Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Fed meeting, trade pacts, big jets, royal baby mania

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What to watch for today

Fed’s monthly meeting starts. The US Federal Reserve will meet amid increasingly fevered speculation about when it will start to “taper”  its $85-billion-a-month asset purchase program. Investors will have to wait till Wednesday for hints in chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech.

Policymaking amidst turmoil. Turkey’s central bank will hold its monetary policy committee meeting. Meanwhile the Turkish government has threatened to use the army to end protests.

Obamamania dies out. President Obama will visit Berlin for the first time since his rousing speech as a candidate in 2008. This time he is unlikely to be treated like a superstar.

Will the good run last? US housing starts and consumer prices for May will be reported. Markets will hope the recent run of strong economic data will continue. The UK too will announce its inflation for May.

Software slump. Adobe will report its second-quarter numbers. Analysts expect the software maker to post a 54% decline in profits. More relaxingly, La-Z-Boy, makers of the iconic reclining chair, is expected to report growth.

While you were sleeping 

No country for whistleblowers. NSA leaker Edward Snowden said in a live online chat that he won’t get a fair trial in the US, but revealed little else new about the agency’s surveillance practices.

The mother of all trade pacts. At the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, President Obama announced that US and EU leaders will start negotiations over an ambitious free-trade agreement next month. The deal is expected to boost both the economies by $100 billion every year.

Google’s founders got their way. Google settled a shareholder lawsuit that clears the way for the issue of a new class of non-voting stock. The Class C shares will give Google’s founders the freedom to make acquisitions without diluting their control.

Big orders for big jets. More than $30 billion worth of orders were placed in three hours on day one of the Paris Air Show, much of them for the wide-bodied Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 aircraft.

Ford to bring back knobs. The carmaker is stepping back from touch-screen interfaces in favor of physical controls. Turns out people want their cars to be like cars, not like smartphones.

Quartz obsession interlude

Josh Meyer on why mobile payments might be the next big conduit for money laundering. “M-payments are most popular in countries with weak laws and enforcement against financial fraud and money-laundering. Customers often need little in the way of identification. The whole process often bypasses a country’s financial reporting system… And because transactions are made via mobile phones and text messages, there’s usually no way to trace them, let alone secure evidence for prosecutions.” Read more here. 

Matters of debate

Nuclear number crunching. The economic case for nuclear power is weak.

Turkish deception. Turkey’s economic growth numbers mask underlying frictions.

Misguided austerity. IMF projections show that fiscal consolidation affects 80% of developing-country citizens.

Dropout nation. Americans entering the workforce today are less educated than those retiring from it.

Move over, Silicon Valley. San Francisco is the new venture capital hub.

Miracle workers. The mysterious ways of online reputation management firms.

Surprising discoveries

China’s drone diplomacy. China may sell discount drones to strengthen its ties to emerging economies.

Royal baby mania! Arrival of the royal heir could give UK’s economy a $400 million boost.

The price of success. The enthusiastic response to a Kickstarter project cost a man his house.

Consequences of legalizing marijuana. Washington state needs to retrain its drug-sniffing dogs.

What every guinea pig needs: hand-made chain-mail armor. You have four days left to bid.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, nuclear power projections, and royal baby memorabilia to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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