What to watch for today
Mario Draghi leaps into action. With inflation falling and unemployment stubbornly high, the hawkish European Central Bank is expected to turn dove, cutting rates and adopting new programs to funnel credit to small businesses—and perhaps even adopting more controversial asset-buying programs or a negative-interest rate policy.
Hollande and Obama have a tête-à-tête. As US regulators mull a $10 billion fine for BNP Paribas, the French president will have a private dinner with his US counterpart to lobby against the massive penalty. BNP is suspected of breaking US embargoes on trade with Iran.
A preview of the US jobs report. The latest tally of unemployment benefit recipients will lay the groundwork for Friday’s official measure of US employment. Here’s what to look for.
While you were sleeping
Sprint and T-Mobile dialed in on a merger. The companies are close to a agreeing on a deal that would have Sprint pay up to $32 billion in cash and stock for the fourth-largest US mobile carrier, according to multiple reports; T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, would retain 15% of the combined company. Sprint’s controlling shareholder, Japan’s Softbank, would also have to convince skeptical US regulators that the deal won’t hurt competition in the wireless market.
The G7 warned Russia of further sanctions. The group—which used to be the G8 until it kicked Russia out earlier this year—vowed to maintain a firm line against Moscow’s interference in Ukraine. “We stand ready to intensify targeted sanctions and to consider significant additional restrictive measures to impose further costs on Russia should events so require,” G7 said in a joint statement.
Twitter sampled some music acquisitions. The messaging platform has recently weighed the possibility of buying Soundcloud, Pandora,or Spotify (paywall) to find new sources of growth that will boost its lagging stock price.
Ritz-Carlton defied the China downturn. The company is building 20 hotels across the country, as it wagers that the luxury market will withstand both a slowing economy and a government crackdown on corruption.
Netflix ramped up its name-and-shame campaign. In the latest step in Netflix’s battle with internet service providers, the streaming video service displayed an error message blaming Verizon’s network for slow video speeds; Verizon cried foul.
Syria’s election reached its foregone conclusion. Bashar al-Assad took home 88.7% of the vote, in a contest that the regime’s opponents said was largely a sham. Voting did not take place in the territory held by rebels in the country’s three-year civil war.
Quartz obsession interlude
John McDuling on how Time Magazine’s ludicrous corporate history explains the US economy. “Those transactions also reflect some of the epoch-defining trends in both the media business (the rise and fall of print, the internet) and the financial industry (M&A fever, the dot-com boom and bust, conglomerate empire building, and subsequent value-driven breakups) since then. Friday’s return also means that, for at least the next few months, there will be three Time-related companies trading in the US equity markets, no doubt leading to great confusion for casual observers of the stock market.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Better healthcare means reviving the house call. Sending doctors to patients is cheaper and could prevent costly hospital admissions.
High-skilled immigrants create jobs for Americans. Cities with the most foreign tech workers created the most new tech jobs for natives.
Paris is the best city for young graduates. At least according to LinkedIn, which pegged Washington, DC as second, and Minneapolis third.
There is a decent rival to Google Glass. A little-known company in Taiwan has hopes for an underdog win.
108 countries do a better job vaccinating against measles than the US, including Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.
Corporations rely on North Korean gold. Companies including Hewlett-Packard and Ralph Lauren indirectly use gold smelted by the pariah country’s central bank.
Pickle jars are the wrong shape for human hands. At least, that’s the excuse you can use.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, ergonomic jar designs and doctors who make house calls to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.