What to watch for today
G whiz. Top finance officials from the G-7 start their meeting in London, to discuss how to nurture the fragile global economic recovery.
Euro update. German foreign trade data for March are due, as are figures on Italian industrial production.
Busiest day of Japan’s earnings season. Three hundred companies report, including Hitachi, Panasonic and Nissan. Elsewhere, ArcelorMittal and UniCredit have results too.
Green light. Baz Luhrmann’s high-octane interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby opens in US theaters. But you should really read it first.
While you were sleeping
1,000 dead in the Bangladesh factory tragedy. That’s the latest count of the dead, which has risen steadily since the factory building collapsed two weeks ago. A fire at another factory in Dhaka yesterday killed eight. The government has ordered 18 garment factories shut down (paywall). There are some 5,000 in the country.
Sayonara, century mark. The dollar topped ¥100, as Japan’s sharp shift toward easy money policy gathers momentum in the financial markets. The Topix index was headed for its highest close in four and a half years.
Viva Tesla? Shares in Elon Musk’s Tesla soared after a strong earnings report. The company might “opportunistically” raise more capital.
Another good heist story. Charges were unsealed against the crew accused of taking part in the theft of $45 million in cash as part of a series of thousands of coordinated withdrawals from ATM machines in 27 countries.
Buy Nook or by crook. Barnes & Noble shares surged on reports that Microsoft is looking at making a deal for its e-reader business.
Quartz obsession interlude
Tim Fernholz on what the manicure business tells us about the impact of immigration. “While nail-care business might not be the perfect stand-in for all low-income work, it does reflect what economists find more broadly: When new immigrants come, it does mean new competition for similarly-skilled local workers, but the new immigrants may also create opportunities that lead to more investment, which maintains wage growth and leads to economic growth. Indeed, with more immigration, average wages seem to rise, not fall.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
You asked for it. Anti-Japanese riots in China gave birth to Abenomics (paywall).
Wall Street is back. But the fact that American investment banks are dominant again isn’t unalloyed good news.
Libel tourists stranded. Britain finally did the right thing by reforming its embarrassingly stringent libel laws.
Don’t try to get “in the zone.” Winning streaks in sports are pretty much a fiction.
Mussel bound. Hong Kong and Singapore are key shipping ports vulnerable to “marine bioinvasion.”
Stomach-stapling boom. India is one of the fastest-growing markets for bariatric surgery.
Huevos Cruncheros. The economic crunch in Spain is making a lot of young women ready to donate their eggs.
Bandwidth hog. On a normal weeknight, Netflix accounts for almost a third of all internet traffic into North American homes. More than a combined YouTube, Hulu, Amazon.com, HBO Go, iTunes, and BitTorrent.
What part of “one” didn’t you understand? Chinese authorities are investigating claims that celebrity film director Zhang Yimou had six more children than the one-child quota allows.
You can’t print that. A Texas non-profit dedicated to the 3-D printing of firearms yanked blueprints for printable weaponry from its website after being told they could run afoul of the Arms Export Control Act.