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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition— Mini iPad, Lenovo PCs, expensive Luanda

By Kevin J. Delaney

GOOD MORNING QUARTZ READERS IN THE AMERICAS!

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR TODAY:

Further details emerge about a smaller version of the iPad. Factories in Asia are mass producing components for a new device with a 7.85-inch screen compared to the current iPad’s 9.7 inches, the WSJ reports. Apple is expected to this month unveil the mini iPad, which the Journal says will have a lower screen resolution than the latest iPad model. Rival tablets already exist at the smaller size, and the launch is yet another test of Apple’s ability to keep up its momentum post-Steve Jobs.

Will new contracts between euro nations solve the crisis? The Financial Times obtained a draft agenda for a summit later this month describing all 17 countries in the euro monetary union making hard fiscal commitments in Brussels. Euroskeptics, beware!

Will Deutsche Telekom succeed in merging its T-Mobile USA unit with MetroPCS? The companies yesterday acknowledged their discussions, which come after US regulators stood in the way of T-Mobile USA’s earlier planned sale to AT&T. Any deal could strengthen T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the US, potentially promoting the sort of market competition that US regulators had feared consolidation with AT&T would undermine.

New measures of US employment and service industry activity will be released today.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

New euro zone economic data showed further economic sluggishness. The latest purchasing manager index readings indicated even faster order book contraction for September than they did in August.

China’s Lenovo said it would open its first PC factory in the US. The plant in North Carolina will make computers and tablets carrying the Think brand starting in 2013, as Lenovo moves to overtake Hewlett Packard as the world’s biggest PC manufacturer.

The UK’s Pearson announced that Dame Marjorie Scardino will step down as chief executive. The straight-shooting Texan—and one of just four women currently leading a FTSE 100 company—will be replaced by John Fallon, head of the international education division. Pearson owns the Financial Times and has a 50% stake in the Economist Group, along with publishing and education activities.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE:

Matt Phillips on America’s newest subprime bubble: “Global investors are desperate to find investments that pay them a decent rate of interest, or ‘yield.’ Because subprime borrowers are riskier, the investments built around their loans do supply that higher yield. Increasingly, investors are liking the sound of that. And subprime auto bond deals have been picking up steam. Analysts at S&P think that some $15-17 billion could flow into new subprime auto bonds this year, up from $11.9 billion in 2011 and not too far off from the $15.3 billion seen in 2007, before the crisis struck.” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE:

Does Australia have the best central bank in the world? The country hasn’t had a recession in 20 years.

Does India have a problem talking equality? How Indians can start new discussion about sharing the benefits of growth.

Is America suffering from brain drain? A conversation with Vivek Wadhwa about the Silicon Valleys springing up around the world.

What’s it like to be Jewish in China? The challenges of living in a country that respects both Judaism and Hitler.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES:

Visit the second-most expensive expat city in the world, after Tokyo: Luanda, Angola.

Pay $25,000 to apply to college? Some Chinese students do it to attend US schools.

Listen to the haunting space chorus that surrounds the earth.

Meet the world’s shortest domain names.

ALSO TODAY: Germany celebrates its national unity day, commemorating the country’s reunification in 1990.

Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, queries, China paradoxes, and tablet device designs to hi@qz.com.

Readers can sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.