Weekend edition—How to report #Trump, #Duterte’s secret weapon, millennial marketing

Good morning, Quartz readers!

US presidents used to project dignity and gravitas. They watched what they said. They left their dirty work to their underlings. Despite what we now know about what really happens in the White House—from Kennedy’s mistresses to Nixon’s raging paranoia—Americans could take some comfort in the outward solemnity of the institution.

In the Age of Trump, the protocols are being rewritten. From unhinged early-morning tweets to loopy phone calls with foreign leaders and the reality-TV-style contest for the job of secretary of State, it’s a sprawling mess. Moreover, getting elected hasn’t diminished Trump’s penchant for telling shameless and very big lies, such as his claim that millions of people voted illegally, or that the murder rate is rising sharply (it’s been falling steadily for years).

As destabilizing as this may be for most people, it’s completely unmoored the press. Once, everything a president would say was considered news; anything that hinted at an opinion would be carefully dissected. But what happens when the president is a gushing firehouse of ill-considered polemics and outright falsehoods? For the first time, serious people in the media are suggesting the responsible way to cover Trump is simply to ignore a lot of what he says, and focus more attention instead on what his administration does. Others counter that shrugging off his ravings isletting him off the hook.

This problem will become even more acute as outrage fatigue sets in. Trump will not tire of repeating lies, but people will tire of reading stories pointing them out. Is it just a matter of stamina? When half the nation (or more!) believes that no reporting on Trump can be trusted, and where “post-truth” has entered the lexicon, what’s the role of the media? Maybe the best we can do is turn on the cameras and let them run, so that like spectators at a Nascar race, people will watch, if only to see the inevitable crash.—Oliver Staley

Note: We forgot to name the author of last week’s essay on the economics of populism; it was Eshe Nelson.


Rodrigo Duterte’s secret weapon: Filipinos abroad. The bloodthirsty, autocratic president has an adoring fan base among the Philippines’ large contingent of overseas workers, who say he is the first president to care about their problems. Therese Reyes and Isabella Steiger talk to a group of workers in Hong Kong about his popularity.

How Shoprite won Africa. The South African supermarket chain has become the continent’s biggest retailer by betting on the growing middle class. Lynsey Chutel examines the strategy that has allowed it to succeed where other chains have struggled.

A company playbook for millennial marketing. Traditional cosmetics companies make the cosmetics, then find slick ways to advertise and market them. Glossier has done it backwards—a beauty blog that morphed into a products company, in which the homespun editorial content and the cosmetics themselves are tightly intertwined. Jenni Avins explains how its fiercely loyal readers, the “Glossier Girls,” became its most powerful sales force.

How Rwanda is weaning itself off secondhand clothes. In her third report in a series on the Rwanda-China relationship, Lily Kuo explains how the African country is importing Chinese textile companies to reduce its reliance on chagua, hand-me-down clothing from the West, and to give its own economy a fillip.

The Quartz advent calendar. We’ve kicked off a countdown to Christmas, with a new story every day on the business of gift-giving. Start with Jason Karaian’s charts on the world’s most avid shoppersand Michael Tabb’s spooky video on the dark and violent history of gingerbread cookies.


We now offer a Flash Briefing for the Amazon Echo. Click here to add the Quartz skill, or search for it in the Alexa app. Then try asking, “Alexa, what’s the news?” for the latest from Quartz and other sources.


The tentacles of Trump, Inc. As the president-elect promises to separate himself from his businesses, the New York Times offers a thorough guide to the potential conflicts of interest and awkward questions about his investments in countries around the world. Less detailed on the conflicts, but easier to navigate is Bloomberg’sinteractive guide to his assets.

Where Colombia’s peace process came unstuck. Many things were blamed for the voters’ surprise rejection of the peace deal with the FARC in October’s referendum. But underlying them all, explains Juan Diego Prieto in n+1, was the power of the land-owning elites, whose desire to keep their influence has contributed to Colombia’s inequality and helped fuel the conflict in the first place.

