Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Morsi out, Libor trial, Swiss secrecy, talking windows

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What to watch for today

Status quo on interest rates. The European Central Bank is expected to hold its policy rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5% (paywall). The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee will also announce its interest rate decision.

First criminal case on Libor opens. Tom Hayes, the former UBS and Citigroup derivatives trader accused of manipulating the benchmark interest rate, will appear in a London court. Hayes is charged with eight counts of conspiracy to defraud.

US celebrates independence day. And Chinese fireworks manufacturers will also celebrate.

While you were sleeping

Egypt’s military deposed president Mohamed Morsi. The military suspended the constitution, installed an interim government headed by the chief justice, Adly Mansour, and promised to hold elections. Here’s our quick guide on how to keep up with events in Egypt without getting swamped.

Portugal’s borrowing costs spiked.  Yields on benchmark 10-year bonds rose past the danger level of 7%, after the resignation of the country’s foreign minister triggered a fresh wave of uncertainty.

Swiss banks lift the secrecy veil—slightly. The Swiss government approved new rules for banks to cooperate with US tax-evasion probes, after the parliament rejected a previous proposal. Banks will be allowed to share details of accounts moved to other banks, and names of bank staff, lawyers and accountants, but not client information.

The US trade gap hit a six-month high. The deficit increased by more than expected, to $45 billion in May. Demand for cars and consumer goods pushed imports to the second highest level on record. But there’s a lot of economic data that will restore your faith in the US economy.

Boost for Samsung’s internet-connected TVs. The electronics major acquired the assets and talent of Boxee, a video start-up. But though it’s apparently been selling Galaxy S4 smartphones at a record pace, investors are worried that it will run into stiff competition and market saturation.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on how “flag-hopping” enables a multibillion-dollar illegal fishing trade. “More formally known as using “flags of convenience” (FOC), the practice of flag-hopping involves Country A allowing a vessel from Country B to sail under Country A’s flag, for reasons explained further below. Flag-hopping is a time-honored way of slashing operating costs and dodging taxes and home-country regulations, but the practice has picked up in recent years in part because of overfishing. Flag-hopping vessels bring in roughly 15% of global fishing industry earnings each year […] Because FOC vessels seldom report their catches to the country whose flag they’re sailing, they can exceed fishing quotas without restrictions.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The secret to M&A success. Spurn suitors initially, and wait for them to increase their bids.

Developing countries don’t trust global institutions. And that’s hampering the global economy’s recovery.

The shale gas boom has made the US energy-rich. But outdated infrastructure and policies are holding it back.

Why the US is interested in Africa. The burgeoning middle class and untapped market make it irresistible.

 Surprising discoveries

The average Silicon Valley wage more than doubled in one quarter. And it was all because of Facebook’s IPO.

China opened the world’s largest building. It’s four times as big as Vatican City and has an artificial sun.

These are the new-age business gurus. They’re celebrity economists.

No more snoozing on the train. A new device will play ads straight into the heads of commuters leaning against windows.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, pictures from Egypt, and Swiss bank secrets to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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