What to watch for today
Tesla drives up its profit… The electric-car firm is expected to post a $13.4 million profit, its first ever in the third quarter, on revenues of $534.6 million—a sevenfold increase on revenues from a year ago. Sales of the Model S sedan will show whether the company is on track for CEO Elon Musk’s target of topping 21,000 units this year.
… and so does Toyota. The Japanese automaker is expected to report record half-year profits. Thanks to a yen weakened by the expansive monetary policies under prime minister Shinzo Abe, the company is making more money from cars sold overseas. BMW releases earnings too.
New York City picks a mayor. Bill de Blasio is expected to become the first Democrat mayor in nearly a quarter-century as Michael Bloomberg’s three-term run draws to a close. De Blasio held a 41-percentage-point lead over Republican Joe Lhota according to a poll released on Nov. 4.
The troika returns to Greece. Representatives from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund will meet government officials in Athens to discuss progress on the country’s reforms, after fears that they wouldn’t come at all because Greece hadn’t met debt-cutting targets.
While you were sleeping
BlackBerry ran out of juice. BlackBerry abandoned its efforts to find a buyer, sending its shares down by more than 12%. Instead, the Canadian company announced a $1 billion capital infusion from a group of investors and a new chief executive, former Sybase boss John Chen.
Mohamed Morsi’s trial was delayed. The trial of the ousted Egyptian president was pushed back until Jan. 8 after he and his fellow co-defendants began chanting in order to disrupt proceedings. Charged with murder and incitement to violence, Morsi refused to wear white defendant’s garments, saying he was Egypt’s legitimate president.
A volcano erupted in Indonesia. Mount Sinabung, one of Indonesia’s 120-plus active volcanoes, erupted—sending ash 23,000 feet (7,000 meters) into the air and forcing the evacuation of almost 1,300 residents from neighboring villages. This was Sinabung’s third eruption since September, after three years of dormancy.
Twitter upped its asking price. Twitter increased the price range of its IPO to between $23 and $25 per share, valuing the company as high as $15.5 billion. That would make Twitter’s offering of shares worth $2 billion, larger than Google’s and second only to Facebook’s among internet company IPOs.
SAC Capital agreed to a record fine. The $15 billion hedge fund run by Steve Cohen pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges and agreed to pay $1.8 billion in fines—the largest penalty ever assessed by the US government for insider trading. Cohen, though, will still end up as the US’s 59th-richest person.
Quartz obsession interlude
Zachary M. Seward on what Twitter’s IPO really means. “People will call it a bubble, but they’re generally talking finance, as in the reason Pinterest and Snapchat are now worth $4 billion apiece. What I see is a social bubble, the collective delusion that Twitter’s IPO is a celebratory event, even if you’re not one of the few actually holding a stake in the company.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
If it looks like a bank, regulate it like a bank. Regulators shouldn’t be struggling to deal with the trillions of dollars in banking activity outside of traditional banks. The same rules should apply.
Why Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t work in Russia. Its failure to take off reveals some profound cultural differences between Russians and Americans.
Polymaths are more interesting than specialists. The greatest innovations come from people who can draw from a variety of fields.
George Bush is a better non-president than Mitt Romney. Romney’s still weighing in with his political opinion, rather than gracefully slipping into the background.
Businesses have put too much faith in Excel. Microsoft’s spreadsheet software is a tool of choice—but it leaves extensive room for error (paywall).
Viagra made from kangaroo testicles. It exists, and Chinese buyers are looking at investing in the business.
Aunties are now a demographic. Marketers are targeting PANKs—professional aunt, no kids—who dote on their nieces, nephews and god-children.
Justin Bieber, venture capitalist. The teen pop sensation invested in the new teen social network Shots Of Me—his first VC investment independent of his manager.
Starbucks has designed a teacup. In its newly launched chain of tea rooms, the coffee giant also has a paper cup made specially for tea.