Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Dimon’s fate, Apple’s taxes, oil price fixing

May 21, 2013
May 21, 2013

What to watch for today

Half the man he used to be? Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan’s CEO and chairman, could be stripped of his chairman title at the bank’s annual meeting. Dimon and his backers have been working to lobby shareholders in recent days, suggesting the vote will be close.

Mr. Cook goes to Washington. Members of Congress will question Apple CEO Tim Cook on the $100 billion plus in cash his company has stashed overseas. A report on Apple’s tax avoidance policies has turned up some eye-popping practices. The European Parliament will also debate tax evasion, which sucks about €1 trillion from European coffers each year—seven times the EU budget.

Mrs. Merkel goes to Brussels. Germany’s chancellor is preparing European Union treaty changes, but avoiding moves that might give British PM David Cameron an opportunity to take powers back from the EU.

The all-in-one Xbox. Microsoft’s first major revamp in eight years tries to turn the Xbox into an all-round entertainment center, since game consoles are losing ground to mobile phones and tablets.

Are shoppers shopping? Best Buy, Home Depot, and Saks Inc report earnings today.

While you were sleeping

Oklahoma got battered by a tornado. At least 51 are dead.

Goldman’s vote of no confidence in Chinese banks. The US bank sold its $1.1 billion stake in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, agreeing with Citigroup and Bank of America that Chinese lenders are in for a hard time.

Yahoo vowed to not screw it up. CEO Marissa Mayer officially announced the acquisition of blogging service Tumblr, which she said would remain independent. Tumblr founder David Karp echoed that message, reassuring users and Tumblr employees by dropping an f-bomb.

Chesapeake Energy named a new boss at last. A year after co-founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon stepped down, the US’s second-largest natural gas producer finally has a permanent chief: Robert Lawler, from rival energy firm Anadarko.

Oil price probe widened. European regulators investigating suspicions of Libor-style price-fixing sent requests for information to commodity-trading houses (paywall), after last week’s raid on oil companies.

Obama praised Myanmar. The US president said Burmese president Thein Sein is taking steps toward political and economic reform, on the first visit by a Myanmar leader to the US in almost 50 years.

Sectarian violence flared again in Iraq. At least 64 people were killed in a spate of car bombings and other attacks.

Quartz obsession interlude

Simone Foxman on the legal trouble you can get into by clicking “like”. ”There are many perils associated with Facebook faux pas (for example, “liking” an ex-girlfriend’s bikini photo or unfriending a former boss), but some are becoming more serious than others—and ending in legal battles. Turns out, seemingly innocuous Facebook clicks have deeper meanings. In the United States, a former prison guard is suing the city sheriff, alleging that he was fired because he “liked” the Facebook page of the sheriff’s opponent in a political race.” Read more here. 

Matters of debate

Big data will crash financial markets. The solution? More big data.

Coal at $100 a ton is the new normal. Down from $193 in 2008.

Swap retirees for immigrants. Americans should welcome skilled immigrant labor, while the elderly, the sick and students are spending more time in the developing world.

China’s riches won’t create freedom. Liberal democracy isn’t the universal fate of nations.

The White House war on leaks has gone too far.

Private companies are better operators of public hospitals than the government.

Surprising discoveries

Olympic gold. The 2014 Winter Games—the most expensive ever—will be mostly paid for by Russian tycoons.

Guess the headline. A truck filled with fruit crashed on an L.A. freeway.  

Gandhi’s blood, going once. Two microscope slides containing blood samples from the Mahatmawill be auctioned off.

Man’s best friend. Americans spend an average of $500 a year on their pets—more than on beer.

Find a date on the subway. Prague is setting aside certain train carriages for singles.

Beautiful women have it easy. International fashion models are hogging all the US H1-B visas.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, hall of fame headlines, and subway meet-cute stories to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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