Quartz Daily Brief—Europe Edition—Emerging markets drag, B-school fire sale, China inflation, S&P puffery

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What to watch for today

Emerging markets drag the world down. The International Monetary Fund is likely to cut its global growth forecast for 2013 because of a slowdown in the emerging markets. The Fund had predicted in April that the world economy would expand 3.3% this year.

BlackBerry faces irate shareholders. Executives will face tough questions about the company’s future at its annual meeting in Ontario.  Some investors have called for a sale of the company or its individual parts after disappointing sales last week.

UK continues to struggle. Industrial production probably fell 1.4% year-on-year in May, led by a 1.5% decline in manufacturing. The trade deficit is expected to widen from £8.2 billion to £8.5 billion ($12.7 billion) in May.

South Sudan turns two. But the economy of the world’s youngest country is still in critical condition.

While you were sleeping

An A-list B-school sold itself. Stung by diminished demand for two-year MBA degrees, the Thunderbird School of Global Management sold its campus to a for-profit college operator for $52 million. The school’s alumni, which include a number of Fortune 500 CEOs, are “firmly against” the move.

Egypt set out a plan for parliamentary elections. A constitutional declaration released late on Monday said that elections will be held within seven months, but that is unlikely to appease Islamist parties after 51 protesters were killed yesterday and hundreds wounded.

Chinese inflation. Consumer prices increased more than expected in June, up 2.7% from a year earlier, making it unlikely that China’s central bank will introduce further economic stimulus. Factory gate prices slipped, suggesting that demand is still weak.

Barnes & Noble’s CEO resigned. William Lynch is a casualty in the company’s unsuccessful bid to compete in the e-reader and tablet markets. B&N’s Nook digital division may soon be split from the company’s physical book stores.

Snowden, the sequel. The second part of a video interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden was released by the Guardian. He spoke of his ideological reasoning and predicted that the US government would label him as a traitor.

Shanghai invited in foreign banks. Beijing has reportedly sanctioned the establishment of foreign-owned bank subsidiaries into Shanghai’s free trade zone, which China’s leaders hope to turn into a commercial and trade hub to rival Hong Kong.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on what China’s probe into dairy price-fixing really means for foreign firms. “Though the government’s complaint is that milk powder has gone up 30% in price since 2008, when tainted formula killed six babies, this probably isn’t just about price […] What the government is really after is ‘industry consolidation.’ This is Chinese Communist Party-speak for squeezing out hard-to-regulate smaller players, while underwriting acquisitions by ‘national champion’ state-owned enterprises.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

An end to austerity will not save Europe. A move from budget discipline is a tempting mistake.

Snowden deserves an immediate presidential pardon. History will probably be kinder to the American than to his pursuers

Why Brazil’s middle classes are protesting.  They’re still struggling to make ends meet.

Be loved first, then be feared. What research shows managers should know about Machiavelli’s famous conundrum.

A brash New York City comptroller could keep Wall Street in check. Eliot Spitzer could turn the city’s pension funds into the country’s angriest activist investor.

Surprising discoveries

S&P’s surprising defense. The rating agency says its credit ratings were “puffery,” and more like free speech than financial statements.

Smogosphere. Air pollution in northern China has lowered life expectancy by an average of 5.5 years.

Osama bin Laden was stopped for speeding in Pakistan. His driver managed to smooth it over.

Keep track of Google’s tracking. You can find out everything that Google knows about you.

Scorched earth IT policy. The US Department of Commerce destroyed $170,000 of computer equipment, including mice, to root out a piece of malware.

Life beneath a glacier. A buried lake supports a thriving ecosystem two miles beneath the surface of Antarctica.

Russia’s fleet of floating nuclear plants. The reactors will provide electricity to remote areas by 2016.

For the calendar

3D Printing: beyond the hype. What is it actually good for?
Wednesday, July 16 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. Presented by General Assembly and Quartz, 902 Broadway, New York

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, absurd legal arguments and China smog pictures to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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