What to watch for today
Big data’s return. The newly reopened US government begins to clear a backlog of economic data this week. Of equal or perhaps even more importance to financial markets: It’s peak week for the release of third-quarter earnings. Amid sluggish sales so far, all eyes will be on companies’ revenue growth. McDonald’s, Netflix, Manpower, Halliburton and Texas Instruments are among those reporting today.
Best Frenemies Forever. Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh travels to Russia and China for his last major foreign visits before elections. In a meeting with Vladmir Putin today, Singh is expected to ask about arms purchases Meanwhile, diplomats are hoping to finalize an agreement between India and China over longstanding border tensions.
Political sidestep. The US state of New Jersey begins performing same-sex marriages. New Jersey governor Chris Christie says he disagrees with the policy but will not stand in its way. The issue has been raised as a stumbling block as the prominent Republican seeks reelection—and possibly higher office.
While you were sleeping
Merkel’s dance begins. Germany’s opposition Social Democrats set out their conditions of joining a coalition government under chancellor Angela Merkel. Their wish list—likely subject to weeks of negotiations—includes a statutory minimum wage and dual citizenship for immigrants.
Civil suits. J.P. Morgan will pay the US government a record $13 billion to settle a probe into its mortgage-bonds business. The deal absolves the bank of civil disputes, yet keeps alive a query into its issue of mortgage-backed securities. The quirks and contours of the payout are under scrutiny and a big question remains if it will deter misconduct in the future.
Alan Greenspan’s blame game. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the former US Federal Reserve Chairman says easy money “had absolutely nothing to do with the housing bubble. That’s ridiculous.” He hasn’t yet given a copy of his new book to incoming Fed chief Janet Yellen.
Great Wall. New data show that the number of foreign tourists visiting mainland China fell 5% in the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period last year.
Quartz obsession interlude
Todd Woody on how you shouldn’t write Big Solar off yet. “There are currently 36,794 MW worth of projects under development in the US. SNL expects a building boom over the next two years with more than half of that solar coming online to qualify for a 30% federal tax credit that is set to fall to 10% by the end of 2016.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Stop calling the Tea Party stupid. It will only embolden them further. The Financial Times’ Ed Luce writes: “Most of the Obama crowd has more in common with bike-sharing Europeans than small-town Americans.”
Lean in is a lazy movement. Susan Faludi in the journal, the Baffler: “Social movements in my experience are all about solidarity and confrontation—that is, a collective response that confronts powerful institutions and people who are holding a group down. What is the confrontation here, and who or what is being confronted?”
The little engine that couldn’t. Oil transport has hardly kept up with the times. After a train derailment in Canada over the weekend, a blogger for Scientific American writes, “Transporting oil by trains is one indicator of inadequate infrastructure and out-of-date policies with respect to the shale boom.”
The deader sea. An Australian yachtsman sails from Melbourne to Osaka and is struck by the absence of fish, birds, and life.
Japan’s celibacy syndrome. Another reason for the country’s population bust: young people have stopped having sex.