Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
G20 finance ministers meet in Moscow. No one is expected to make a big stir over this whole currency wars unpleasantness.
UK retail sales may have bounced a bit in January. But only after a pretty terrible fourth quarter.
Did US industrial production keep up its momentum? Figures for January will show whether December, when production hit its highest level in more than four years, was just a blip.
An asteroid flies by. Space rock 2012 DA14 will pass closer to Earth than some satellites. From parts of Asia and Australia, it will be visible in the small hours of Saturday morning with a telescope. Also: it’s probably not worth $195 billion.
While you were sleeping
The euro-zone recession deepened. The 17-nation bloc’s economy contracted for the third quarter in a row, by 0.6%, as did Germany, the largest euro economy.
Shirakawa defended the drop of the yen. The Bank of Japan’s outgoing governor said the bank is merely trying to support domestic growth. And it needs it; fresh data showed Japan mired in recession in the fourth quarter.
General Motors is still going strong, despite Europe. The US auto giant posted profits in 2012 for the third straight year after its 2009 bankruptcy. And that was despite its exposure to Europe, where its losses were double those in 2011.
Nestlé slowed and expects to slow more. Though pet care products and frozen food sales in North America helped push the company to an $11.55 billion profit in 2012, Europe was weak, and sales growth in emerging markets, where Nestlé has 40% of its business, is slowing; this year, said the CEO, will be “challenging.”
Indian inflation fell sharply. Surprisingly sharply, opening the door for the central bank to cut rates, which would be good news for an economy that has been rapidly losing steam.
The new, bigger American Airlines. The company will keep its name after merging with US Airways. The two airlines had pretty limited overlap on routes, which should help the deal pass regulatory muster.
Dropbox could be the next big tech IPO. The cloud-based file storage company is talking to banks, sources tell Quartz’s Gina Chon. It would have to defeat the skepticism about tech stocks since Facebook’s botched offering last year.
Quartz obsession interlude
Christopher Mims explains why BlackBerry is doomed, even in its stronghold of corporate clients. “If BlackBerry is losing customers in enterprise and hasn’t created something compelling enough to lure ordinary consumers, what has the company got left? I’ll tell you: Revenue propped up by a dwindling supply of subscribers in the developing world, who are in the middle of a mass exodus to cheaper Android phones. It’s not time to stick a fork in Blackberry just yet, but as a business, it appears to be doing little more than coasting on its own momentum.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
There’s everything to like about raising the minimum wage.
The US should let China buy more of its companies.
Complex models don’t kill financial systems; people do.
Fat Americans need the option of smaller-sized servings.
There’s a 30% chance of an asteroid hitting Earth this century with the force of 700 Hiroshima bombs.
Canadian high schoolers sometimes “feel like crying.”
In Singapore, there’s a boom in penny stock trading.
Teeth and grammar are the most important qualities in a potential date.