Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Ukraine’s new local government. Alexander Zakharchenko will be inaugurated as the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic after winning an election on Sunday that Ukraine said was illegal. Germany threatened Moscow with further sanctions for supporting the vote.
Europe tightens its control over banks. The continent’s 120 biggest institutions start reporting to Brussels under the Single Supervisory Mechanism. France’s Daniele Nouy will be in charge, and her first order of business will be making sure the 25 banks that failed the ECB’s stress test get back in shape.
America’s balance of power shifts. Midterm elections will likely see Republicans winning enough seats to take control of Senate the and consolidating their hold on the House. The vice president seems to be confident “we’re gonna keep the Senate,” but Republicans are already celebrating victory.
Macau proves China’s battle against corruption is working. President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive will likely result in Macau’s casinos posting their fifth straight month of falling revenues, as government officials from the Chinese mainland restrain their outsized gambling habits.
Numbers, numbers, numbers. Companies publishing results tomorrow: Activision Blizzard, Alibaba, Burger King, DISH Network, Office Depot, Papa John’s, Priceline, SolarCity, TESCO, Time, TripAdvisor, and Twenty-First Century Fox. As for economic data: US factory orders and trade balance for Sep., Brazil’s industrial output, and South Korean inflation.
While you were sleeping
One World Trade Center opened. Some 60% of the 1,776-foot (541 m), $3.9 billion building that replaces New York’s destroyed Twin Towers has been leased thus far, with publishing giant Condé Nast taking five of the 104 stories.
The US fined Korean car makers for polluting. Kia and Hyundai understated the CO2 emissions of some of their cars by about 4.75 million tonnes—equivalent to a year’s emissions from a million passenger cars. Their $100 million fine is the biggest penalty in the history of the US Clean Air Act.
American manufacturers surprised investors. October’s manufacturing index from the Institute for Supply Management came in at 59—not only higher than September’s reading of 56.5, but also a 10-year high. Economists polled by Reuters were expecting a slight dip.
The US dollar spanked the Japanese yen. Japan’s unexpected stimulus announcement last Friday pushed the yen to ¥113.81 against the dollar. If it breaks ¥114.02, then the US currency will be at levels not seen since Dec. 2007. In related currency news, the euro is getting clobbered to Aug. 2012 levels.
Thieves stole an infamous concentration-camp sign. Vandals took the sign reading Arbeit macht frei (“work makes you free”) from the entrance to the Dachau concentration camp, which symbolizes the suffering of millions incarcerated and killed by the Nazis. In 2009, a similar sign was stolen from Auschwitz.
Quartz obsession interlude
Lily Kuo on the unspoken xenophobia of the Umbrella Revolution. “The pro-democracy demonstrations, triggered by China’s limits on the city’s first direct elections in 2017, carry a hidden edge that most protesters and supporters have tried to downplay: the deep and growing resentment toward millions of mainland Chinese immigrants and tourists, seen by many Hong Kongers as invaders who are irrevocably changing their city for the worse.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Gay rights are no longer an issue for US Republicans. Thank Tim Cook’s coming out letter.
Living in public online isn’t worth it. Nothing is worth the amount of abuse you’ll get.
We need to eat bugs to solve world hunger. Marketing them will be tricky, however.
GDP is no longer an adequate measure of wealth. But we’re still going to use it.
Dehumanizing other people is one of our species’ most disgusting traits. And we’re afraid to study it.
A pianist tried to take down a bad review. That’s stretching Europe’s “right-to-be-forgotten” rule a little too far.
China has a monthly cremation quota. And people will steal corpses to hit it.
India’s politicians can’t enjoy the good life any more. First class travel and five-star hotels are now banned.
Life on earth could have evolved a billion years sooner. There just wasn’t enough oxygen for it to happen.
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