What to watch for today
Ebay and PayPal go their separate ways. As it splits off the far stronger side of its business, eBay’s new leaders are faced with the daunting task of figuring out how the company fits with the way people shop these days—and it isn’t via auctions.
Typhoon Nagka hits mainland Japan. The powerful storm has already landed in parts of Japan, with heavy rainfall and winds as strong as 75 mph. Travel has ground to a halt, and electricity outages, flooding and landslides are likely.
What’s up with the US economy? Encouraging signs are expected when the Labor Department releases data on consumer prices and the Commerce Department reports figures on housing. But an expected boost to retail sales failed to materialize earlier this week—so who knows?
The earnings season is in full swing. General Electric, Ericsson, Honeywell, Synchrony Financial, and America Movil report their results. (We erroneously said in yesterday’s brief that America Movil results were on July 16.)
Ramadan ends. Eid al-Fitr, the feast that celebrates the end of the holy month, begins in many Muslim countries. In Thailand, authorities are beefing up security in its southern regions after several recent bomb attacks.
While you were sleeping
Google’s quarterly results clicked with investors. Shares rose more than 9% after second-quarter profits easily beat expectations due to stronger advertising revenues. New CFO Ruth Porat alluded to Google’s slower pace of hiring, saying the company is developing new opportunities “with great care regarding resource allocation.”
Greece landed back in its paymasters’ good graces. After the Greek parliament approved a raft of austerity measures, the country was showered with cash by once-reluctant lenders. The European Central Bank said it would lend the country €900 million ($980 million) this week, and the EU is poised to approve a three-month €7 billion loan. A multi-year €86 billion deal is still being negotiated.
Japan’s lower house approved a military revamp. Legislation pushed by prime minister Shinzo Abe would allow Japanese troops to engage in combat overseas for the first time since World War Two; it is expected to pass the upper house easily. The measures met with protests within Japan, and disparaging comments from China.
Obama went to prison. He became the first US president to visit a federal prison when he toured a facility in Oklahoma and met with six inmates. The trip, which will be part of a Vice documentary airing in a few months, is part of the president’s criminal justice reforms, which are meant to send fewer non-violent drug offenders to prison.
Uber butted heads with New York’s mayor. New Yorkers using Uber’s app now have a “Bill de Blasio” option that shows almost no cars available. The company says that would be the result if the city follows through on its proposal to crack down on the number of new drivers, in an attempt to ease New York’s traffic woes.
Quartz obsession interlude
Gwynn Guilford and Heather Timmons on a metal-trading scheme that bamboozled Chinese investors out of billions. “Why did hundreds of thousands of individual investors sink millions of yuan into a derivative product linked to indium, bismuth, and other metals few have ever heard of? The answer highlights how Chinese government regulations make it hard for middle-class households to safely grow their savings.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Bailouts may not be the best option for struggling economies. Greece should take a cue from Asia.
There were other options in the Iran negotiations. Coercive diplomacy would have yielded a
better deal (paywall).
Trolls are winning the internet war. But humans can still prevail—take it from former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao.
The mindfulness craze is another money-making scheme. Don’t expect it to change our mental well-being.
Atticus Fitch’s racism was necessary in “Go Set A Watchman.” The novel reveals more about the complicated history of the South.
Prehistoric humans also had to suffer through dentist visits. There’s evidence in a 14,000 year-old tooth with cavities.
A plague of hanging dildos has hit Portland. The weirdest city in the US just got even weirder.
A Georgia artist wants to add Outkast to a Confederate version of Mount Rushmore. The rappers would be driving a Cadillac alongside Robert E. Lee.
A huge winged dinosaur was discovered in China. The incredibly preserved fossil shows impressive plumage.
Canadian researchers are working on a breathalyzer for weed. It would provide a test for stoned driving.