Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Bitcoin futures. They officially begin trading on the CBOE Futures Exchange at 6pm Sunday in New York (7am Monday in Hong Kong) and are tied to the digital currency’s auction price in US dollars on Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ Gemini Exchange. Cue the skeptics.
Uber’s appeal to ride in London. The troubled company gets a hearing over Transport for London’s refusal to renew its license. Then next week, the European Court of Justice decides whether Uber is a technology company or a transport company; the latter ruling will determine whether Uber is bound by strict local taxi regulations.
A huge day for online shopping. Ebay is credited with coining the phrase “Green Monday” 10 years ago, marking the day when consumers rushed in their orders to safely ensure delivery by the Christmas holiday. In 2016, online sales on Green Monday reached a record $1.6 billion. It seems a certainty they’ll eclipse that this year.
Over the weekend
JPMorgan Chase landed a new leader for its red-hot Sapphire Reserve card. Matthew Massaua was recruited away from Barclays’ credit-card division and begins his new role on Jan. 1, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). He succeeds Lisa Walker, who is switching to a new role within JPMorgan’s card business, the paper reports. Sapphire cards have been a hit with millennials, who are happy to fork over an annual fee in exchange for generous travel rewards and other coveted perks—even if there are better cards out there.
The New York Times delved deep into the daily routines of Donald Trump. Based on interviews with 60 advisers, associates, and members of Congress, the paper paints the portrait of a president who rises early and watches hours of news on morning television. Then there’s the tweeting, the many phone calls to his chief of staff, and the Diet Cokes—as many as a dozen cans in a day.
Mexico’s main opposition leader resigned. National Action Party leader Ricardo Anaya is expected to launch a 2018 presidential bid to run against the party of Enrique Peña Nieto, which is now running in third place in some polls. The primary campaigns begin Dec. 14.
BAE Systems won a $6.7 billion contract for its Typhoon combat aircraft. The lucky buyer is Qatar. At a contract-signing ceremony in Doha, British defense minister Gavin Williamson called the deal a “massive vote of confidence, supporting thousands of British jobs and injecting billions into our economy.” Delivery is scheduled for 2022.
More violence in Jerusalem and Beirut. On Sunday, a Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli security guard at Jerusalem’s main bus station, while in Beirut, local security forces fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters near the US embassy. The violence adds to the tension in the days since US president Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Quartz obsession interlude
Preeti Varathan and Dan Kopf on the many languages of India spoken in America. The US Census Bureau is now taking stock of just how many people in the US speak Tamil—along with Punjabi, Telugu, and Bengali. Historically, the way the US census tracked South Asians was messy and often inaccurate—not tracking them at all or confusing them for white. But their ranks in the US have been growing. Read more here.
Matters of debate
Professional managers are “bozos.” So argued Steve Jobs when he laid out the difference between leading and managing.
A big decision by Brown University sends a message to other top schools. Down with student loans.
Stock options can be a double-edged sword. Just ask former employees of Uber who’ve gone into debt to hang onto their shares.
Google was partly born out of CIA and NSA research grants for mass surveillance. It’s not usually part of the search giant’s origin story.
Silicon Valley firms are hiring models to act as guests at their holiday parties. It’s one way to solve a gender imbalance.
Early humans migrated out of Africa much earlier than we thought. Anthropologists suggest the dispersal of early humans followed a complex path.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics mascot will be chosen by children. A raccoon, a cat, two foxes, and a pair of amiable aliens are in a heated race for their favor.
The woman who wrote the screenplay for the 1980 hit film “9 to 5” didn’t always get credit for it. She got overshadowed by a man.
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