Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—Cyprus aftershocks, BRICs assemble, snow hoarding

March 26, 2013
March 26, 2013

What to watch for today

Cypriot banks won’t reopen after all. Cyprus’s banks, scheduled to reopen today after 10 days of being shuttered, will stay closed until Thursday. The bailout deal reached late on Sunday keeps emergency cash flowing, but Cyprus will have to impose some capital controls to ward off a run on the banks.

BRICS assemble in South Africa. China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, will take the his place alongside Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma and India’s Manmohan Singh in Durban to discuss cooperation in a changing world, including a new development bank for big emerging economies. Egypt rather improbably wants to be one of them.

US business spending update. Aerospace orders are expected to give the headline number on US durable goods a lift. But the important guts of the report—an item known as nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft—is expected to be a bit soft, down 1%.

SpaceX splashdown. Elon Musk’s SpaceX expects its unmanned Dragon cargo capsule to hit the Pacific off the coast of Baja California at around 12:36 ET. It delivered half a ton of supplies to the International Space Station earlier this month.

A busy week for earnings in China. Bank of China posted a 12 percent increase in full-year profits, ahead of analyst expectations. It will be followed during the week by the Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the country’s three largest airlines—Air China, China Eastern and China Southern.

While you were sleeping

Japan’s elections were declared invalid. A high court ruled today that some results in Japan’s last elections, which gave rural votes disproportionate weighting, were unconstitutional. This follows a similar ruling in Hiroshima yesterday, with several related decisions set to follow today and tomorrow.

Asian markets responded badly to Cyprus. Stocks fell across the region as on worries that the terms of Cyprus’s bailout, which will impose losses on bondholders, may be used in other faltering economies in the euro zone.

South Korea grew, but barely. GDP growth for the fourth quarter was a meagre 0.3% over the previous three months, boosting the case for stimulus measures.

Boeing tested the new and improved Dreamliner. Fitted with a redesigned battery, the 787 made a two-hour test flight last night. Boeing says it “went according to plan“. The company hopes to have the aircraft return to commercial service in a matter of weeks.

Japan targets 2% inflation in two years. Haruhiko Kuroda, the new governor of the Japan central bank, told parliament he wants to hit his rate target in a mere 24 months, suggesting an aggressive bond buying program. In the US, William Dudley, head of the New York Fed, said he would like to ease up on pumping money (paywall) into the system as the labor market improves.

China’s economic data may be more reliable than generally assumed. Despite worries about official data being massaged by Beijing, GDP numbers are roughly in line with data from its trading partners, according to a study by the San Francisco Fed.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on the Cyprus bailout takeaway. ”While Cyprus is special, it’s not that special. Germans don’t want to bailout Russian depositors, but they also don’t want to bail out anyone. The Spain model isn’t working and the expectation that it will means disappointment. A euro zone mired in recession is not going to be able to out-grow its debt problem with a weak financial system. Those banks needs to be recapitalized, and to avoid the problem of a fractured currency, it needs a banking union, something the Eurogroup has already begun work on. Recognizing reality may make markets nervous, but to solve the crisis, creditors, private or public, will eventually have to pay up.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Hillary Clinton. Strongest front-runner ever?

The end of Cypriot hot money. The island might have to maintain capital controls for years.

Power failure. Why a whole lot of solar companies need to die.

Is North Korea a threat? Not with computers like this.

Surprising discoveries

Professional wrestling is the perfect cultural match for the modern Middle East. Why? It’s safer than sex.

Your phone could tell you you’re about to have a heart attack. Thanks to tiny blood-monitoring implants.

Organizers of the Sochi Winter Olympics are storing snow. Just in case. We hear Denver has a surplus.

There’s a manga version of Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” biography. And it’s aimed at teenage girls.

Wales Has Got Talent, in China. A “tall, white foreigner from Wales singing songs about communism” becomes an unlikely Chinese popstar.

Our best wishes for a productive day—and if you’re celebrating Passover, chag sameach. Please send any news, comments, ideas for professional wrestling personas and snow storage tips to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

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