🌏 Credit Suisse meets its fate

Plus: Xi Jinping heads to Moscow
Taken over

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Here’s what you need to know

UBS agreed to buy Credit Suisse for more than $3 billion. The all-share deal was more than triple UBS’s initial offer, but it still came at a hefty discount to Credit Suisse’s $8 billion market value on Friday. Meanwhile, $17 billion of Credit Suisse parent company bonds are now worthless.

Macron faces the music. The French National Assembly is expected to vote today on no-confidence motions filed in the wake of president Emmanuel Macron’s protest-sparking decision to bypass parliament and raise the state pension age. The votes are not likely to pass.

China Evergrande neared an agreement with creditors. Ahead of a 9:30am court hearing in Hong Kong, a group of bondholders indicated support for a restructuring of the developer’s offshore debt. Bloomberg notes a deal could stave off a court-ordered asset liquidation.

Silicon Valley Bank was warned by BlackRock consultants about its risk controls. The Financial Times says the now-failed bank got a “gentleman’s C” in a 2022 report showing substantial deficiencies.


What to watch for

Xi Jinping is in Moscow this week for talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The Chinese leader, who reportedly intends to act as a neutral peace broker on Ukraine, isn’t expected to make much progress on that front. But after a 20% surge in trade between Russia and China in January and February, economic cooperation is likely to dominate the agenda anyway.


Staying liquid

The Federal Reserve’s discount window is always open to eligible banks needing extra liquidity—but some weeks are busier than others. In the seven days ended March 15, which includes Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse and the immediate aftermath, banks borrowed $152 billion. Adjusting for inflation, the weekly highs in 2008 and 2023 look remarkably similar.

A charts shows spikes in Fed discount window lending to banks in October 2008 and March 2023
Graphic: Quartz

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Surprising discoveries

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A new building material designed for Mars habitats is twice as strong as concrete. “StarCrete” is made from potato starch and salt mixed with extraterrestrial dust.

Venus was recently volcanic. A scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks compared radar imagery from an old space probe to make the find.

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🎧 Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | Stitcher


Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, Swiss bank deals, Fed loan data, and extraterrestrial dust to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Heather Landy, Julia Malleck, and Susan Howson.