How we became “consumers.” Just like romantic marriage, consumption as the basis of economic activity is a concept that we take for granted but in fact didn’t really get going until the 19th century. Frank Trentmann in the Atlantic explains how trade, mass production, world war and other innovations created our modern, buying-obsessed society.

Trust the process. Chris Ballard’s profile of fired basketball executive Sam Hinkie in Sports Illustrated is no mere portrait of loss and redemption. It’s a story of how human expectations clash with the data-driven workplaces of the future, and what happens when leaders try to refresh a stagnant corporate culture, with some machine-learning alarmism thrown in.

Meet the friendly AI that loves cat pictures. Sometimes it’s fiction that explains reality best. Naomi Kritzer won the 2016 Hugo Award for best short story with this tale of an AI that learns of its powers to… Well, we’re not going to give the end away. Let’s just say it uncomfortably exposes how much privacy we’ve given up to live in the modern world.

Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, Duterte fan mail, and cat pictures tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

CWS Market Review – December 2, 2016

CWS Market Review

December 2, 2016
“The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.”
– Jason Zweig

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. On Wall Street, the market gods appear to be thankful for the “Trump Rally,” which continues to roll on. On Thursday, the Dow Industrials closed at yet another all-time high. Over the summer, I said on CNBC that the Dow could hit 20,000 before the end of the year. Brian Sullivan said he should start calling me, Eddy Elfenbull. Now 20,000 doesn’t seem quite so far away.

This is an interesting rally because it’s highly selective. This is an important point investors need to understand. Bonds, for example, have been left behind. During the month of November, the global bond market lost an astounding $1.7 trillion. All across the globe, investors are shifting their assets towards areas of growth. Or perhaps I should say, “towards areas believed to offer prospects for growth.”

In this issue, I’ll tell you what it all means. I’ll also survey some of the recent economic data. As I’ve been saying, the case for modest optimism for the economy continues to be strong. I’ll also bring you up to speed on our Buy List stocks. Remember that I’ll unveil the 2017 Buy List in three weeks. Before we get to that, let’s look at what’s driving the Trump Rally.

The Trump Rally Rolls on

Over a three-week span ending on the Friday following Thanksgiving, the S&P 500 vaulted more than 6.1%. Like the election itself, this was almost completely unexpected. What’s happened is that investors are sharply favoring areas based on robust economic growth. This move is mirrored by a shunning of conservative, income-based assets.

I’ll give you a good example. Over the summer, the Consumer Staples ETF (XLP) reached an all-time high of $56 per share. I love many consumer-staple stocks (like Hormel Foods), but these are areas that tend to flourish when folks get nervous about the economy. After all, when the economy gets weak, people cut back on vacations, not on soap. On Thursday, the XLP closed at $50.25 per share. That’s a 10% drop in a few months during a largely bullish overall market.

On the flip side, banks and financial stocks have been doing very well. Since November 4, the Financial Sector ETF (XLF) is up 17.5%. That’s a huge move for less than one month’s work, but it makes perfect sense. Banks love to see a resurgent economy because it means fewer bum loans. It also means wider yield spreads, which is how the banks make ends meet.

I always think it’s interesting to look at how small-cap stocks are performing. Smaller companies tend to be skewed toward domestic manufacturers. That’s because there aren’t many small-cap conglomerates. The Russell 2000, which is a small-cap index, rallied for 15 days in a row. From November 3 to 25, the index added 16.5%. I think this is clearly a positive omen for the industrial sector. Sure enough, the recent data confirm this. On Thursday, the ISM Manufacturing Index came in at 53.2, compared to 51.8 for October. Any number above 50 means the factory sector of the economy is growing.

