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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Malaysian Airlines passport, Carney’s forex grilling, German trade surge, people are petty

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

What to watch for today

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

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

Mark Carney is grilled 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.

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

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

A Malaysian Airlines terror link was debunked. An Iranian men who boarded the missing plane with a stolen passport was only looking to emigrate to Europe, authorities said. Meanwhile, China’s muscular response cast it in a new role as Asia’s policeman.

German trade smashed expectations. January imports surged by a whopping 4.1% and exports rose 2.2%, showing strong demand domestically and within the euro zone.

Israel discussed nuclear disarmament with Arab states. The meeting was aimed at creating a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

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 target.

Softbank still has T-Mobile-Sprint merger hopes. ”We have to give it a shot,” said CEO Masayoshi Son, despite opposition from US antitrust regulators.

Australia has a poppy shortage. Pharmaceutical firms say the remote island of Tasmania, the world’s biggest supplier of opium for painkillers, isn’t growing enough poppies to keep up with demand.

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.

…And London into San Francisco—unless Shoreditch NIMBYs have their way.

Newsweek’s bitcoin inventor claim 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 increase aid to Kiev.

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

Surprising discoveries

Genghis Khan’s weather assist. A singular spell of rain allowed the Mongol empire to build its vast army.

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 forgive major offenses and  hold on to minor grudges.

Boring music 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.

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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