Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—mobile money, Chinese hackers, UPS without TNT, remittances

January 31, 2013
January 31, 2013

What to watch for today

How UPS is faring without TNT Express. The parcels firm reports earnings and gives its latest read on how it will try to break into emerging markets. This marks the first results since the European Commission blocked UPS’s bid to take over Dutch delivery company TNT Express (a decision that has just been formally confirmed). Then again, a strong holiday season could bring the company record earnings for 2012.

Whether Colgate-Palmolive is winning in emerging markets. One of the world’s biggest consumer goods dealers, Colgate-Palmolive reports earnings today and is expected to have been helped by consumer spending in Argentina, India, China and parts of Southeast Asia.

Not the new BlackBerry. Today, the first phone in its BlackBerry 10 line—the Z10—will go on sale to customers in the UK, and in the Middle East and Canada in two weeks, but those in the US will have to wait until March. Check out what the Z10 looks like, and what we think it will do for RIM’s—sorry, BlackBerry’s—prospects.

Obama’s pick for US secretary of defense gets a grilling. A deeply skeptical US Senate Armed Services Committee is set to interrogate the president’s nominee for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel. Hagel has been accused of being an anti-semitic gay-basher who is soft on war. Fortunately, he’s had plenty of time to prepare his answerssome 112 pages of them.

While you were sleeping

Deutsche Bank posted its biggest quarterly loss in four years. Europe’s biggest bank posted a whopping $3.5 billion loss. The CEOs put the loss down to restructuring costs—firing 1,400 people doesn’t come cheap—and boosting capital levels. The bank’s shares held steady in Frankfurt. Separately, Germans saw unemployment levels decline for the first time in 10 months.

Taiwan and the Philippines grew more than expected. At 3.4% for the last quarter of 2012, Taiwanese growth outstripped forecasts on the back of rising exports, which account for 70% of the nation’s economy as well as its technology sector. Neighboring Philippines also saw higher than expected growth in Q4, reporting a healthy 6.8%.

The New York Times said it was hacked by the Chinese. The paper claims it has been attacked for the past four months, starting soon after it published a story on the outgoing Chinese premier’s family wealth. Bloomberg faced similar attacks last year after reporting on the family wealth of China’s new president, Xi Jinping.

Mobile made money for lots of companies. Qualcomm, a smartphone chipmaker, saw profits jump 36%; Japan’s Softbank—not a bank but a mobile carrier and Internet company—grew its operating profit by nearly 24%; Ericsson’s shares shot up by a tenth on the back of strong Q4 results; and Facebook revenue from mobile climbed to 23% from 14% the previous quarter. There is a lesson in here somewhere.

Quartz obsession interlude

Christopher Mims on BlackBerry’s bet to hang onto its business clientele: “The BlackBerry 10 operating system has a handful of core features that are highly evolved, business-centric re-conceptions of features that barely exist in iOS (the operating system for iPhones) and Android. Watching them in action, it seems credible that the company is delivering on its goal to make phones into little computers rather than simply ‘mobile devices.’” Read more here.

Matters of debate

“Regulators are idiots.” A London-based derivatives trader explains what most people don’t know about trading, the financial sector, and regulations.

More good reasons to open up borders. Migrants sent home three times as much money as the global aid budget in 2012.

Goldman braces for bond market bubble. Goldman’s two top executives warn that the end of the bubble is nigh.

Then again… Someone is always warning that a bond bubble is nigh. (And OK, they might even be right this time.)

Surprising discoveries

How a sex scandal brought Twitter to Germany. And spawned the meme #aufschrei.

Beer might help treat diabetes or cancer. It’s all about the hops.

The euro might be too strong. Yes, really.

The Kraken is real. An increase in sightings of mythically-proportioned squid might be an ecological warning sign.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, hashtag translations, and beer miracle cures to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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