Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—EU summit, Google and Microsoft, Huawei non-espionage, binders

October 17, 2012
October 17, 2012

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

EU summit starts with great pomp but little circumstance.  EU leaders begin a two-day meeting in Brussels, where they’re expected to discuss Greece, a potential Spanish bailout, and the role of a euro-wide banking supervisor and coordinated budget; they are not expected to make much progress, though.

Google and Microsoft report earnings. The world’s biggest search company and its biggest software company are expected to keep moving in opposite directions, as Google profits climb and Microsoft’s slide, reflecting the fates of their respective core technologies.

BP-Rosneft deal close to closing. The British oil giant is nearing an agreement to sell its 50% share in Russia’s third-biggest oil venture TNK-BP to state oil company Rosneft, ending the suffering of BP shareholders. The deal, reports Quartz’s Steve LeVine, would mean sweet revenge for Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s boss, in his long-running feud with the oligarchs who own the other half of TNK-BP and may now be forced to sell it to Rosneft on Sechin’s terms.

While you were sleeping

Secret debate over EU banking supervisor complicates reform. The EU’s top legal advisor calls the pending plan for a eurozone banking regulator illegal, according to a paper obtained by the FT, likely fueling continued German objections at the EU summit.

The FBI helps a man conspire to blow up the New York Fed, then arrests him. Federal agents arrested a 21-year-old Bangladeshi man after he tried to blow up a van outside the Federal Reserve Bank in Manhattan, at the conclusion of an elaborate sting operation.

White House: We can’t prove Huawei has been spying either. An 18-month, mostly classified review of the Chinese networking giant found no proof of espionage. It comes in the wake of a Congressional committee report last week that warned the US not to trust Huawei and ZTE, another telecoms equipment maker, but likewise had no proof of skulduggery. However, the White House report did warn US telecom companies that Huawei’s gear contained potentially hackable vulnerabilities.

Quartz obsession interlude

Our obsession with the US elections is gearing up and counting down—19 days left until Americans vote. At the latest debate, Mitt Romney once again slammed China for “cheating” on its currency, but Quartz’s Tim Fernholz notes that those allegations are coming a few years late—the yuan has in fact steadily appreciated since 2005. “American politicians love bashing China for votes, of course, but currency manipulation isn’t the problem it once was.” Steve LeVine, meanwhile, reviews the candidates’ spat over gasoline prices. And about Romney’s “binders-full-of-women” comment that lit up the internet, Quartz contributor Vickie Elmer gets reaction from two businesswomen who… manufacture binders.

Matters of debate

It’s settled now: QE3 worked. Banks reporting earnings this week all noted one big bright spot on their balance sheets: mortgages are up, proof that banks are buying into incentives offered by the Federal Reserve to turn around housing markets.

Honduran mistake. The United States’ growing role in Honduras is hurting its Latin America policy, writes UC Santa Cruz professor Dana Frank.

Surprising discoveries

Vampires rule? Researchers found they could slow aging in older mice by injecting them with blood from their younger counterparts. Old mouse brains were for example rejuvenated, possibly because they absorbed younger stem cells.

“8 crazy things Americans believe about foreign policy.” Well, maybe they’re not surprising, but they should be.

Correction: In yesterday’s newsletter, we said that $25 billion worth of paintings had been stolen in Rotterdam. That was a typo; we meant $25 million.

Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, Fed terrorist plots, and crazy things you believe about foreign policy to hi@qz.com or hit “Reply” to this email.

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