Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Inflating India, IBM earnings, Citi’s Asian success, faster-than-light travel

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Good morning Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Tough news for India: Inflation is on the rise. Price increases hit a ten-month high in September after the government cut fuel subsidies and let diesel prices rise 14 percent, crushing the country’s poor even as growth slows. Concerns about price levels are expected to trump Indian business leaders’ hopes for lower rates at the Oct. 30 meeting of the country’s central bank. (Chinese inflation was down yesterday, creating more space for stimulus.)

Goldman Sachs, Rio Tinto, and IBM report their earnings. Updates from the global megabank, major mineral extractor and tech leader should give us a fairly comprehensive picture of the economy.

Europe, Great Britain and the US all release price level data. Investors and central bankers will assess the tea leaves for signs of inflation.

While you were sleeping

A new wave of US wireless consolidation. Japan’s Softbank reached a $20 billion deal for up to 70% of Sprint Nextel, the third-largest US wireless carrier, and gave the firm $8 billion for an acquisitions and other investments.

Asia is the bright spot for Citi’s earnings. Citi acted for Sprint in the Softbank deal, and deals of that flavor in Asia and other emerging markets were the highlight of its earnings report, which beat analyst expectations with income of $468 million.

Separatism in the air in Europe. Here’s the latest on national tensions in Spain and Belgium that could be on display at Thursday and Friday’s EU summit.

The EU cranked the dial on Iran sanctions. New restrictions on finance and trade are part of further efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

An advance toward possible Scottish independence. UK Prime Minister David Cameron signed an agreement that would lead to a Scotland-wide referendum on independence from the UK, likely in 2014. About 40% of Scots supported leaving the UK in polls conducted earlier this year. They’ll need to weigh the chances that resource-rich Scotland could be more prosperous as an independent nation against the drawbacks of fending for themselves when the resources eventually run out.

Two Americans won the Nobel Prize for Economics. They won it for figuring out how to design better markets—specifically, better ways to optimally match pairs of things, such as organ donors with transplant patients.

US retail sales were strong increasing 1.1% in September and driving stock market gains. We blame iPhones.

Quartz obsession interlude

David Yanovsky and Tim Fernholz look at new data about countries’ commitments to development. The top three are Denmark, Norway and Sweden, which donate large amounts of money relative to their size and target it at the most needy recipients, have migration-friendly policies, and support international security… Japan and South Korea, The only Asian countries currently on the list (the study’s authors are working on adapting its framework to the BRICs, however) don’t fare all that well. Read more here

Matters of debate

A plan to save InfoSys. The Indian outsourcing giant is facing some of the toughest times in its 30-year history.

Is globalization waning? UPS’s Chairman and CEO fear that trade links are snapping, and what’s needed is a new US-EU free trade agreement.

Is the United States turning into 14th century Venice? Beware La Serrata!

Meanwhile, we’ve found a new visionary on Wall Street. Adieu Lloyd, adios Jamie, the new idol of the financial press is Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman.

Surprising discoveries

Leonardo da Vinci’s (probable) lover invented double-entry book-keeping and revolutionized business.

What would happen if spacediver Felix Baumgartner had reached the speed of light. 

You are supposed to consult a physician before using iTunes. I’m sure you did, right?

Iran has a secret plan to dump oil in the Strait of Hormuz.

Also today

The Australian Central Bank releases the minutes of its previous meeting. And on this day in 1964, the People’s Republic of China became the world’s fifth nuclear power by successfully testing an atomic weapon.

Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, outlandish physics queries, and stagflation hysterics to

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