What to watch for today
US jobs day comes early. Friday’s official jobs report won’t be issued if the government shutdown continues, so the best estimate will be today’s figures from payroll company ADP. Economists expect 180,000 new jobs, a very slight increase from August.
Italy’s government doesn’t collapse after all. Prime minister Enrico Letta is expected to survive a confidence motion as members of Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right party rebel against his attempt to break up the governing coalition.
The ECB keeps things steady. The European Central Bank is not expected to raise interest rates after inflation in the euro zone fell last month.
Better days for soybeans. Agricultural manufacturer Monsanto reports fourth-quarter earnings, which are projected to rise. Building its business in emerging economies like Argentina, Brazil and China will be key to the company’s future growth.
While you were sleeping
The US government shut down and the world didn’t end. Over 800,000 staff were furloughed, and many—though not all—government websites were down. The markets, however, didn’t appear all that perturbed, which could prove problematic.
The Vatican Bank released its first ever financial report. The move towards greater transparency revealed that the bank’s profits more than quadrupled in 2012, thanks largely to falling interest rates in the euro zone.
Youtube took on MTV. Google’s online video site announced its entry into the world of awards shows. The first Youtube Music Awards will be held on Nov. 3, and feature the likes of Arcade Fire, Eminem and Lady Gaga. The MTV Music Awards were in August.
Nestlé plans to sell some foods. The company has identified a number of poorly performing product lines among its 1,800 “cells”. Jenny Craig, its line of diet foods, could be one of the first businesses (paywall) to get the boot.
US vehicle sales took a plunge. Annualized domestic auto sales dropped to 11.66 million, the lowest showing in 11 months. The market didn’t see it coming—the number missed expectations by more than it has since early 2009.
The largest ever Latin American corporate default loomed. Brazilian oil producer OGX missed $44.5 million in interest payments due on Tuesday. There’s growing speculation the company may file for bankruptcy over the next few weeks.
Quartz obsession interlude
Christopher Mims on the first interesting search engine since Google. “Though Blippex constructs its search results on the basis of data gathered from its users, it does it in a way that’s anonymous and untraceable to any individual Blippex user. This obsession with privacy allows Blippex to rank pages—i.e., decide which pages to show people—with an algorithm that Google can’t match, because if Google gathered the data that Blippex does, users would find it unacceptably creepy.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Don’t stalk your future employers. There’s a fine line between stalking and doing your homework before an interview.
Don’t distrust your employees. Corporations spend millions to audit and regulate their workforces, but maybe they would be better off pocketing the cash, like Netflix and Berkshire Hathaway do.
Thailand’s addiction to slave labor could backfire. It employs cheap migrant workers in horrendous conditions; as a result labor productivity has stalled, and a shrinking local workforce will soon drive up wages.
Why you should stop flying. After reading last week’s big report on global warming, meteorologist Eric Holthaus, who flew 75,000 miles last year, has pledged never to get on a plane again.
Why Spaniards are unproductive. They’ve been living in the wrong time zone for decades.
What comes after 3D printing? 4D printing. Printing stuff out of adaptive materials could yield things like water pipes that don’t break in the winter and furniture that assembles itself.
Amazon plans to hire 70,000 workers in the US for the holiday season. That’s more than three times as many (paywall) as its permanent staff.
The French have got French-film fatigue. Audiences for French films in France have declined 35% in three decades, while for American films they’ve gone up 22%.
The cocktail mixologist who doesn’t ask for tips. It is a robot called Monsieur, costs $1,500-$2,700, makes perfectly-proportioned cocktails, and tells you when you’ve had too much to drink.
Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, queries, French films, and cocktails to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.