What to watch for today
Half the man he used to be? JP Morgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon could be stripped of his chairman title at the bank’s annual meeting this afternoon. 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 is also debating 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.
Are shoppers shopping? Best Buy, Home Depot, and Saks Inc report earnings today.
While you were sleeping
Vodafone needs cash. Full-year post-tax profits fell 90% to £673 million ($1.03 billion) as the mobile operator suffered weakness in Europe and wrote down the value of its business in Italy and Spain. Vodafone will keep a £2.1 billion dividend from Verizon Wireless instead of returning it to shareholders.
Softbank padded its war chest. The Japanese firm will issue ¥400 billion ($3.9 billion) in bonds to help finance its bid for Sprint.
North Korea returned the Chinese fishing boat it hijacked. Chinese social media users were not happy.
Oklahoma got battered by a massive tornado. 91 people are feared dead, including many children.
Goldman’s vote of no confidence. The US bank sold its $1.1 billion stake in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, amid mounting doubts about the country’s banking sector.
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
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 Bush-era tax cuts were inarguably a dismal failure. “It is hard to find even a reputable conservative economist willing to say anything good these days about President Bush’s tax and economic policies.”
Private companies are better operators of public hospitals than the government.
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 Mahatma will 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.