Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Hillary Clinton’s debate, Twitter’s layoffs, Uber’s getaway car

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What to watch for today

Hillary Clinton faces her rivals for the first time. The first Democratic debate in the 2016 US presidential election will feature Clinton—the frontrunner whose lead has slipped in recent months—along with leftist Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who has made substantial gains in early voting states, among others. Vice president Joe Biden, who hasn’t decided whether to run, is not expected to appear at the event in Las Vegas.

Chinese inflation data shows a widening gap. The consumer price index is expected to have increased by 2.1% in September, but the producer price index is projected to fall by 5.6%. The difference between those measures would be the widest in 20 years.

First Data Corp prices the biggest IPO of 2015. The electronic payment-processing company is expected to raise more than $3 billion, selling 160 million shares at $18 to $20 each. The company is owned by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, which financed its acquisition by loading up First Data with about $21 billion of debt.

Nike holds an investor day. Executives at the sporting goods giant will lay out long-term plans and financial goals at corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. Analysts are hoping for intel on Nike’s ongoing partnership with Apple and specialized gear for women, which is seen as a major growth category but accounts for less than 20% of revenues.  

Earnings: Wells Fargo and Bank of America are both reporting before the market opens; analysts are predicting $21.75 billion in revenue for Wells Fargo, a 2.1% increase, and a 3% decrease to $20.77 billion for BofA. Delta Air Lines and Netflix are also reporting.

While you were sleeping

Twitter announced significant layoffs. Newly confirmed CEO Jack Dorsey announced the company would cut 336 jobs, or about 8% of its workforce, in an attempt to kickstart a comeback effort. Separately, Snapchat ended attempts to create original content for its messaging app, laying off a number of employees and rethinking its overall strategy.

The Taliban withdrew from Kunduz. After a 15-day siege, the Taliban pulled back from the contested northern Afghan city, but not before they destroyed government buildings, seized military equipment, and freed prisoners. Afghan forces were able to retake control with the help of US airstrikes and special-ops teams.

China’s slowdown hit LVMH. The luxury goods conglomerate said the Chinese stock market crash would take a heavy toll on its revenue growth, expected to fall from 10% in the second quarter to 3% in the third. The slowdown has especially affected the premium-priced Louis Vuitton brand.

GE offloaded one of the last big chunks of its finance business. The conglomerate sold its $30 billion specialty finance business, including commercial lending and leasing, to Wells Fargo for an undisclosed price. It is now more than halfway to its goal of reducing its GE Capital business to 10% of earnings, from 42% in 2014.

A Russian-made missile definitely took down flight MH17. Dutch investigators painstakingly reconstructed the downed Malaysian Airline flight, and confirmed (pdf) what had long been suspected: A Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile hit the plane and caused it to explode in midair. But investigators did not weigh in on who fired the missile.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gideon Lichfield on why business leaders like Jack Dorsey should wean themselves off business jargon. “In a memo to the staff released today, he wrote, ‘Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I’m going to give it to you straight.’ For its genre, Dorsey’s memo is indeed admirably brief and to the point. But it’s still riddled with jargon. Why is it so hard for executives to write in a truly straightforward manner? Here is Dorsey’s memo, with our suggested cuts in strikethrough and additions in bold.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Central bankers can’t save the world anymore. Trillions of dollars are no longer a magic wand.

The world’s fossil fuels will never be used up. Environmental concerns have made unchecked drilling a non-starter.

America is over-dependent on corn and soy. It’s leading to a scary loss of crop diversity.

Europe must heed Turkey’s migrant mistakes. Overall wages have risen, but some workers have paid the price.

NASA’s hands are tied. A law banning cooperation with China has left the space agency “on the outside looking in.”

Surprising discoveries

Is there an Uber for getaway cars? An armed robbery suspect didn’t get very far after his Uber driver was stopped (and released) by police.

Elephant DNA is programmed to crush cancer. The massive mammals carry extra genes that destroy damaged cells.

A modern-day hermit’s routine includes Facebook and Twitter. Seeking solitude can also include social media, says a former British nun.

Some music is supposed to put you to sleep. Max Richter’s latest work is eight hours long.

Two orphaned Korean sisters just met in Florida. Adopted by different American families, they were working at the same hospital

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, bedtime music, and jargon-free corporate memos to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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