Perhaps the best economic news we had this week was the Q3 GDP revision. Now I should add that this is a bit of old news, since it deals with the third quarter. Still, we learned that the economy grew by 3.2% during Q3. That’s an upward revision of 0.3%, and it means that last quarter was the U.S. economy’s best in two years.

What about for Q4? That’s hard to say just yet, but we had strong income and spending reports for October. On Wednesday, the government said that personal income rose 0.6% during October. Consumer spending rose by 0.3%, and the figure for September was revised up to 0.7%. That Atlanta Fed now projects that the economy will grow by 2.9% in Q4. Again, I want to be cautious. The economic news is looking better, but we still have a long way to go.

I also have to mention that surprising OPEC news. Apparently, the oil cartel isn’t dead just yet. The always-bickering members actually agreed on a production cut. I was pretty impressed they were able to do that. Of course, who knows how long it will last, or if the members will abide by it.

Still, they’re all smiles now, and the price of oil jumped to $51 per barrel. (To be fair, it’s merely back to where it was a few weeks ago.) Energy stocks, in particular, loved the news. From May 2014 to January 2016, the Energy Sector (XLE) dropped in half. It’s now made back about half what it lost.

The long end of the bond market has been in rough shape, as yields have climbed steadily higher. In fact, Thursday’s closing yield for some points of the yield curve was the highest in years. The five-year had its highest closing yield (1.90%) since 2011. For the three-year (1.45%), it was the highest since 2010.

Mostly this is a good thing, since it’s shaking money from the bond market, and that money is finding a new home in the stock market. I don’t expect yields to rise too high. The Fed will almost certainly raise interest rates again later this month. After that, they’ll probably hold off for awhile. Prices still seem quite tame.

Overall, this is an ideal time to be a stock investor. The economy is getting stronger. Inflation is low. Rates are only beginning to move higher. The earnings picture is getting much better. My advice to investors is to remain concentrated in a portfolio of high-quality stocks such as you’ll find on our Buy List. They don’t get much more high-quality than our favorite Spam maker and its amazing dividend streak.

Hormel Raised Its Dividend for the 51st Year in a Row

Last week, Hormel Foods (HRL) reported fiscal Q4 earnings of 45 cents per share, which matched Wall Street’s consensus. That’s a nice 22% increase over last, and quarterly revenues rose 9% to $2.63 billion, beating estimates.

“We had a strong finish to fiscal 2016, achieving record earnings for the fourteenth consecutive quarter,” said Jim Snee, president and chief executive officer. “Three of our five business segments delivered sales, volume, and earnings growth, again demonstrating our balanced business model. Refrigerated Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store both had excellent quarters, with growth coming from value-added, branded products and improved market conditions. Grocery Products enjoyed a strong quarter aided by the inclusion of the JUSTIN’S® specialty nut butter business in addition to strong results from SPAM® luncheon meat and SKIPPY® peanut butter,” Snee said.

“Specialty Foods sales declined, primarily due to the divestiture of Diamond Crystal Brands in May, while sales of MUSCLE MILK® protein products were strong,” mentioned Snee. “Specialty Foods earnings decreased primarily due to increased advertising. Our International segment had a tough quarter as the team continues to work through challenging market conditions in China.”

The Spam maker wrapped up a great year. For 2016, Hormel earned $1.64 per share, compared with $1.32 last year. Hormel also gave 2017 guidance of $1.68 to $1.74 per share. Wall Street had been expecting $1.68 per share.

Hormel also raised its quarterly dividend by 17% to 17 cents per share. That brings its full-year dividend to 68 cents per share. Based on Thursday’s close, that gives the stock a yield of just over 2%. This is Hormel’s 51st annual dividend increase. That’s one of the longest streaks around.

Like other consumer staples, Hormel has been a bit weak lately, but that doesn’t concern me. This week, I’m going to lower my Buy Below on Hormel to $37 per share.

