What to watch for today
JP Morgan gets punished for the “London Whale”. The bank’s board is reportedly meeting today to approve a settlement with global regulators over the derivative trading errors that lead to a $6 billion loss in 2012. But symbolically more important than the $700 million fine is the fact the bank is likely to admit wrongdoing.
The Fed debates “tapering”. The US central bank will debate when to start scaling back its $85 billion-a-month asset-purchase program, but won’t issue a decision until Wednesday. The fine print of the pace and size of the tapering could roil global markets.
A $250 million blockbuster is launched. Not the latest movie, but Grand Theft Auto V, a long-awaited video game expected to gross $1 billion in its first six months.
The fine print matters in Australia, too. The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Sept. 3 meeting will shed light on whether the bank has changed its interest rate outlook. The central bank held rates steady in the last meeting, but omitted any reference to further easing.
Inflation relief for the UK. Consumer price inflation likely eased to 2.7% year-on-year in August from 2.8% in July. Though it will be well over the official 2% target, the fall in inflation will add to the cheer surrounding the British economy. Inflation in the US is expected to have run at 1.8% in August.
A pre-election boost for Merkel. The economic sentiment index from German think-tank ZEW is expected to show a pickup in optimism. That could help the German chancellor’s chances in Sunday’s elections.
While you were sleeping
At least 13 people were killed in a shootout in a Washington DC. A gunman—Aaron Alexis, who served in the US military from 2007 to 2011, and 12 victims—were killed in a mass shooting at a naval office building building not far from Capitol Hill and the White House. The police were looking for two other possible gunmen.
The UN confirmed that Syria used chemical weapons. Inspectors concluded that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin was used in the Aug. 21 attack outside Damascus. The report didn’t settle the question of who ordered their use, however.
The UK will offload part of Lloyds Bank. The government will sell a 6% stake for £3.3 billion ($5.3 billion), five years after it bailed out the bank during the height of the global financial crisis. The sale will cut the government’s stake in Lloyds to 32.7%.
Iran opened up access to Twitter and Facebook. The new administration has started allowing users to access social media, four years after they were blocked during protests after the 2009 elections. It was unclear if access was possible everywhere or only in certain parts of the country.
Quartz obsession interlude
Christopher Mims on how Intel will bring a “good enough” tablet to the US market by Christmas, for less than $100. “But one reason that China’s and India’s ultra-cheap tablets cost so little is that the processors inside them cost as little as $3 to $5 […] Intel’s newer mobile chips, on the other hand, can cost as much as $60. For a manufacturer to create a $99 tablet, where much of the cost is in the touchscreen display, they’re probably going to have to use an older and cheaper Intel chip, perhaps the same one to make Motorola’s Razr i, which came out in October 2012 and was the first Android smartphone to be powered by an Intel chip.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The US’s Middle East policy is helping its enemies. By striking alliances of convenience, the US is worsening the conflict between Islamist and secular forces in Muslim countries.
German elections will be good for the euro zone. Regardless of who wins, Europe will see greater integration and pro-growth policies.
Twitter’s IPO could ruin Twitter. Once it goes public, the site will have no choice but to strive to maximize shareholder returns, and that may mean many more ads.
Economic growth is good for the environment. Countries above a certain level of income do more for biodiversity than poor and fast-growing economies.
The stock market has crashed and spiked 18,000 times since 2006. But the swings were so fast that humans didn’t even notice.
Turkey is hiring 6,000 Twitter warriors. The ruling party has formed a massive social media team to get its message out on the internet.
Cop by day, ghost-buster by night. A Los Angeles detective uses goggles, cameras, and a device that detects changes in electromagnetic fields to hunt for paranormal activity.
How to defend your body from hackers. Miscreants could disable wireless implants like a defibrillator or an insulin pump. But there’s now a way to ward them off.