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Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Obama meets Republicans, Wal-Mart ditches India, Fox after Murdoch

  • Kevin J. Delaney
By Kevin J. Delaney

Founding editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

Shutdown Day 10: US fiscal talks continue as debt ceiling looms. President Obama will have a no doubt tense meet-up with Republican legislators after he promised to enter serious budget negotiations as soon as they re-open government and lift the debt ceiling.

The Bank of England’s interest rate decision. The central bank is expected to stand pat on low rates after a surge in optimism had some worried that new governor Mark Carney would be forced to lift rates ahead of his schedule. But poor manufacturing and trade data suggested Carney’s prudence is the right strategy.

Greek unemployment to keep falling. Last month’s data showed the first drop in unemployment since the crisis there began, and analysts hope for more of the same today, just as formerly confidential IMF documents have re-ignited debate over whether and how the country’s debt should be reduced.

While you were sleeping

Janet Yellen was officially nominated to lead the US Federal Reserve. The current vice-chair of the US central bank would be the first woman in the position, and is expected to focus on employment while navigating the withdrawal of monetary stimulus that made her colleagues so nervous last month.

Wal-Mart is taking a break in India. The end of a six-year joint venture and plans to open new stores is a defeat for the mega-retailer’s troubled international operations, but it’s also a problem for India’s economy

Banks ditching US debt. Wall Street banks and mutual funds are selling US debt that matures around the time the US is expected to exhaust its capacity to pay interest if the debt ceiling isn’t lifted, which could be a nice investment opportunity if you think politicians will avert a default, or a sign of forthcoming disaster.

Fox shareholders urged to ditch Murdoch. The watchdogs at Institutional Shareholder Services urged equity owners to vote chairman Rupert Murdoch and his sons off the board of 21st Century Fox, News Corp’s former entertainment division, citing a problematic “poison pill” in the new company’s governance structure.

HP reassures investors it is on the right path. The troubled PC company’s stock price increased nearly 10% after CEO Meg Whitman predicted earnings would stabilize in 2014 and expand in 2015 as she turns HP away from consumers and toward corporate clients.

Toyota cut US Prius prices. The most popular hybrid vehicle will sell for $2,000 less, as competitors like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt provide more competition. Meanwhile, Norwegians are paying more for a used Tesla Model S than a new version of the all-electric vehicle.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on why Janet Yellen is soon to be the most powerful woman in US history. ”A misplaced word from a Fed chairman could have huge ramifications for the economy as a whole and the 300 million Americans within it. Similar slips coming from the speaker of the house, secretary of state or a supreme court justice barely register outside the beltway.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The danger of a flare-up between China and the US is higher than ever. Why we should be worried now about the world’s two superpowers getting caught up in conflict.

Europe’s iron curtain for migrants. How Europe turns its back on refugees like the 350 asylum-seekers who died when their vessel sank off the Italian coast last week.

Banksy’s latest work is terrible. The populist street artist has struck again, spoofing propaganda videos touted by Syrian rebels, but a Lebanese satirist says the message is shallow.

What a US default would look like. Here’s a descriptive scenario from economist Tyler Cowen. Hint: It’s not good.

Surprising discoveries

Movie studios are brainwashing five-year olds against piracy. It’s all about reading, writing and responsible content acquisition.

Chinese land prices are so high, even cemeteries are going public. RIP IPO.

Monday is the best day to apply for a job. And, perhaps obviously, Saturday is the worst.

Why does @$#%&! represent profanity? Meet the grawlix.

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