Buy List Updates

Earlier this week, Elliott Management sent a letter to Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH) outlining how the company can boost its stock. Elliott said Cognizant could be between $80 and $90 per share by the end of next year. That’s up from $54 right now. You can read the full letter here.

For now, I’ll reserve comment on Elliott’s letter. I will note that many of their criticisms strike me as compliments. They think the company too conservative, with too much cash and too little debt. As I read their letter, I kept thinking to myself, “exactly, that’s why I like CTSH!”

At least the letter gave a nice shot to the share. Cognizant remains a buy up to $57 per share.

Wabtec (WAB) finally completed its merger with Faiveley Transport. The deal cost $1.7 billion. Faiveley has annual sales of $1.2 billion.

Raymond T. Betler, Wabtec’s president and chief executive officer, said: “Our combination with Faiveley Transport brings Wabtec many complementary products, a strong presence in the European and Asia Pacific transit industries, and solid relationships with blue-chip, global customers. Together, we will be a more efficient global competitor, with a focus on technology, quality and customer service, and a singular mission: to help customers improve their safety, productivity, and efficiency.”

Wabtec also updated its guidance. Excluding charges, the company expects to have earnings of $3.95 to $4 per share for 2016. For 2017, WAB expects earnings growth of 8%, excluding charges. Wabtec is a good example of a good company that’s operating well in a terrible environment. I still like this stock a lot. I’m lifting my Buy Below on Wabtec to $90 per share.

Shares of Ford Motor (F) jumped nearly 4% on Thursday after a good sales report for November. At one point, Ford was up 7% on the day. The automaker saw its sales rise 5.2% last month. Ford sold 197,574 vehicles, including more than 72,00 trucks. Higher oil prices could help Ford, since the shift to aluminum bodies was designed to be more fuel efficient. Ford remains a buy up to $13 per share.

We only have two Buy List earnings reports this month. HEICO (HEI) is due to report on December 13. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) will report on December 21.

That’s all for now. The November jobs report is due out later this morning, but it won’t have any impact the Fed’s plans for later this month. Next week will be fairly quiet as far as economic reports are concerned. The productivity report comes out on Tuesday. Consumer credit is on Wednesday. Perhaps the biggest news next week will be the European Central Bank meeting on December 8. The ECB will decide on more stimulus. A lot of folks will be watching this closely. Be sure to keep checking the blog for daily updates. I’ll have more market analysis for you in the next issue of CWS Market Review!

– Eddy

P.S. Here’s a video of my appearance on CNBC’s “Halftime Report.”

Named by CNN/Money as the best buy-and-hold blogger, Eddy Elfenbein is the editor of Crossing Wall Street. His free Buy List has beaten the S&P 500 eight times in the last nine years. This email was sent by Eddy Elfenbein through Crossing Wall Street.
2223 Ontario Road NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA

#Hollande bows out, #Trump’s defense secretary, kindergarten moose butchers

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Please check out 25 Days of Exchange—a new interactive calendar from Quartz with stories on the origins, innovations, and economics of our global gift-giving traditions. You can also sign up here to receive a daily SMS holiday gift.


Europe goes to the polls. Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has staked his political career on a referendum that would make it easier to pass government reforms—especially his plan to rescue the country’s banking system. In Austria, a far-right, anti-immigrant presidential candidate is running neck-and-neck against a former Green Party leader.

The US jobs report. The closely watched November figures are expected to show the economy added 181,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9%.

India closes a demonetization loophole. Gas stations and airline counters, which were given a temporary exemption, will no longer recognize the discontinued Rs500 notes, as the government continues its attempt to squelch the shadow economy.


François Hollande said he would not seek another term. That makes him the first French president since 1958 to not run for re-election. Hollande is deeply unpopular after a string of terrorists attacks and worsening unemployment.

Donald Trump picked his defense secretary. The US president-elect named James “Mad Dog” Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general, to the post. Mattis, 66, oversaw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2010 to 2013 as the head of US Central Command. Among his controversial statements is “It’s fun to shoot some people,” made in reference to fighting the Taliban.

