Quartz Daily Brief—Europe Edition—Tesla’s turning a profit, Britain avoids another dip, in Venezuela veritas

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What to watch for today

A surprise from Tesla. The electric car-maker says it will be profitable in the first quarter of 2013, and CEO Elon Musk promises a surprise announcement today. We think other automakers should pay attention.

Wanted: a successor to Hugo Chávez. Must be divinely ordained. Campaigning opens today for Venezuela’s April 14 presidential election. Most observers expect vice president Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s hand-picked successor, to win. Let’s go to Maduro for a comment: ”All of the prophecies of Hugo Chávez, the prophet of Christ on this earth, have come true.” OK, then.

Cyprus’ stock exchange re-opens. For the first time in two weeks, traders will go to work at Cyprus’ stock exchange, although capital controls will make it tough to get any earnings off the island.

Australia kept interest rates at historic lows. There are plenty of reasons to be dubious about its recovery.

Also today: Germany takes in its latest inflation measure, and the euro zone reports unemployment and manufacturing data.

While you were sleeping

Taiwan allowed greater Chinese investment in its banks. Chinese banks can now own up to 20% of some Taiwanese institutions, signaling closer ties.

Shinzo Abe injected a dose of reality into his 2% inflation target. It’s a priority, the Japanese prime minister said, but it is far from guaranteed: ”The economy is a living thing and we don’t know what will happen around the world.”

No triple dip recession for Britain. At least that’s what the British Chamber of Commerce forecasts.

Indonesia’s Lion Air revealed audacious expansion plans. With 559 aircraft still to be delivered, it aims to have 1,000 planes within ten years.

All eyes on slowing PMI. US stocks fell after factory managers reported the slowest growth in the last three months, part of a global trend. Is this the spring slowdown some economists expect?

China got Apple to apologize for bad customer service. Another thing Steve Jobs never would have done. 

Canada announced a new visa for entrepreneurs. America’s loss is Canada’s gain.

Argentina’s stand-off continued. Markets fretted about a possible default and sent bond prices falling after the country appeared to defy a US court.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on what Cyprus’ failed banks have in common with the rest of the world: A lack of capital. “‘Here is a sort of “stress test” I would like to run: Can the banks raise new equity? Let them go to the market and see whether investors will give them money in exchange for new shares, not at a price that the banks like, but any price,’ [Stanford University economist Anat] Admati says.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Drop your BRICs. The emerging markets are submerging, so it’s time for a new global investment strategy.

Should China keep standing by rogue North Korea? An influential Chinese journalist was suspended for suggesting as much.

Capitalism can only exist in a government framework. Wait, we’re really debating this?

London is still the world’s financial capital. But Hong Kong and Singapore (paywall) are putting pressure on The City and second-place New York.

There’s a mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures. And it is among the biggest puzzles in climate science.

Surprising discoveries

The New York Times is full of “serendipitous poetry”. Journalism as haiku.

Who runs Karachi’s gambling dens? Wait, a cop?

William Shakespeare would fit in on Wall Street today. He dodged taxes and stockpiled grain to sell at inflated prices.

The world’s largest tub of ice cream… in Iran? We don’t think this one’s an April Fools Day joke.  

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