Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Carney’s forex grilling, euro zone deflation, Big Tobacco patents, lying bosses

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What to watch for today

Data protection laws get a modern re-write. The EU parliament will debate an overhaul of 19-year-old data protection legislation to give people more control over their own information, and impose stricter fines on violators. MEPs will also vote on tighter anti-money laundering rules.

Lawmakers grill Mark Carney over forex manipulation. The Bank of England governor will face tough questions over evidence the central bank knew about the problem almost eight years ago.

Signs of deflation in the euro zone. Analysts expect February’s producer price index to decline 1.3% from last year (paywall).

Chile gets an old-new president. Michelle Bachelet, a leftist who served as president from 2006-2010, starts a new term. She has said her biggest challenge will be to tackle inequality by reducing poverty and increasing access to quality education, which she will fund through tax reforms.

Latin American leaders deliberate on Venezuela. Leaders of the Union of South American Nations, meeting in Chile for Bachelet’s inauguration, will also discuss the situation in Venezuela, where violent opposition protests have left at least 20 dead and divided the continent politically.

American Eagle beats the holiday blues, with an expected 53% jump in fourth-quarter earnings per share from the same period last year, on a 7% increase in revenue.

While you were sleeping

Bank of Japan held steady. The central bank chose not to alter its course on monetary stimulus despite weak economic data on Monday, though it did downgrade its export prediction.

The fate of MH-370 remained a mystery. The oil slick spotted after the Malaysia Airlines jet vanished on Saturday morning turned out to be from a ship, and no further debris has been discovered. All theories, from a sudden systems failure to a hijacking, are still on the table.

Big Tobacco got serious about e-cigarette patents. A subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco launched legal proceedings against nine US-based e-cigarette makers (paywall), claiming that it owns the patents behind vaping.

Bananas of the world, united. Top distibutors Fyffes and Chiquita announced plans to merge in the face of pricing wars and a destructive crop disease. The combined ChiquitaFyffes won’t put all its bananas in one basket—the merger will also boost business from melons and pineapples.

Permira jumped on the IPO bandwagon. The European private-equity group is reportedly in talks with banks over floating Arysta LifeScience (paywall), the Japanese farming chemicals company it owns. A New York IPO could value Arysta at $4 billion—a nice jump from the €1.95 billion ($2.7 billion) Permira paid in 2008.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on how South Korea’s unconventional rent system is coming apart. “Under the country’s Jeonse—or Chonsei—system, tenants lend significant chunks of money to landlords in lieu of rent. (Jeonse is usually translated as “key money.”) It works like this. In exchange for access to the property for specified term—usually two years—tenants make a lump sum deposit to the landlord, based on a percentage of what it would cost to buy the property. The transaction is essentially a loan, with the tenant as the lender, the landlord as the borrower, and the house as the collateral… But recently something has changed.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

San Francisco is turning into New York. The hoodie-and-jeans culture is becoming increasingly infatuated with power and wealth.

Newsweek’s claim to have found bitcoin’s founder isn’t convincing. That’s partly because the magazine’s attitude toward journalism is stuck in the past.

The West’s priorities on Ukraine are wrong. It should forget about putting sanctions on Russia and instead make its aid to Kiev more generous.

Big dams are terrible investments. Huge budget overruns mean that costs almost always far outweigh benefits.

Surprising discoveries

Equations are beautiful. Mathematicians’s brains respond to elegant formulas the way the rest of us respond to works of art.

People are inherently petty. We’re more likely to hold on to minor grudges and forgive major offenses.

Music that doesn’t change much is the best for work. And other tips in our complete guide. (There’s a Quartz playlist too.)

Bosses lie in job interviews, too. That’s no way to start a trusting office relationship.

In 2012, only 85 full professors in the UK were black. That’s not even one per higher education institution.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, office soundtracks, and ancient grudges to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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