Quartz Daily Brief—Americas Edition—Dell dealings, top ABB departure, yen dive, marauding shellfish

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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.

More maneuvering in the Dell buyout saga. Billionaire Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management proposed to the computer maker’s board that investors keep their stock and get $12 in cash or newly issued Dell stock for each share they hold. The two hold 13% of the company and are trying to thwart the $24.4 billion buyout plan led by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management.

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 

Sayonara, century mark. The dollar hit 101.43, a four-year high against the yen, as Japan’s sharp shift toward easy money policy gathers momentum in the financial markets. The yen has fallen more than 20% against the dollar in the last six months.

ABB’s chief unexpectedly announced his departure. The Swiss conglomerate said CEO Joe Hogan was leaving for “private reasons.” Since taking over in 2008, Hogan has overseen a growth-through-acquisitions strategy that has involved $20 billion in purchases and investments, and major expansion in the US.

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.

ArcelorMittal reported a $345 million quarterly loss. The world’s largest steelmaker has been facing depressed demand. But its sales were up from the previous quarter, and the company forecast further improvement ahead.

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.

Surprising discoveries

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,, 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.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, marauding shellfish, and printable weapon designs to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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