What to watch for today
Will markets be less jittery? Stock markets around the world took a beating on Thursday on news of weakness in China and comments from the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Asian markets rebounded on Friday; will Europe and America follow suit?
Google vs. Facebook bidding war. Both companies reportedly covet map software start-up Waze, which is expected to fetch more than $1 billion. Separately, Google is facing a new antitrust investigation for its dominance of online ad sales.
Germans still feeling blue. The latest report from the Ifo Institute on business confidence (video) in Germany will likely show continued stagnation. The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies issues a similar report for France.
Davos in the desert. The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa convenes in Jordan.
While you were sleeping
Kuroda soothed Japan. The Bank of Japan governor said he would smooth out volatility in bond markets, saying stability was “extremely desirable.”
Procter & Gamble déjà vu. CEO Bob McDonald is stepping down, and former CEO Alan George “AG” Lafley will come out of retirement to resume his old job—a much-needed win for activist investor Bill Ackman, who pressured P&G to make a change.
Gap closed the gap. The clothing retailer reported a 43% year-on-year rise in net earnings for the first quarter, recovering from a sluggish last couple of years. Part of the secret: colored skinny jeans.
The US will be more careful about whom it kills with drones. President Barack Obama announced stricter rules on the use of drone strikes in a new counterterrorism policy, as well as moves to get more prisoners out of Guantánamo Bay.
Quartz obsession interlude
Todd Woody on why South Korea decided to go it alone on cap-and-trade. ”With a belligerent, nuclear-armed neighbor led by a messianic millennial on its border, you’d think that reducing greenhouse gas emissions would rank low on South Korea’s to-do list. Yet the country plans to launch the world’s most ambitious carbon-trading market in a bid to cut its planet-warming spew 30% by 2020.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Lessons on leadership. From a shirtless dancing guy on a hill.
Germany is the most positively viewed country in the world. And the least? Iran.
India’s education system will never be like America’s. In some ways, it’s better.
iPads should be in every classroom. Because traditional classrooms don’t work.
America’s natural gas boom will shift manufacturing from China to the US.
Algorithmic poetry. Finding art in the Google suggested search box.
Copyright issues in space. Astronaut Chis Hadfield negotiated his “Space Oddity” cover directly with David Bowie.
Sushi as a leading indicator. The tuna/mackerel index sheds light on Japanese consumer confidence.
Britain almost ran out of natural gas in March. It had enough for just six hours.
Nine-year-old chides McDonald’s CEO about its unhealthy food. (His response: “My kids also eat McDonald’s.”)
Mutant cockroaches are getting smarter. They have learned to stay away from sugar to avoid traps.