Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—One day to default, Typhoon Wipha hits Japan, Greenwald’s start-up, gummi bear obit

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What to watch for today

A last-minute scramble in Washington. House Republicans leaders failed to garner support for their latest effort to end the impasse, leaving debt talks in disarray as the government nears default on Thursday. Meanwhile, credit rating agency Fitch cautioned it could remove the US’s AAA credit rating.

Germany’s new government. A decision on a coalition partner is expected from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, who have been negotiating a potential grand coalition with the country’s Social Democrats. A deal could include support for hiking taxes or the minimum wage.

Kinder Morgan hopes to wrong-foot its doubters. Kinder’s earnings report today is an opportunity to answer its critics; the US energy firm saw its stock fall when a hedge fund urged clients to sell it short, sparking a furious debate about the analyst who made the call.

JP Morgan pays up, again. The bank has reportedly agreed to pay a $100 million fine to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which was not party to an earlier $920 million settlement, and acknowledged that its “London Whale” trading fiasco had a “manipulative” effect on markets.

Typhoon Wipha slams Japan. The “once in a decade” storm pummeled Tokyo, killing four and prompting authorities to close schools and cancel hundreds of flights. It is expected to pass by the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant at about 3 pm local time.

A bevy of financial sector earnings. Get a read on Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, American Express, US Bancorp, PNC Financial Services Group, Piper Jaffray, and BlackRock.

While you were sleeping

More Dreamliner troubles. An eight-by-four-foot fuselage panel fell off an Air India plane while it was on its way from Delhi to Bangalore, the latest in a long string of mishaps for Boeing’s new jet.

Glen Greenwald is leaving the Guardian for a start-up. The journalist who broke the Edward Snowden story will join a media project backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

Twitter will list on the NYSE. The social networking firm picked the New York Stock Exchange for its $1 billion IPO, a blow to traditional tech mainstay NASDAQ. Separately, the company announced its biggest-ever quarterly loss along with a sharp increase in revenue.

Eleanor Catton won the Man Booker. The 28-year-old New Zealander is the youngest-ever winner of the literary prize for her novel “The Luminaries.”

Citi was bopped by bond yields. Slowdowns in Citigroup’s consumer-lending and fixed-income businesses sapped its earnings, but it joined the trend of big banks boosting results with a forecast of fewer defaults on its loans.

Intel’s gloomy forecast. The chipmaker said that PC makers are not expecting a rebound, and that its move into mobile devices was proceeding slowly; its share fell 2% on the news.

The inventor of the gummi bear passed away. A brief history of Hans Riegel and his Gummibärchen.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on the deadly, potentially unstoppable jellyfish plague in the sea. ”Disturbances are happening all over the world. Throngs of jellyfish have disrupted power generation everywhere from Muscat to Maryland, from South Korea to Scotland. Things are worse in the fishing business, where blooms have wiped out billions of dollars in earnings over the last few decades. They’re also a nightmare for fishermen, who must contend with bursted nets and clogged trawl lines. Japan’s now-annual bloom of Nomura jellyfish, which each grow to be the size of large refrigerator, capsized and sank a 10-ton trawler when the fishermen tried to haul up a net full of them.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The US default has already begun. Even if US politicians agree to pay the country’s bills in a timely fashion, the financial system has already been undermined.

Banks can save the US from default—and make a pretty penny doing it. In the spirit of the original JP Morgan, the financial services industry could fill the gap if government stops paying contractors, employees, and pensioners; the question is who will bear the cost.

OPEC doesn’t matter. The world’s foremost chronicler of the petroleum industry writes off the once-feared oil cartel.

Open-plan offices are a disaster. Workers are unhappy, unmotivated, and cognitively impaired by the chatter and distractions.

Surprising discoveries

More Americans die from car pollution than car accidents. It’s your lungs that are getting run over.

Why medieval knights are always fighting snails. It’s a recurring theme in pictures in the margins of gothic manuscripts, and it’s either a visual pun or a reminder of the inevitability of death.

The first ever hashtag, @-reply and retweet. All key parts of Twitter’s business that were invented by its users.

What it looks like to jump from 128,000 feet up. The entire point-of-view film of Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking space jump a year ago.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, armored snails and open office woes to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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