Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Major disruption of business on the east coast of the United States. Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday ET, but already all US stock and options trading is suspended for Monday and federal offices in Washington, DC will be closed to the public. New York state suspended mass transit, affecting a ridership of roughly 8.5 million people, and New York City closed schools, and is evacuating roughly 400,000 people. Experts say the storm could potentially inflict $18 billion in damages, and leave millions without power for a week or more. Quartz cataloged the webcams watching the arrival of the storm for weather geeks worldwide to follow here.
Acquisition drama in the global book publishing industry. News Corp. plans to make a roughly £1 billion cash offer to Pearson for its Penguin publishing house, according to the News Corp.-owned Sunday Times newspaper. Any dealmaking by News Corp., which already owns Penguin-rival Harper Collins, could scuttle a planned merger between Penguin and Bertelsmann’s Random House.
While you were sleeping
Euro skeptics broadened their support in Finland. An early exit poll indicates the Finns Party gained in local elections Sunday. The vote could indicate increased Finnish public support for exiting the euro zone, and bolster pressure on Finland’s government to take a tough stance in negotiations around euro zone budgets and reforms.
The Chinese coastal part city of Ningbo suspended plans to expand a petrochemical plant following protests. The $8.9 billion expansion to a state-controlled Sinopec plant came under fire for environmental concerns.
Quartz obsession interlude
Tim Fernholz on new estimates of capital flight from China: “Whether it’s the fortune of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s family or the downfall of disgraced party leader Bo Xilai, more attention is being paid to the capital that China’s wealthiest send out of the country. Now we know more about the amount of money that has eluded Chinese capital controls (which forbid citizens to send more than the equivalent of $50,000 abroad) in recent years: $3.7 trillion between 2000 and 2011, and more than $600 billion in 2011 alone. Global Financial Integrity, an NGO that attempts to track illicit capital flows, detailed those findings in a new report.“ Read more here.
Matters of debate
The US should block Chinese investments in the US until China opens its market wider. Reciprocity is the principle underlying any such action.
It’s time to reduce equity holdings. Barry Ritholtz makes the case.
A German robot is being trained to challenge human ping-pong players. The project is part of a movement to develop robots that can perform a range of tasks after being guided by their owners.
Steve Jobs’s yacht makes what’s apparently its first public appearance. The luxury ship was photographed in the Dutch city of Aalsmeer more than a year after the Apple co-founder’s death.
Best wishes from Quartz for a productive day. Please send any news, queries, suggestions, or hurricane tracking links to firstname.lastname@example.org.