed debates tapering. The US central bank will debate when to start scaling back its $85 billion-a-month asset-purchase program, but won’t issue a decision until Wednesday. The fine print of the pace and size of the tapering could roil global markets.

A $250 million blockbuster is launched. Not the latest Hollywood movie, but Grand Theft Auto V, a long-awaited video game sequel expected to gross $1 billion in its first six months.

While you were sleeping

Inflation relief for the UK. Consumer price inflation fell 2.7% in August—in line with expectations and down from 2.8% in July, though still well over the official 2% target. Inflation in the US is expected to show a 1.8% increase for August.

UK sold Lloyds Bank shares. The British government unloaded a 6% stake in the bank that it bailed out during the financial crisis for £3.2 billion ($5.1 billion), clearing a £95 million pound profit. It still owns 32.7%.

European auto sales crash. New car sales in the EU fell by 5% in August for year-to-date sales of 7.8 million—the lowest since record keeping began in 1990.

Moderately sunnier skies for the Chinese economy. The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index for August rose 0.7%, after climbing 1.4% in July and 0.8% in June.

Danone’s latest China scandal. An investigation by state-run CCTV found that a Danone subsidiary paid doctors to encourage new mothers to use infant formula instead of breastfeeding. Danone has already been fined for anti-competitive formula pricing in China.

Australia’s central bank waffled. The Reserve Bank of Australia left its options open to either raise interest rates or reduce them, depending on the timing and severity of the US central bank’s tapering plans.

Quartz obsession interlude

Christopher Mims on how Intel will bring a “good enough” tablet to the US market by Christmas. “For a manufacturer to create a $99 tablet, where much of the cost is in the touchscreen display, they’re probably going to have to use an older and cheaper Intel chip, perhaps the same one to make Motorola’s Razr i, which came out in October 2012 and was the first Android smartphone to be powered by an Intel chip.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The NSA’s view of the internet looks a lot like China’s. The internet is a threat that warrants monitoring, even if it makes citizens uncomfortable.

US Middle East policy is helping its enemies. By striking alliances of convenience, the US is worsening the conflict between Islamist and secular forces in Muslim countries.

German elections will be good for the euro zone. Regardless of who wins, Europe will see greater integration and pro-growth policies.

An IPO could ruin Twitter. Twitter will have no choice but to strive to maximize shareholder returns, and that may mean many more ads.

Economic growth is good for the environment. Countries above a certain level of income do more for biodiversity than poor and fast-growing economies.

Surprising discoveries

Good morning Vietnam! Nearly four decades after the end of the war, Americans are the country’s top-spending tourists, dropping about $776 million in 2012, up 12% from the previous year.

A double gold medal for evictions. Kohei Jinno lost his home and business because of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and will once again need to move to make way for the 2020 Games. Japan will also spend $4.5 billion to relocate the world’s largest fish market to a man-made island.

No marathon selfies in Hong Kong. Mobile phones could be banned from the February race because runners’ self-portraits are causing accidents.

The stock market has crashed and spiked 18,000 times since 2006. But the swings were so fast that humans couldn’t even notice.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, nanosecond market spikes, and safety-conscious running selfies to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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