What to watch for today
Can Google shake its dependence on ads? Analysts expect a 14% bump in earnings from the search giant and will pay attention to Google’s plan to unite mobile and desktop ad sales. But we’ll be watching to see whether the company’s app store, cloud computing services or Chromecast video-streaming device are making any money.
How much will Verizon’s big acquisition earn? The telco spent $130 billion to buy out Vodafone’s share of the two companies’ joint wireless enterprise, and its earnings announcement will give us an inkling of how the move will benefit the company in the future.
How multinationals deal with emerging-market currencies. Swiss foodmaker Nestlé will report its third-quarter sales today, two weeks after its competitor Unilever announced lower sales projections due to currency depreciation in the emerging markets.
Check-in on European Union trade. The EU needs to trade its way out of recession and debt crisis; today’s current-account balance will shed light on how well that project is proceeding.
While you were sleeping
The US debt showdown died with a whimper. House Republican leaders conceded that they could not push their policy agenda by threatening a default on US debt, and a bill to re-open government should move quickly through Congress. But there could be another face-off in early 2014—and this shutdown could have cost the US economy $24 billion.
China re-upped its demand for a “de-Americanized world.” Seizing on the United States’ embarrassing political morass, China’s state news service renewed a call for less dependence on the dollar, but many economists are skeptical—even the UK’s touted renminbi-trading deal with China is more hype than hope.
Apple cut orders for the iPhone 5c. The decision to make fewer of the company’s new low-end smartphones could be a warning sign that consumers aren’t buying many of them.
JP Morgan paid up, again. The bank has 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 was “recklessly manipulative.”
Quartz obsession interlude
Roberto A. Ferdman on the dangerous state of the global food industry. ”Food consumption has exceeded food production for five of last ten years, and it appears to have caught up with us. World grain reserves haven’t been this low since 1974. Without a healthy level of reserves to fall back on, the world is woefully unprepared for any and all unexpected bouts of severe weather. Meager harvests by any of the world’s main exporters of grain, which includes corn, wheat and rice, could leave significant portions of the earth without enough food. Compounding the problem are spiking global food prices: Dangerously low reserves have pushed food prices up to near record levels.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Debt ceiling or no, the USA isn’t AAA. How Norway, Australia and Germany show that the US should be downgraded anyway.
Open-source everything is the lesson of America’s healthcare.gov debacle. It’s crazy that public projects don’t rely on a public development process.
OPEC saved the planet in 1973. Had the oil-producing nations not provoked an energy crisis, the climate-change problem would be even worse today.
Americans aren’t the exceptional movers they once were. Migration stagnation is driving up inequality.
Indonesia has surmounted China as the top source of cyber attacks. It’s not necessarily Indonesians, but hackers taking advantage of the country’s growing but still insecure computer networks.
Meet China’s trashy nouveau riche. The tuhao are crass, wealthy and inspiring both envy and anger in China.
Meet Germany’s Überhuhn. But the multi-purpose chicken, bred in response to ethical concerns about factory farming, may fail in the marketplace.