Twitter bought a little-known startup and made its CEO the head of its product team. Keith Coleman will shut down the two mobile apps his venture Yes was running—one for sharing status updates and the other for making plans with friends—to tackle one of the toughest jobs in Silicon Valley. Twitter has struggled to make money and grow its user base.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is stepping down. The longtime leader of the chain will remain as chairman, but will focus on a plan to open high-end coffee shops to compete with hipster cafes. COO Kevin Johnson, a tech industry veteran with experience at Microsoft, will become the new CEO.

An unmanned Russian spacecraft failed. It was carrying supplies to the International Space Station when it lost contact with mission control and burned up over the sparsely populated mountains of southern Siberia. The ISS crew should be fine—another supply ship will launch next week—but the incident will cast doubt upon the reliability of Russia’s rockets.


Tim Fernholz on why Donald Trump’s deal for American jobs doesn’t look so good in the light of day: “To solve the US jobs problem, broader solutions will be needed, from education to infrastructure to, yes, sensible corporate tax reform. So far, Trump’s deal-making skills in this arena appear to be mostly giving corporations what they want; in this case, cash out of the public coffers.” Read more here.


Days are getting short
And nights are long. It’s darkest
For treasury bonds.


The fear of AI is actually a fear of human irrelevance. We’re not really worried about robots killing us—we’re scared of each other.

The antidote to fake news is good design. People made these systems, and people can correct them.

Forcing people to stand up for a national anthem isn’t patriotism. Especially when it comes at the cost of individual expression.


Mushrooms are magic at treating depression and anxiety. One dose of the hallucinogen psilocybin helped distressed cancer patients for months.

US maternity leave policies hurt high-paid US white women the most. They lose 10% of wage per kid, compared with 4.7% for those with lower incomes.

There’s a beauty pageant for new banknotes. One of the contenders for this year’s contest is Australia’s “clown puke” $5 bill, which Aussies don’t like much.

Trees may actually increase urban pollution. Leaves and branches can slow air currents and cause pollutants to settle.

In Alaska, kindergarteners are learning to butcher moose.Students across all years are being equipped with life skills to survive in the wilderness.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, banknotes, and moose steaks to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our app for iPhone (and, as of today, for Android!).

Surging oil prices, #Nintendo’s big hits, better space diapers

Good morning, Quartz readers!


China hits luxury car buyers with a 10% tax. Chinese residents with deep pockets and a predilection for Ferraris and Bentleys will have to stretch a little further: The government is hiking taxes on autos worth more than $189,000.

US automakers release November sales. They dropped 6% in October, but Black Friday buying should bring a boost, as carmakers look for another year of record sales.

Wisconsin starts its presidential recount. Green party candidate Jill Stein requested the reexamination of ballots, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign is also taking part, even though almost no one expects the result to change. Stein is also demanding a recount in Michigan, which Donald Trump also won by a narrow margin.


5G: satisfying our need for speed. Over the next five years, global mobile data traffic is expected to increase by 827%. 5G is expected to provide service and support for almost real-time use cases.Barclays’ infographic explains the impacts and opportunities.


Oil prices surged. Setting new records for trading volume, pricesjumped more than 12%. That followed OPEC surprising industry observers by agreeing to its first oil output reduction since 2008. Analysts warned prices could recede as other producers, including US shale drillers, stand by to fill the gap.

China’s factory activity picked up more than expected. The official manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to 51.7 in November, beating estimates and up from 51.2 the month before. The sector has been helped by a housing boom and a government spending spree on infrastructure.

Nintendo reported sales records. In less than two weeks, the new games Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon sold a combined total of 3.7 million units for the 3DS game system. That makes them easily the company’s fastest-selling titles ever. Nintendo is enjoying a rebound following its surprise hit Pokémon Go, an augmented-reality game released this summer.

