What to watch for today
Obama tries to seal the Iran nuclear deal. First the breakthrough, now the really hard part: The US president will speak with congressional leaders, including Republicans who are uneasy with the prospect of relaxing sanctions. Senate leaders said they would draft legislation requiring congressional input on any final agreement.
Hillary Clinton’s emails. A congressional committee is demanding that the former secretary of state and likely presidential candidate hand over the private email server she used during her time in office. Clinton says she submitted all relevant emails to the State Department and deleted the rest.
Good Friday. The New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ will be closed for the holiday. Major markets in London, Paris, and Frankfurt will close the following Monday (April 6) as well.
While you were sleeping
China filed corruption charges against its former security czar. After months of veiled hints, Zhou Yongkang became the most prominent target yet in president Xi Jinping’s purge of allegedly corrupt officials. Zhou, who was also charged with bribery and leaking state secrets, was arrested and expelled from the Communist party in December.
Fiat was ordered to pay $149 million for a fatal crash. A jury found the company’s Chrysler subsidiary “recklessly designed” the gas tank of the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and awarded $150 million to the family of a four-year-old boy who died when the SUV caught fire in a crash. Chrysler recalled similar Cherokees in 2013 but not the 1999 version.
Toyota is building new plants again. The Japanese auto maker will end a three-year freeze and spend 150 billion yen ($1.3 billion) to build its first car plant in Mexico as well as another in China, according to Reuters. That will boost its production capacity and put pressure on rivals like General Motors and Volkswagen to follow suit—even though the industry still struggles with excess manufacturing capacity.
IBM investors got restless. Major shareholders have approached activist hedge funds such as Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square to push for a shake-up at the computing giant, and IBM has hired investment banks to formulate a defense, according to Reuters. The company has posted 11 consecutive quarters of revenue declines.
Samsung will make Apple’s next iPhone chip. The South Korean electronics company will produce the A9 chip for Apple’s next iPhone and iPad, according to Bloomberg, regaining the contract it lost last year to a Taiwanese rival. Samsung’s strategy is to make more components for other companies’ phones, as a hedge against its own struggling handsets.
Quartz obsession interlude
Leo Mirani on Google’s run-in with European regulators. “For Google and Europe, it is only the end of beginning. After five years of wrangling, three attempts at some sort of settlement, and a change of guard at the top of European bureaucracy, Europe is getting ready to file formal antitrust charges against Google.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Venture capital unicorns don’t help the economy. Money-losing companies with sky-high valuations only help their investors.
Iran could become another Saudi Arabia. Lifting sanctions could unleash another expansionist theocracy in the Middle East.
Californians don’t pay enough for their water. It’s no wonder there is a drought when the price of water is artificially low.
Education won’t fix income inequality. Degrees will help the working class, but not enough to close the wealth gap (paywall).
Nigeria’s election is a victory for democracy. Given the dangers they faced in voting, Nigerians deserve a smooth transition.
It takes 15,000 liters of water to make 1kg (2.2lbs) of steak. Most of our water footprint comes from making food.
Atlanta is the new home of dystopian thrillers. Architect John Portman’s buildings are a perfect backdrop for gloomy sci-fi stories.
Students can learn code instead of a foreign language. Four US states think “speaking tech” is more valuable.
Rich Indians are putting their wives on company boards. It’s an easy way to comply with a new quota law.
Snoop Dogg can damage your law enforcement career. A Texas state trooper was required to seek counseling after posing for a photo with the rapper.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, corporate board candidates, and Snoop Dogg selfies to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.