Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Greek debt sale, Goldman’s pool closing, Venezuelan peace talks, cow farts

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What to watch for today

Greece returns to the bond market. The country is reportedly set to sell about $2.7 billion in long-term debt, its first offering since its international bailout. Despite heavy losses just a few years ago, investors seem to have forgotten that not all euro zone economies are created equal.

Comcast argues that big is beautiful. The company will testify before Congress as it reviews the company’s proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable. Yesterday, Comcast filed papers arguing that the deal would increase competition.

America gets its Ally money back. Ally Financial is set to price its stock at $25 to $28 per share, before debuting on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The IPO could raise as much as $2.7 billion and will allow the US Treasury to divest part of its stake in the auto lender, which it bailed out during the 2008 financial crisis.

What the Fed is thinking. Minutes from last month’s US Federal Reserve meeting might shed light on comments by Janet Yellen, who startled markets by saying rates could rise as soon as mid-2015. There should also be details about the Fed’s change in approach to inflation and unemployment data.

While you were sleeping

Sotheby’s hammered Daniel Loeb. The auction house attacked the activist hedge fund investor’s record (paywall) as he attempts to force his way onto its board.

Goldman’s may close its dark pool. The Wall Street Journal reports that the bank is considering shutting down its Sigma X private stock-trading venue (paywall) amid increased scrutiny of dark pools, where trades are conducted with more anonymity than on public stock exchanges.

BMW mulled a second plant in North America… Rising US demand has spurred the automaker to consider a new manufacturing location in either the United States or Mexico, Bloomberg reports. Avoiding currency fluctuations are also a motivating factor.

… and Beijing Auto planned an IPO. The state-owned car manufacturer announced plans to raise $1.6-3.2 billion in a Hong Kong public offering in the second half of the year. The company, which has partnered with Daimler AG and Hyundai, has hired a Ferrari designer and wants to produce “world-class”cars in the next decade.

Abe announced a corporate tax overhaul. The 35.6% tax will be reassessed in an effort to make Japanese companies more competitive internationally, the prime minister said.

Australian consumer sentiment inched upwards. The index published by the Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank rose by 0.3% in April, the first rise in five months, due to lower concerns over job losses and more optimism for the economy in general.

The Venezuelan government and opposition agreed to talks. The Vatican may mediate in negotiations aimed at ending a political stalemate that has led to violence and the deaths of 39 people since mid-February.

Quartz obsession interlude

John McDuling explains ”corders”—the people who aren’t quite ready to ditch their landlines and cable TV. “The problem is that wireless and high speed internet services in the US are not regulated anywhere near to the extent that old fashioned landlines are. For example, as the Journal points out, so-called ’last mile’ competitors get access to AT&T and Verizon’s fixed line networks at regulated rates, but they do not enjoy the same protection for internet based services. So, if corders are forced to make their calls over the internet or wireless, their bills may go up as a result.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Drones will deliver our food in the near future. Drone technology will shift dramatically from toys to the delivery of online shopping, restaurant food, and legal papers by 2019.

The Greek economy is looking excellent. Bond yields are low and its debt doesn’t need servicing for another eight years.

The MH370 black box is so deep it may never be found. It might be five Burj Khalifas down.

Foreign investors are complicit in Africa’s woes. Buying debt from corrupt governments is like giving an alcoholic a bottle of booze (paywall).

Surprising discoveries

China has developed a huge thirst for fine wine. Chinese tipplers now drink more bottles priced above $10 than any country except the United States.

Sweden is considering a 6-hour work day. A pilot program will test whether shorter shifts lead to increased productivity.

The ideal Facebook post is 40 characters. Here are the ideal lengths of tweets, headlines, and just about everything else on the internet.

Buying a corporate jet pays for itself. You’ll make your money back in just a few years, thanks to depreciation.

Dogs might be eating better than their owners. Premium dog food now accounts for 57% of the US market.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, food-delivery drones, and perfectly composed tweets to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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