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 bailout. Investors seem to have forgotten that not all euro zone economies are created equal.
An extra virgin takeover battle. Spanish olive oil firm Deoleo, which owns Bertolli and other brands, has received a bid from CVC that values it at $606 million.
Comcast argues that big is beautiful. The company will testify before Congress as lawmakers review its proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable. Comcast argues 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, ahead of its Thursday IPO that could raise as much as $2.7 billion and 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 could 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 evolving approach to inflation and unemployment data.
While you were sleeping
Germany’s domestic economy picked up. Imports rose 0.4% in February to their highest point since reunification, showing stronger domestic demand. Separately, Britain’s trade deficit narrowed to a smaller-than-expected 9.09 billion pounds ($15.2 billion) as imports slowed more than exports.
Ukraine vowed to defend its remaining territory. Its interior minister said that if separatists holding buildings in two cities in the east “want conflict, they will get a forceful answer.” German chancellor Angela Merkel said that Russia is making no attempt to de-escalate the situation.
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 and Hyundai, has hired a Ferrari designer and wants to produce “world-class” cars in the next decade.
… And the auto industry’s recalls kept on rolling. Toyota has found five separate safety hazards affecting 6.4 million vehicles, though no injuries or fatalities had been recorded so far. Models including the Camry, RAV4, and Corolla are included in the recall.
Goldman Sachs may close its dark pool. The bank is reportedly 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.
Shinzo 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.
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
Cities should charge more for parking. People would take more public transport, it would reduce congestion, and tax revenues would rise.
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 actually in great shape. Bond yields are low and its debt doesn’t need servicing for another eight years.
Foreign investors are complicit in Africa’s woes. Buying debt from corrupt governments is like giving an alcoholic a bottle of booze (paywall).
MIT has developed cut-and-fold robots. The printable bots cost as little as $20.
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.
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