Trump’s new treasury secretary set his sights on bank regulation. Steven Mnuchin, a hedge fund boss and former Goldman Sachs partner, said he would “strip back” legislation enacted after the financial meltdown. He also aims to privatizemortgage finance companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.


Max de Haldevang on Donald Trump’s attempts to resolve his conflicts of interest: “His empire is just too sprawling, his web of connections too extensive, for him to take himself completely out of the firing line in the short period between election and inauguration. A better question is whether he can do it over the course of a four-year term.” Read more here.


So touching: Iran
and Saudis overcome their rift
to make more money


Facebook shouldn’t fact-check the news. Giving the company editorial power would be “unprecedented and dangerous” (paywall).

China’s sex education failures are a catastrophe. The country has skyrocketing HIV transmission rates.

An entire global generation has lost faith in democracy.Millennials are increasingly open to military rule.


Fidel Castro moonlighted as Gabriel García Márquez’s editor.He regularly reviewed the author’s manuscripts.

The vice president of Afghanistan assaulted a rival at a sporting event. Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum is still reportedlyholding Ahmad Ishchi on his compound (paywall).

Space travel requires a better astronaut diaper. NASA is offering a $30K prize for a device to collect urine and feces over a six-day period.

A backup copy of the internet is moving to Canada. The Internet Archive is wary of the next American president.

You’ll soon be able to get high on Hunter S. Thompson’s favorite weed. His widow extracted DNA from his preferred strains.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space diapers, and gonzo ganja to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.

#Trump’s treasury pick, #OPEC’s fractious meeting, #Britain’s beefy banknote

Good morning, Quartz readers!


OPEC members fight over who will cut back on oil production.Kingmaker Saudi Arabia is under pressure to reduce its output at the Vienna meeting, but the de facto leader wants Russia, Iran, and Iraq to hold back instead. Crude oil prices fell 4% on doubts that a deal could be reached.

UK banks are under the microscope. The Bank of England willpublish stress test results for Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered, and the UK arm of Spanish bank Santander.

The UN security council votes on tighter sanctions against North Korea. Expected to pass, the measure would limit the nation’s coal exports to China and reduce the regime’s access to hard cash. It comes in response to a nuclear test conducted in early September.


Donald Trump filled more cabinet spots. He reportedly chose Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund manager, for treasury secretary. Other picks included Obamacare critic Tom Price as the health secretary and Elaine Chao, previously with the Bush administration, as the transportation secretary.

Protestors demanding a higher minimum wage were arrested in rallies across the US. Organized by the Fight for $15 campaign,they gathered on the streets, at fast-food outlets, and at airports. Police in New York, Los Angeles, and Oakland each reported dozens of arrests associated with the “Day of Disruption” rallies.

Brazil’s senate approved a cap on federal spending. Leftist opposition said the measure, a constitutional amendment proposed by president Michel Temer, would cripple education and health services. Outside of congress thousands of protestors called for Temer’s ouster and rallied against the bill, which is expected to easily clear a second and final senate vote on Dec. 13.

ISIL took responsibility for the lone wolf attack at Ohio State.The terrorist group described Abdul Razak Ali Artan as one of its soldiers via its internal news agency. The Somali immigrant, who attempted to run over pedestrians with a car and stabbed bystanders on Monday, was shot dead by a police officer.


Kevin Delaney on how things get weird when a startup hits 150 employees. “In retrospect, it’s easy to see why our flat management structure, with limited hierarchical levels and consensus-based decision-making, ceased being as effective as it once was… While we had heard some of these concerns earlier, they really came to a head as the company reached 150 people.” Read more here.


Narendra Modi’s so-called “demonetization” is cruel and wrong. Pulling India’s banknotes really amounts to expropriation, and hits the poor while doing little to stop corruption.

Google is trying to reshape geopolitics. Its Jigsaw incubatorwants to be politically neutral while also assisting activists and journalists.

