Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Obama nixes GOP offer, bank earnings, Nobel Peace Prize, craft beer shutdown

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What to watch for today

The Nobel Peace Prize is announced. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who stood up to the Taliban, is among the favorites; others potential winners include a Congolese gynecologist, a Ugandan nun, and Myanmar President Thein Sein.

Bank earnings season begins. JP Morgan is expected to turn a tidy profit (paywall) despite a barrage of legal costs. Wells Fargo’s mortgage refinancing volume has dropped, but analysts still predict earnings per share to increase to 97 cents a share from 88 cents a year earlier, even as revenue falls slightly.

Croatia is making a list (and checking it twice). Officials may shortlist potential buyers of the government’s stake in a local insurer and a local bank. Croatia is under pressure from the EU, which it joined in July, to reduce public debt, and is in its fifth consecutive year of a recession.

Cyclone Phailin approaches India. The cyclone, half the size of the country, is course to become the most intense storm ever recorded in India when it makes landfall on Saturday morning.  The last storm of a similar magnitude to hit India killed more than 10,000 people and caused $4.5 billion in damage.

Economic data due. Turkey releases July unemployment data, Poland posts its August trade balance, and Mexico releases industrial production figures for August. Canada also reports unemployment data for last month.

While you were sleeping

Obama rejected a GOP debt limit plan. The president said thanks but no thanks to House Republicans’ proposal to cut the deficit and overhaul taxes in exchange for increasing the government’s borrowing authority for another six weeks. Still, the GOP proposal seemed to indicate some kind of deal could come as soon as Friday.

Infosys earnings fell short. The Indian outsourcing giant posted second-quarter income of 24.1 billion rupees ($392.8 million), up 1.7%, but below analyst estimates of 26.6 billion rupees.

Coordinated bombings in Pakistan. All four of the country’s provincial capitals were hit by bomb attacks, killing 10 and wounding 60, after the Taliban said it wouldn’t “negotiate through the media” with Pakistan’s government.

Westpac went shopping. The Australian bank is buying assets from Lloyds Banking Group for A$1.45 billion (US$1.37 billion), expanding its business in motor vehicle lending, equipment financing and corporate loans.

More Twitter IPO details. The company plans to pay a 3.25% fee to its bankers—a higher rate than what Facebook shelled out—and a roadshow to woo investors will likely come in late October. Here’s a portrait of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, in tweets.

Google’s “Dutch sandwich” tax maneuver. Filings by one of Google’s Dutch subsidiaries showed the search giant routed $12 billion of royalty payments to Bermuda in 2012; the method enables Google to trim its overseas tax rate.

BlackBerry’s founders might buy the company. Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, who hold 8% of the beleaguered smartphone maker, expressed an interest in buying the rest in a regulatory filing. They join at least two other potential buyers, Canada’s Fairfax Investment Holdings and US private-equity shop Cerberus.

Quartz obsession interlude

David Yanofsky on nine corporations that have more cash than the US government right now. ”Republicans offered a deal today to temporarily raise the debt limit, but the saga has left the Treasury with just $32 billion in its operating accounts, less than is held by nine Standard & Poor’s 500 companies in cash and short-term investments. General Electric has nearly three times as much readily accessible cash as the US government right now.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

There’s no such thing as being bad at math… What students really need is more math classes.

… And IQ isn’t fixed. Intelligence is trainable, especially if you keep learning new games.

A culture of confrontation is key to Amazon’s successAn opposing view: the culture of stress is burning out Amazon employees.

The Raspberry Pi will save the British economy. The creator of the $35 mini-computer thinks Britain’s ability to code would decline within a decade without the Pi. (Well, he would.)

Germans love the European Union. Despite its problems, German trust in the euro has increased throughout the euro crisis, and confidence in EU institutions has recovered.

Surprising discoveries

The shutdown’s hoppy victim. New craft breweries are unable to get approved when the government’s closed.

Do you want fries with your haute cuisine? McDonald’s encourages gourmet chefs to get creative with the company’s ingredients.

The latest 3D-printed object: microscopic cages. Scientists made them to house bacteria for the study of how infections are spread.

Matching outfits mean it’s true love. Coordinated clothing is becoming a central part of courtship (paywall) for Chinese couples.

The Israeli army didn’t send oil prices soaring. Panic buying by traders who misunderstood an army tweet commemorating the Yom Kippur War wasn’t the main cause of an oil price spike.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, microscopic cages and matching outfits to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.


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