Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Britain’s budget, Barclays CEO ousted, Myanmar’s historic election, Han Solo

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What to watch for today

The UK gets a new budget. Chancellor George Osborne’s second budget this year is expected to cut welfare spending but reduce the tax burden for workers. This is the first in almost 20 years that the Conservatives have had total control over.

A trio of cyclones pummels Asia. Tropical Storm Linfa has already brought flooding to the Philippines; Typhoon Chan-Hom is headed toward Taiwan but may also hit the Chinese mainland; and Typhoon Nagka is a potential threat to Japan.

London Underground workers strike. Trains on all Tube lines will stop running from 6:30pm local time and will not resume operations until Friday, following a dispute over evening and weekend shifts. Overland rail lines are bracing for extra travelers.

Vladimir Putin hosts a BRICS summit. Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa hope to finalize the creation of a collective currency reserve fund and a development bank, which would counterbalance US- and Europe-dominated institutions in the global economy.

While you were sleeping

Barclays fired its CEO. The British bank is searching for a replacement for Antony Jenkins, the boss since 2012. Jenkins led the bank during a period in which profits dropped and it was fined billions of dollars (paywall) for rigging markets. “It became clear to all of us that a new set of skills were required for the period ahead,” deputy chairman Michael Rake said.

Alexis Tsipras pleaded in Strasbourg as a “final deadline” was set for Grexit. Boos and cheers greeted the Greek prime minister as he entered the European Parliament to push for his soon-to-be-unveiled proposals for a new bailout. Greece has until tomorrow to present a compromise with its European creditors, which will be debated at a special full EU summit on Sunday. 

China scrambled to prop up its stock market. The central bank and its Securities Regulatory Commission announced plans to focus stock support on small- and medium-sized companies, effectively buying stocks with central bank money (paywall). Shanghai’s stock exchange closed down 5.9%; the CSI300 was down 6.8%.

Myanmar set a date for its first election in 25 years. The country will go to the polls on Nov. 8 for the first time since 1990, according to the BBC. But democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won the 1990 election that was then ignored by the military junta, will likely be barred from running for president this year.

UBS and Morgan Stanley passed wealth management milestones. The assets each of the companies manage for the world’s wealthy topped $2 trillion for the first time, according to a Scorpio Partnership report. The two banks are the market-share leaders of a $20.6 trillion industry.

Uber planned to raise $1 billion for its Chinese operation. The US ride-hailing company is valuing its Chinese business at between $7 and $8 billion, according to Bloomberg, marking the first time the company separates its operations by country. CEO Travis Kalanick previously outlined the company’s plan to spend $1 billion in China this year; its larger rival, Didi Kuadi, also raised $2 billion today.

Quartz obsession interlude

Annalisa Merelli on former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis’s most memorable moments. “In a post on his blog, titled ‘Minister No More!’ Varoufakis announced his decision in his classically no-nonsense tone. His parting line: ‘I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride,’ is already a hit. After resigning, Varoufakis got on his motorcycle and rode away with his wife into the Greek summer.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Europe doesn’t have a debt crisis. It has a democracy crisis.

Things are getting better for women in Hollywood. That’s thanks largely to a rise in women-led production companies.

We are too afraid of growing up. Real freedom comes from control, learned through maturity.

Athletic brands are under-utilizing the power of female athletes. Only Nike seems to understand their value.

Smartphones are not ruining children. They are just exasperating their grandparents.

Surprising discoveries

We’ll finally know how Han Solo got to be who he is. Disney is making a spin-off movie about his early years.

Denver’s marijuana growers are killing the electric grid. They account for 2% of all power consumed in the Colorado city.

The BBC is getting back into the computer business. It’s giving out 1 million “Micro Bits” to teach kids about programming.

Muslim non-profits are raising money to rebuild black churches. They say “all houses of worship are sanctuaries.”

Some iPhone owners are carrying their devices in fake handgun cases. US police think this is a terrible idea.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, M16-shaped phone cases, and ideas for a Chewbacca solo film to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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