Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—US forecasts, Europe’s slump, China in Greenland, Greek islands

February 4, 2013
February 4, 2013

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

The most important projections of US growth and spending for 2013. The US Congressional Budget Office will release its annual Budget and Economic Outlook to a chorus of cheers and jeers from pretty much everyone. Tune in from 2pm to 3pm EST (3-4am HKT) for all the gritty details. For our readers in Asia with insomnia, this may be a good sleep aid.

Dell gets bought, maybe. Negotiators for a leveraged buyout of the world’s third largest PC maker have apparently narrowed to a price target of between $13.50 and $13.75 a share. The stock went down on that news—meaning founder Michael Dell and the other buyers may have to sweeten the deal for other shareholders.

Safer Internet Day comes just in time to help you avoid Chinese hackers. Tomorrow is the tenth annual Safer Internet Day, which is usually marked by teeth-gnashing about how Facebook is stealing our privacy. This year, however, with hacking alarms sounding, you might want to check out Google’s “Good to Know” site to learn how to protect yourself online.

While you were sleeping

Just when Europe was looking a bit more stable… Large drops on the continent’s stock markets and sharp climbs in Spanish and Italian bond yields signalled a host of renewed worries about the euro zone’s prospects for the year.

The Feds go after ratings agencies that spawned the financial crisis. The US Department of Justice is suing Standard & Poors, the ratings agency that helped spawn the global financial crisis by giving rotten mortgage debt its highest “AAA” rating.

The Moscow (stock) Exchange lists itself. It is worth $4.6 billion, it says, and will probably be home to any future privatizations of Russia’s remaining state-owned companies.

Quartz obsession interlude

China stakes a strategic claim in the far north. Gwynn Guilford highlights a $2.35 billion deal Greenland’s government did with Chinese steelmakers to give them access to iron ore and, perhaps more importantly, rare earths: “China controls around 97% of the world’s supply of these strategically key metals, which are used in the batteries for cell phones and hybrid cars, as well as in weapons, medical devices and many other things. After China began limiting its rare earth exports in 2011, prices for the elements have spiked. Greenland is thought to have some of the largest deposits of rare earth elements—one southern Greenland deposit may yield more than one-tenth of the world’s current deposit volume.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Women are holding themselves back from career success. So says Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg. Nah, why would this be controversial?

Greece could save itself by selling a few islands.Not the inhabited ones—just the ones it isn’t really using anyway.

The new big threat to the US economy: Robots. Great for manufacturing innovation, but not so great for maintaining a workforce that spends money.

Surprising discoveries

Predicting the future using Wikipedia and the New York Times. By searching for patterns in news, researchers think they can predict outbreaks of disease and other disasters.

Is the US lying about whom it targets with drone strikes? It appears the “no women and children rule” has exceptions.

European soccer is about as real as American pro wrestling. Three hundred and eighty European soccer matches are suspected of having been thrown to satisfy the whims of international crime syndicates, and another 300 matches outside Europe are also questionable.

Recreational investing is dead. Americans used to belong to investing clubs, but losing money to the pros isn’t as much fun as it used to be.

Best of Quartz

Read our most popular recent stories.

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