Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Same-sex marriage, Buffett’s bet, Dijsselbloem dissenters, shopaholism

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What to watch for today

Same-sex SCOTUS, round two.  The Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) hears its second day of arguments on same-sex marriage. Rulings aren’t expected before late June.

UK GDP. The final reading on fourth-quarter GDP growth in Britain is expected to reiterate that the UK economy is flirting with a triple-dip recession, albeit a shallow one. (If GDP falls this quarter too, a recession will be official.) The Brits shouldn’t feel bad: France is in the same boat.

Chinese financial sector earnings continue. Earnings updates are due from CITIC Securities and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, among others.

Extreme exertion in Cyprus. The head of the Central Bank says a “superhuman effort“ is being made to ensure Cypriot banks will open on Thursday.

While you were sleeping

Same-sex SCOTUS, round one. The court heard the first day of argument over same-sex marriage. Outside, protestors protested, sometimes with funny signs.

Warren Buffett went long Goldman. The Wall Street bank reached a deal with the Oracle of Omaha, converting his gain on in-the-money warrants into actual shares of the bank, making Buffett’s Berkshire a large shareholder in the firm. With paper gains on the warrants, Buffett is up a cool $3.1 billion, or 62%, on his $5 billion crisis-era bet on Goldman.

Dissenting with Dijsselbloem. European politicians took pains to explain that the painful deal keep Cypriot banks from collapsing wasn’t a “template” for anything, no matter what the Dutch finance minister says in a moment of careless honesty. Oh, and it’s “DAI-sell-bloom.”

Rising expectations for KurodaThe incoming Bank of Japan chief said he was ready for bold new moves, such as buying longer-term government bonds, as the Japanese central bank readies a Bernanke-style aggressive push against deflation.

US housing kept on trucking. S&P/Case-Shiller’s 20-city index was up 8.1% in January versus the prior year.

Quartz obsession interlude

Christopher Mims explains why Apple is breaking up its supply-chain marriage with Samsung. “Ever since the launch of Samsung’s line of Android smartphones, Apple’s executives must have known that this nasty split was coming. But setting up supply chains of the scale required to satisfy Apple’s global market—not to mention finding suppliers with enough capacity—is hard enough that it’s taken this long to make the shift complete.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Countries aren’t companies. So stop talking about them being “insolvent.”

Yahoo shouldn’t have bought Summly. Paying $30 million for the app was done dumbly.

China’s trade with Africa isn’t neocolonialism. It’s just business.

There may be a real estate bubble in Switzerland.

Hugh Hefner has a perfect life. A portrait of the silk-pajama’ed Playboy.

Talk about wasted youth. Millennials are risk averse when it comes to sex, drugs and alcohol.

Surprising discoveries

You can turn Microsoft Excel into a role-playing game.

How to spend $587,412.97 on Gucci. The author of Friday Night Lights, a best-selling tale of Texas high school football, reveals his shopaholic cravings.

North Korea’s spokesman to the West is a Spaniard. He used to work as an IT consultant in Pamplona.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Hugh Hefner stories and Gucci receipts to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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