Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
A big day for central banks. Markets will be watching closely as the US Federal Reserve wraps up its two-day meeting, and the Bank of Japan begins its own session. The Fed is expected to leave rates untouched, while the BOJ is under pressure to do something about the growing strength of the yen.
The latest SpaceX launch. Elon Musk’s company will launch two satellites to geosynchronous orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket and attempt to make its fifth successful landing back on Earth. A livestream isavailable starting around 10:30am ET.
The US and China wrap up cybersecurity talk. Officials at a two-day meeting in Beijing are trying to work out details for a deal reached in February to crack down on commercial espionage. Two US cabinet officials who were set to attend had to cancel their trips in the wake of the Orlando shootings.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Russian spies hacked the US Democratic Party. The attackers, linked by a security firm to two separate Russian intelligence agencies, stole a massive trove of information, including potentially embarrassing research on Donald Trump.
US politicians assailed Trump’s post-Orlando attacks on Muslims. President Barack Obama said Trump used “dangerous” language that “singles out immigrants and suggests entire religious communities are complicit in violence.” Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has endorsed Trump, said the presidential nominee’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration is not “reflective of our principles.”
John Kerry announced talks with Venezuela. The US secretary of state vowed to ease tensions with the oil-rich country’s embattled government, after more than a decade of tense relations between Caracas and Washington. Hours earlier, Kerry also voiced his support for a referendum that would oust president Nicolas Maduro from office.
Uber announced plans to raise even more cash. The privately held ride-hailing giant wants at least another $2 billion to pay for its global expansion. It plans to raise the money in the form of leveraged loans, similar to junk bonds, which would bring its cash reserves to about $15 billion.
An ASEAN-China meeting about the South China Sea ended with confusion. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations appeared to agree on a strongly worded statement about tensions in the contested sea. But the statement was issued not from ASEAN, but by Malaysia’s foreign ministry, which retracted it.
QUARTZ MARKETS HAIKU
With negative yields,
Creditors pay borrowers
To borrow. That’s weird.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Michael Coren on the coming era Silicon Valley’s mega-acquisitions: “For those charged with corporate mergers and acquisitions, Silicon Valley is starting to look like a department store on the day after Christmas, offering bargains next to the stratospheric valuations seen in 2015.” Read more here.
MATTERS OF DEBATE
China’s counterfeit goods are better than the real thing. That’s according to Alibaba boss Jack Ma, who says his company is still trying to get rid of fakes on its e-commerce sites.
The end of the written word is nigh. Facebook predicts that language will probably be overtaken by video in a few short years.
The Islamic State is a marketing organization for malcontents.It’s more of a brand for hate than a terrorist planning group.
A 2,000-year-old lump of butter was discovered in an Irish bog.It might even still be edible.
Starbucks is basically a bank. It has $1.2 billion stored in its appand on customer loyalty cards.
Chinese students are using nude photos as IOUs. Online lenders extend credit after demanding photos as collateral.
A scientist built a robot that can inflict pain. He’s trying to start a debate about the dangers of artificial intelligence.
McDonald’s is handing out free beer in Austria. Six packs of Ottakringer are on offer to help celebrate the Euro soccer championships.
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