Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Twitter results, Cold War redux, China probes Microsoft, dating profiles useless

July 29, 2014
July 29, 2014

What to watch for today

Argentina procrastinates. Argentinian negotiators will meet again with a US court-appointed mediator instead of sitting down with “holdout” investors directly. A day before the deadline to avoid a default, they are seeking a delay of the US court ruling obliging Argentina to pay up.

Deutsche Bank’s ugly results. Analysts expect revenue and profit to drop for the fourth consecutive quarter, as the bank’s debt, currency, and equity trading units all post declines. Deutsche Bank is trying to shift its focus (paywall) to concentrate on wealth management and investment banking.

Did the World Cup give Twitter a kick? The social network expects to report a surge in quarterly ad sales, but investors will care most about a growing user base. Twitter may have benefitted from the largest sporting event in the world.

Big data for the US. Although a preliminary survey showed that consumer sentiment dipped in early July, consumer confidence is likely to hit a six-year high as strong jobs reports boosted households. The S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index for May is expected to show a smaller rise in home prices.

While you were sleeping

The US-Russia stand-off got much chillier. The Obama administration alleged that Russian cruise missile tests violated a crucial nuclear treaty that helped end the Cold War. Separately, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and the US agreed new restrictions on Russia’s energy, finance, and defense sectors

A mixed bag for Japan’s economy. The jobless rate rose unexpectedly to 3.7% in June, from 3.5% in May, but the overall availability of jobs is at its highest point in more than 20 years. Household spending fell by a less-than-expected 3% while retail sales fell by 0.6%.

China probed Microsoft. Officials arrived unannounced at four of its offices across China, and media reports suggested that an anti-trust investigation is underway.

Hopes for an Israel-Gaza ceasefire receded. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a “long operation” and said the full demilitarization of Gaza would be required for any truce. Previous hopes of calm during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr were dashed as an explosion at a Gaza refugee camp killed 10 Palestinians.

Moody’s raised Colombia’s credit rating to a couple of steps above junk-grade. A $25 billion highway-building program is expected to deliver “robust long-term growth prospects,” the investment ratings service said.

Alarm grew over Ebola. Two Americans have joined the ranks of healthcare workers infected by the virus, after one of Liberia’s top Ebola experts died at the weekend. The record outbreak poses an even greater global threat with its arrival last week in Lagos, Nigeria, a densely-populated international travel hub.

Quartz obsession interlude

John McDuling on how Major League Baseball made the best argument for net neutrality. “BAM employs about 700 people and is on track to generate $800 million in revenue this year. It runs professional baseball’s digital properties, including the websites and social media properties of MLB’s 30 franchises. But it’s best known for its online streaming prowess. It runs the league’s own streaming platform, mlb.tv, and is now even selling services to clients like ESPN and the professional wrestling organization WWE.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

It’s not too late to change the internet. It may seem like the best ideas are taken, but we’re only at the beginning.

Israel is fighting two wars: one against Hamas, and the other against citizens who dare to question the government.

Asia should fear the end of the Great Bargain. The deal between Nixon and Mao kept the peace, but that’s all over now.

We should take more time to nap. The three-day workweek that Mexican mogul Carlos Slim advocates is worth a shot.

Surprising discoveries

New York’s smallest private property is 500 square inches. It’s dedicated to not being a public space.

25,000 Ground Zero workers have cancer. And they’re seeking compensation for their illnesses.

The US is crowdsourcing its airport security by offering $5,000 for the best idea to speed up its screening lines.

Hugo Chávez has his own font. “ChavezPro” is based on the late Venezuelan president’s handwriting.

Don’t bother writing a better dating profile. OKCupid user experiments prove that people just look at the pictures.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, airport security schemes, and dead dictator fonts to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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