What to watch for today
The EU wrestles with digital privacy. A temporary US-European data agreement has been in place since February, allowing US companies to move data across the Atlantic without violating EU privacy laws. But skeptical European regulators are set to oppose the so-called “privacy shield.”
JPMorgan Chase reports its earnings. Analysts expect to see the first year-over-year profit decline in five quarters, in part because of low market volatility that makes it hard to find profitable trades. Tesco also reports its annual results, turning a profit for 2015 after a staggering loss the year before.
While you were sleeping
Authorities raided the offices of law firm Mossack Fonseca in Panama City. Police and organized crime prosecutors looked for evidence of money laundering and financing terrorism, following a leak of documents—the “Panama Papers”—about tax havens the firm set up for wealthy international clients.
Sean Parker set up a $250 million institute for cancer immunotherapy collaboration. The tech billionaire hopes it will speed development of better treatments by encouraging collaboration among the field’s top researchers, saying he was “transformed” by the death of friend and Hollywood producer Laura Ziskin.
China defended its detention of Taiwanese nationals deported from Kenya. It claimed to have jurisdiction because its own citizens had been among the victims of an alleged Nairobi-based telecommunications scheme to which the Taiwanese were linked, though many have been acquitted.
North Carolina’s governor backtracked on an anti-LGBT law. Republican Pat McCrory said he would water down key parts of the controversial law, which removed LGBT discrimination protections and banned transgender people from public restrooms. The move comes after corporations, including PayPal and Deutsche Bank, curtailed expansion plans in the state.
Quartz markets haiku
A production freeze
between Saudi and Russia?
Oil was up, stocks too
Quartz obsession interlude
Ian Kar on why Airbnb just acquired a team of blockchain and bitcoin experts. “If Airbnb can figure out a way to make its user profiles immutable and universally readable, they could become a trusted form of digital identity, a bit like the profiles that credit bureaus create for individuals. If these identities can be exported to other platforms… they could become hugely valuable.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
There’s one major perk of globalization that only applies to rich people. It’s the ability to move freely around the world.
Going cashless makes it easy for Big Brother. Unlike paper money, electronic payments leave a trail of breadcrumbs for snooping governments.
Alibaba is buying its way into Southeast Asia. By acquiring companies like the online retailer Lazada, it’s taking the easy road to global expansion.
The FBI is offering a reward for stolen Warhols. The bureau will pay $25,000 for information about purloined Campbell’s Soup prints.
Shanghai will dock your credit score if you don’t visit your parents. Parents can also sue their kids for neglect.
“The Hum” is a mysterious noise heard around the world. Several mass murderers have blamed it for their crimes.
Marine algae is the new bubble wrap. The jelly-like substance agar is also used in Asian desserts.
A pirate poet could become Iceland’s new prime minister. Birgitta Jonsdottir of the Pirate Party isn’t sure she wants the job.
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