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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Japan’s interest rates, US jobs, Turkey tensions

By Tim Fernholz

GOOD MORNING QUARTZ READERS!

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR TODAY:

Japan’s central bank sets rates. With the Yen at two-week lows against the dollar, pressure is rising on Japan’s Central Bank to ease policy, but you can expect it to hold steady until the end of the month.

Big indicator: Here comes the US jobs report. Recent good news has us expecting that 113,000 new jobs were created in the US last month. A sharp swing up would validate the Fed’s new stimulus policy. Politically, President Obama’s campaign good use some good news right now, but a tough labor market will reinforce the criticism of his challenger, former Governor Mitt Romney.

Spain’s bank run. People are still pulling money out of Spanish banks, despite successful bond auctions and implicit backing from the European Central Bank.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

Turkey’s legislature approved future attacks on Syria. A year-long mandate for incursions the executive deems necessary. This sounds…ominous. NATO thinks so, too.

Russia’s energy minister is considering granting Western companies oil licenses in the Arctic. Russia normally grants such concessions to state-owned firms like Gazprom, so the move is a bit of a shocker.

Nothing new from the ECB on rates or rescues—people love it when ECB Chief Mario Draghi does that.

Facebook now has one billion users. Cool milestone, but not such great news as you might think: Facebook faces a diminishing returns problem that means it’ll still need to find new revenue to justify its stock price.

The Federal Reserve let us in on its stimulus plans. The minutes of the most recent Fed meeting revealed how the bank thought its bond-buying plan would bolster the housing markets—our iridescent charts show that it may be working.

For the first time in history, workers went on strike at multiple Wal-Marts. The company is under increasing pressure from unions and employees to improve working conditions, but the global retailer isn’t budging.

The US presidential debate went to Republican Romney. Despite some fibs and flip-flops, the challenger outpolled a pretty out-of-it President Obama. Here’s our reaction round-up. We also asked the best debater in the world to weigh in.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE:

Steve LeVine on Energy Shocks: “The chain-reaction of a global flood of new oil and gas supplies: a comparatively weak OPEC, a struggling Russia, a revitalized US, a less-menacing China, and—unless there is serious mitigation—quite possibly a surge in greenhouse gases. The reason for OPEC’s disadvantage is that it will no longer be a single center of gravity: it currently satisfies 34% of the world’s daily consumption, or 31 million barrels of the 89 million consumed each day. North America would be a competing locus, producing 25 million barrels a day by the early 2020s. This flood of oil, along with expected new volumes from Africa and South America, would diminish the chance of a conflict over resources with China. With its cheap natural gas, the US could experience a new industrial boom. As for Russia, it along with other single-commodity economies could face economic trouble if a global fossil fuel surplus drives down global oil prices.” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE:

Why China lacks Gangnam style. A certain lack of irony.

Qatar is pouring money into France. Surely it’s not for all the wine! 

How the Syria-Turkey conflict could ignite the region. Surprise: the international system failed.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES:

Want to survive a plane crash? Sit here.

J.P. Morgan Chief Jamie Dimon was almost the CEO of Home Depot. You can imagine, can’t you?

The most popular Hermes scarves were designed by a Texas postman. And yes, there’s an amazing—and sad—story behind it.

Mouse eggs were created from stem cells for the first time. Science marches on at the University of Japan.

ALSO TODAY: Canada announces its unemployment rate. On this day in 2000, Slobodan Milosevic was ousted from the Serbian presidency in the “bulldozer revolution.”

Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, queries, Arctic oil licences, and Hermes scarves to hi@qz.com

You can sign up for to receive the Quartz Daily Brief for free here.

Tim Fernholz
Reporter
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