Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Fed meeting, peace talks with Taliban, bus fares in Brazil

June 18, 2013
June 18, 2013

What to watch for today

Murdoch’s empire splits in two. The Australian mogul’s News Corporation formally separates its film and broadcast arm, which will become 21st Century Fox, from print publishing, which will keep the name News Corp. But the test will come on July 1, when two firms’ shares start trading properly on Nasdaq.

Fed status quo? The US Federal Reserve, ending its monthly two-day meeting, is not expected to announce any change in policy, but investors will hang on to every word from chairman Ben Bernanke on the $85 billion monthly bond-buying program. Here’s a quick guide on how to decode Bernanke’s Fed-speak.

Will FedEx deliver? The shipping and freight giant is expected to report a 4% rise in revenues (paywall), though income is expected to drop 1%. The company is working on a multi-year plan to modernize its fleet and cut costs.

Britain’s plan to sell off banks.  UK chancellor George Osborne is expected to outline a roadmap for selling the government’s stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds, which it took over at the height of the financial crisis. Osborne will face more questions on whether he forced RBS CEO Stephen Hester to step down.

Out of fashion. Swedish budget retailer Hennes & Mauritz will report its second quarter numbers. Expectations are muted after H&M reported flat same-store sales for May. The strength of the krona too is expected to weigh on profits.

While you were sleeping 

Giving peace a chance. The Taliban opened an office in Doha, Qatar, to prepare for talks with US and Afghan officials on Thursday to discuss ways to end the 12-year long war in Afghanistan.

A new roadblock to US immigration reform. John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, raised a fresh obstacle by saying he wouldn’t consider any legislation that doesn’t have the support of the majority of Republican representatives.

Carl Icahn derailed Dell again. The billionaire investor doubled his stake in Dell Computer and called on the company to launch a $14 a share tender offer, in his latest attempt to block a buyout by a consortium led by Michael Dell, its founder.

Deloitte was fined and banned. The consulting firm agreed to pay a $10 million fine and stop offering services to New-York-based financial institutions for one year. State authorities had accused Deloitte of misconduct in its review of anti-money-laundering practices at Standard Chartered bank.

Chrysler gave in to the feds. Having previously refused a government request to recall 2.7 million Jeeps to fix safety problems, the car-maker backed down. It won a small concession: It only has to use the word “recall” for 1.56 million of the cars, though they’ll all get the same fix.

China’s seafood fetish cost the world dear. Rising demand from China and dwindling supplies pushed global fish prices to a record high in May.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on what will happen to global growth if China’s economy tanks. “Slowing China’s export engine wouldn’t likely destroy the global economy. If annual GDP growth slowed to 3-4%, it might hurt a tiny handful of countries like South Korea that run a trade surplus with China, and some commodity prices would drop. But companies that compete with China overseas would suddenly be more competitive.” Read more here. 

Matters of debate

Forgive and forget. The careers of the deviant Canadian mayors aren’t necessarily over.

Microsoft overpriced the Xbox One. The lessons it should have learned from Gillette and Facebook.

Five rules for arming rebels. What anyone supporting the Syrian insurgents should know.

Man vs machine. A study shows that robots are already stealing our jobs and raises. 

Surprising discoveries

Status symbols. More North Koreans are buying refrigerators, but it’s not to keep their food cold.

Brazil’s costly, crowded buses. A month’s bus fare in Sao Paulo is more than a quarter of the minimum wage.

Disconnected. A yacht mishap plunges an island into the technological dark ages.

A Prius costs $154,000 in Singapore. And people are still buying them.

How to find state secrets on social media. LinkedIn searches can reveal the code names of US intelligence programs.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, exorbitant bus fares and creative uses for refrigerators to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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