Second-tier athletes are treated like serfs. Almost half of professional soccer players make less than $1,000 per month during punishing, short-lived careers.


The UK’s new £5 note is made with animal fat. Vegetarians and some religious groups are outraged.

Estonia’s military travels with pop-up saunas. Until recently, soldiers were required to take at least one sauna a week (paywall).

Half the world’s adult population owns less than $2,300 in wealth. And 73% have less than $10,000, according to Credit Suisse researchers.

The world’s oldest living person lives on raw eggs. Italy’s Emma Morano, 117, has two per day, “and that’s it,” she says. “And cookies.”

Canadian drunk drivers may be punished with Nickelback.They’ll be forced to listen to the world’s most hated band on the way to jail.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, sauna regimens, and Nickelback songs to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.

#Uber in EU court, #Samsung restructuring, fake news vs. Lincoln

court. The ride-hailing giant will argue that it is a digital service and not a transport company—a crucial distinction that will determine how Uber is regulated. The company has been struggling to find its footing in the EU, amid opposition from local taxi operators.

Brazil’s senate votes on a constitutional amendment that would cap government spending. The bill is a cornerstone of president Michel Temer’s effort to boost confidence in Latin America’s largest economy. It would limit spending in inflation-adjusted terms for as long as 20 years.

An update on the US economy. The commerce department will release revised third-quarter GDP data (pdf). The economy is expected to have increased at a 3% annual rate after expanding at a 2.9% pace in the second quarter.


ESG investing: what’s the impact? A new study shows a positive link between high-ESG corporate bond portfolios and performance, dispelling the myth that doing good for the planet is a negative investment. Barclays’ infographic explains.


Samsung Electronics said it’s considering splitting in two.Activist investor Elliott Management called for the move in October, arguing that dividing into a holding firm and an operational company would improve corporate governance and unlock shareholder value. The holding firm would become the main ownership vehicle (paywall) for the family of Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee.

Ohio State University students were warned to “run, hide, fight” during a rampage. A suspect identified as student Abdul Razak Ali Artan sent 11 people to the hospital after driving his car into a crowd and stabbing people with a butcher knife. He was then killed by a police officer. The “run, hide, fight” protocol is now in place at many US schools.

Time Inc. spurned a billionaire’s takeover bid. Investor Edgar Bronfman Jr., a former chief executive of Warner Music Group, led a $1.78 billion offer for the magazine publisher, according to the New York Post. Time Inc’s shares surged 18% on the news.

A new contestant entered Trump’s secretary of state pageant.The president-elect met with David Petraeus, a former CIA director who was forced to resign after sharing classified documents during an extramarital affair. Mitt Romney, another contender, has been the target of a fierce lobbying campaign by Trump staffers opposed to his selection.


Adam Epstein on why TV shows like “Westworld” cannot outsmart the internet. “In the age of social media, TV writers have to cater to the casual, socially unengaged viewer while simultaneously servicing the diehards who share theories and devour every scrap of content related to the show. From inside that kind of internet bubble, a show can look entirely predictable—even if it still offers the average viewer plenty of surprises.” Read more here. (Spoiler alert!)


Investors calm down
and get ready to worry
about Italy.


Humans should colonize Saturn’s largest moon. Titan has aprotective atmosphere like Earth, though colonists would still require oxygen and a very warm jacket.

Students are more than just test scores. Successful Singaporeans are sharing their terrible results to help stressed-out kids.

Donald Trump has the best argument for a recount. He says the democracy that elected him is a sham.


Bitcoin is a lifeline in Venezuela’s faltering economy. Locals aremining the crypto-currency with the help of state-subsidized electricity.

A Japanese skating rink froze thousands of fish under the ice.Space World in Kitakyushu shuttered the rink after a huge backlash.

A Russian TV show aired a “Holocaust on ice” routine. The reality show Ice Age featured an inflammatory performance by the wife of a senior aide to Vladimir Putin.

