Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—New Zealand raises rates, US oil stockpile, Candy Crush IPO, 5 second rule validated

March 13, 2014
March 13, 2014

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

China’s economic benchmarks. February industrial production and retail sales data will provide insights into business and consumer confidence amid a deepening economic slowdown.

Lufthansa’s profits soar. The German carrier is expected to post a full-year operating profit of up to €700 million ($973.28 million), compared to €524 million in the previous year, it may reinstate the dividend it axed last year (paywall).

American spending is back in the black. Analysts expect retail sales to have grown 0.1% last month, after contracting by 0.4% in January. As 70% of GDP is driven by consumer spending, that would be happy news for the US economy.

The pope’s anniversary. It’s one year to the day since white smoke billowed out of the Sistine Chapel’s chimney. Pope Francis will be marking the occasion with a spiritual retreat.

While you were sleeping

New Zealand raised interest rates, from 2.5% to to 2.75%, making it the first developed country to raise its benchmark rate since the financial crisis. The Kiwi economy has been booming and its housing market is growing a bit overheated.

Australia added 80,500 full-time jobs. February’s month-on-month increase did nothing to reduce the unemployment rate, which held steady at 6%.

The US is selling some of its oil stockpile. The decision to unload a modest 5 million barrels may be a signal to Russia in its standoff with Ukraine.

Satellite images of possible MH-370 debris were found. Search planes are inspecting an area in the South China Sea where the missing Malaysia Airlines flight might have crashed. But Malaysian officials are also looking into radar blips detected far west of the plane’s intended flight path, near the island of Penang.

King candy-crushed its IPO pricing. King Digital Entertainment unveiled a $21- to $24-per-share price range for its public offering, which would value the British company behind the hit game Candy Crush Saga at a whopping $7.6 billion.

A building blew up in New York City. Two people were killed and 22 injured when two adjacent buildings exploded in Harlem due to a gas leak.

Panasonic unveiled a smog bonus. The Japanese firm said it would pay a premium to workers it sends to China (paywall), due to the hazardously high levels of pollution there that can increase the risk of asthma, cancer and heart problems.

Quartz obsession interlude 

Leo Mirani on what the future of in-car navigation will look like. “Carmakers have been experimenting with head-up displays (HUD) in cars since the late 1990s. But early efforts have been cautious, displaying only speed and other basic information near the bottom of the windscreen. New technologies allow them to be bolder: the authors see HUD, long used by fighter pilots, as becoming a natural part of looking through the windshield, and, in some cases, being embedded on real-world objects such as the road or buildings. It is Borges’s 1:1 map come to life.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

We talk about too many things in economic terms. That leads to paternalism, erodes morality, and diminishes personal autonomy.

Conference panels boring? Blame the moderator. Panelists should be left to duke it out among themselves.

In defense of the Indian male. A survey purporting to show that Indian men don’t do housework missed a whole lot of cultural factors.

A falling yuan explains pretty much everything weird going on in China. A forced devaluation by the central bank is making the whole economy freak out.

Surprising discoveries

The consequences of money laundering. Compensation for Citibank’s Manuel Medina-Mora was docked to a mere $14 million after the bank failed to adhere to US laws.

The five-second rule exists—sort of. It’s better if your food lands on the carpet.

The post-Millennial generation needs a name. Suggestions include iGen, the swipe generation and Gen 2K.

“Mor” is literature’s most evil syllable. Voldemort, Mordor, Moriarty, Morbius, the Morlocks… need we go on?

Dating app Tinder plans to verify its celebrity users. Now you’ll know for sure it’s Lindsay Lohan who’s flirting with you.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Tinder celebrities, and generational monikers to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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