What to watch for today
A new dawn at the Bank of England. New governor Mark Carney will use the bank’s August inflation report to issue his first interest-rate guidance, giving policy-watchers their first glimpse at the economic criteria the BoE will use to set monetary policy during his five-year term.
Mexico shakes up its oil industry. President Enrique Peña Nieto is expected to present a plan to end the monopoly of stated-owned Pemex and open the sector to private and foreign investment. The country’s economy badly needs the change, but to many Mexicans it’s blasphemy.
Europe’s engine. Germany releases industrial production data for June. Expectations are high after Tuesday’s factory orders posted their biggest gain in eight months. US consumer credit and mortgage application data will also be released.
Thailand deploys riot police. Thousands of protesters will face off against 30,000 riot police in central Bangkok as parliament considers a controversial amnesty bill that could clear a path for the return of the exiled former prime minister (and brother of the serving PM), Thaksin Shinawatra.
More media earnings. Time Warner is likely to report higher profits thanks to bouncy ratings at CNN and strong revenues from its movie division. AOL should do well too thanks to higher advertising revenues. Groupon, Tesla Motors and Carlyle Group will also report.
While you were sleeping
China fines milk powder firms. US-based Mead Johnson, Hong Kong-listed Biostime, and New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra paid fines ranging from $71,0730 to $33 million following a probe for price fixing and anti-competitive practices. Fonterra is embroiled in a separate scandal after it recalled thousands of tons of milk powder tainted with bacteria.
Wal-Mart goes shopping in Hong Kong. Seeking to get its international strategy back on track, Wal-Mart is reportedly considering a multibillion dollar bid for supermarket chain ParknShop, owned by Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing.
General Electric abandoned solar panels. GE ditched plans to make panels and sold its technology to First Solar for $80 million in stock amid a glut in the market.
Tunisians took to the streets. Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Tunis to demand the dissolution of the Islamist transition government, invoking the same revolutionary fervor that toppled autocrat Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 and sparked protests across the Arab world.
Bank of America got sued for mortgage fraud. On the heels of the conviction of Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre for defrauding investors in mortgage-backed securities, the government has accused BofA of understating the risks associated with $850 million worth of MBS in 2008.
Obama chastised Moscow’s “cold war mentality” and said he would attend the Russian-hosted G20 summit in September despite Moscow’s decision to give asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The fate of his scheduled one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin is still in doubt.
Iran ready for “serious” nuclear talks. Newly elected president Hassan Rouhani said on his official Twitter account he was ready for direct talks with the US, provided that Washington showed “good will.”
Quartz obsession interlude
Lily Kuo on what a two-child policy could mean for the Chinese economy. ”A baby boom would increase the number of people who can support an aging population. However, it may be too little too late, given that the labor force is estimated to begin declining by as much as 10 million a year starting in 2025, and it will take at least 16 years for the effects of a baby boom that starts today to be felt in the workforce. The authorities may be unable to avoid unpopular measures like raising the country’s retirement age—55 for women and 60 for men.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
If you want to make money from apps, forget about the app store. Squeezed margins have forced developers to seek revenue in other ways.
India picked the right central bank governor at the wrong time. Raghuram Rajan is well qualified, but the country’s populist policies will hold him back.
America is being left behind by energy innovators. In Algiers and Brussels, energy talk is not about hugging trees, but jobs, health and national security.
Getting rid of Robert Mugabe is easy. All it would take is cutting Zimbabwe’s oil supply lines.
How to write your own obituary. “I was given the gift of life, and now I have to give it back. This is hard.”
Dolphins remember swimmingly. They can recall a companion’s unique whistle for up to 20 years.
The sun’s magnetic field is about to flip… That could disrupt radio and satellite communication, and possibly the electrical grid.
…but it won’t help with sunburns. This might: sunburn pain is caused by a single skin-cell molecule, and scientists can turn it off.
A different kind of doggy bag. A town in Spain is delivering dog poop to owners who don’t clean up after their pets.