Fake news almost took down Abraham Lincoln. Misleading reports in 1864 said the president wanted to intermarry blacks and white to yield an American super-race.

Belgium and the Netherlands peacefully traded plots of land. It was easier than ironing out the jurisdictional difficulties.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, “Westworld” theories, and Abe Lincoln fact-checks tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.

Cyber Monday, #Castro tributes, deep-Earth water

Good morning, Quartz readers!


More demonetization debate. Opposition parties in India plan a day of protest against prime minister Narendra Modi’s controversial move to demonetize Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes.

The UN’s next chief visits China. Incoming secretary-general António Guterres, who succeeds Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1, will spend two days meeting with foreign minister Wang Yi and other Chinese leaders.

Cyber Monday kicks off in the US. It’s expected result in over $3.3 billion in sales, up 9.4% from last year. Many retailers make the day the focus of their online promotions.


Japanese exports help partner countries grow. Japan’s advanced infrastructure production provides the expertise and technology necessary to help its partners plan and develop for the long-term. The government is working toward a target of 30 trillion yen in infrastructure sales by 2020.


Fidel Castro died. Condolences for the Cuban dictator varied greatly in tone. Statements from Canada’s Justin Trudeau and India’s Narendra Modi called Castro a friend and sorrowfully mourned his loss, while other leaders were more circumspect in their appraisals. Castro was 90 years old.

Still more pressure on Park Geun-hye. Crowds calling for the South Korean president’s resignation swelled to their largest in the five weeks since they began. According to the BBC, organizers pegged the number of demonstrators at 1.5 million in Seoul and 400,000 elsewhere in the country, while police estimated there were 270,000 demonstrators in the capital. Park’s apologies for a scandal involving a questionable friendship have done little to quell criticism.

Mitt Romney stayed in the running for US secretary of state.Donald Trump is reportedly still considering the former Massachusetts governor for the post, even if the US president-elect’s campaign manager seems to be openly campaigning against the idea. The grumbling suggests former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to have his own shot at the cabinet position.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign joined the push for a recount of votes. On Saturday, campaign lawyer Mark Erik Elias said Clintonwould join the recount effort begun by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, though he noted that the Clinton team’s own investigation has not turned up any evidence of tampering in the Nov. 8 US presidential election. Stein raised enough money to file for recounts in a handful of states where Clinton narrowly lost.

Nico Rosberg was crowned a motor sport king. The Formula One Japanese Grand Prix winner sealed the deal at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where his second-place finish was enough to best Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton for the world championship.


Lynsey Chutel on why Africa is not conflicted about Fidel Castro’s legacy. “In Castro, African activists found a leader willing to share flaming rhetoric as well as practical guidance to freedom at a time when Africans had few political allies. Those liberation leaders became the founding fathers of modern Africa, and they never forgot Cuba’s help.” Read more here.


Small farms are key in the fight against climate change. The Paris agreement cannot afford to deny the impact of family-owned farms.

Einstein might have been wrong about the speed of light being a constant. Physicists are floating a new theory to explain what Einstein couldn’t.

Donald Trump’s plan to revive the US coal industry is doomed.One chart explains why.


Skateboarder Tony Hawk nearly destroyed his brand before understanding its value. A “Tony Hawk gear” toilet paper joke was a sign that things were amiss.

Scientists found evidence of water a third of the way down to the edge of Earth’s core. An imperfection in a deep-Earth diamondwas their clue.

Trump’s claim he really won the popular vote traces back to one Twitter user’s unsubstantiated tweet. The idea that millions voted illegally for Clinton spread on fake news from there and was eventually retweeted by Trump himself.

Eric Schmidt struggled to answer a Google interview question.Then again, the company’s famous brainteasers never were very useful for identifying talent.

Urine is more than a waste product. For doctors, it’s the most useful bodily excretion.

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