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

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

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.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

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.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

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.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

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.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

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.

SPONSOR CONTENT BY BARCLAYS

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.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

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.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

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!)

QUARTZ HAIKU INTERLUDE

Investors calm down
and get ready to worry
about Italy.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

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.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

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!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

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.

SPONSOR CONTENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN

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.

OVER THE WEEKEND

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.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

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.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

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.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

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.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, core water, and discarded Google interview questions tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.

Weekend edition—The economics of #populism, #China in Rwanda, talking to aliens

Good morning, Quartz readers!

An unlikely mix of populism and conservatism has abruptly shaken up financial markets.

For decades, globalization and free trade supported companies andboosted stock prices. After the 2008 crisis, slow growth and inflation led central banks to inject record amounts of stimulus into markets. This created a “new normal” for traders, where the direction of trading was controlled by expectations of monetary policy. In sum, it was boring.

In just a few months, that’s all changed. The Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election have made traders expect a surge in spending. Throwing skepticism to the winds, they’ve poured money into stocks, sending the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to record highs, while dumping safer government bonds ($1 trillion in the week after the US election).

But this is irrational. The politicians promising this spending spree are right-wingers, better known for strict adherence to tight budgets. And Trump’s plans to double US economic growth don’t square with the global rollback in free trade that he seems to want.

Right now the stock rally is mostly benefitting American markets at the expense of export-dependent markets in Asia. How long that disconnect can continue is unclear. And bank shares are soaring on Trump’s promise of regulatory cuts, but leniency for the creators of the financial crisis won’t enthrall voters.

The conflict between the populist majorities in the US and UK and the conservatism of the governing elites will at some point come to a head. This week’s UK budget statement hinted at that, showing that the rhetoric of an economy “for everyone” cannot be met by action.

In reality, Brexit will worsen the living standards of the poorest, and further aggrieve many people who voted for it. In the US, Trump is fighting(paywall) to stop companies moving jobs to Mexico. If he fails, he could lose some of his support even before his term begins.

FIVE THINGS ON QUARTZ WE ESPECIALLY LIKED

Handling Trump: An instruction manual from Italy. The corrupt, vainglorious Silvio Berlusconi held on to power for as long as he did because his opponents didn’t grasp that he thrived off being attacked. Trump is the same, writes Annalisa Merelli, and if liberals let his personality dominate the public discourse, they may be stuck with him for a very long time.

China and Rwanda’s curious relationship. Rwanda is a tiny, landlocked country with few natural resources, hardly an obvious target of interest for an economic behemoth. Lily Kuo explains how Rwanda upends the normal preconceptions of China’s interest in Africa and showcases a healthier economic relationship—but also a disturbing political one.

The best times to drive before and after Thanksgiving. If you were stuck in traffic on your way to or from a family gathering, you might want to consult David Yanofsky’s maps before next year. Analyzing traffic logs from 8,500 monitoring sites around the US, he unearths when, and where, are the safest times to undertake one ofthe US’s biggest annual migrations.

The obscure statistic that explains the rise of Donald Trump.Not many people pay attention to the job-to-job transition rate. But as Eshe Nelson explains, it’s a good lens through which to view theevolution of the American workforce and the resentment that caused this year’s election upset.

Demonetization: Been there, done that, got the crisis. India’s recent withdrawal of high-value notes from circulation was an attempt to curb the shadow economy. But, writes Rahul Menon, a look at other countries that have demonetized in the past shows such moves usually damage trust and do long-term damage to the economy.

FIVE THINGS ELSEWHERE THAT MADE US SMARTER

How to talk to aliens. An interview with two academic linguists aboutArrival, the sci-fi film about a linguist tasked with decoding an alien language. Some of the film’s ideas are—surprise!—wrong. But their critique explains quite well the actual challenges in making contact with creatures when you can’t even be sure their language has such a thing as a question.

Jack Bogle on the index fund “revolution.” In a fascinating, wide-ranging interview with Michael Regan of Bloomberg, the 87-year-old founder of Vanguard discusses the state of the markets and the passive-investing revolution that he launched with the first index fund in the 1970s, “shifting the allocation of stock market returns away from Wall Street and toward Main Street.” And the disruption is only beginning, he says.

How dodgy companies pretend to be legit. A small former steel town in northern England has become a hub for online porn, gambling, and assorted scams. Its residents “serve” as directors for over a thousand international companies, which, by registering in the UK, gain a veneer of respectability for their murky business. Alasdair Pal and Himanshu Ojha at Reuters dig into the legal muck.

Lessons on autocracy for the US press. Normally used to lecturing the rest of the world about media freedom and ethics, under Donald Trump American journalists will now get a taste of life elsewhere, writes Nic Dawes, head of Human Rights Watch’s media division. Get used, he says, to endless lawsuits, limited access, being stigmatized as “the opposition,” and interference from regime-friendly plutocrats.

Is the right really anti-science? Conservatives have been criticized for denying global warming, blocking stem-cell research, and doubting evolution. But in City Journal, John Tierny points out the hypocrisy of liberals who oppose genetic modification, think only big government can deal with global warming, and fall for scientific groupthink. Some of his claims are contentious, but he raises an interesting question: Are liberals really the pro-science camp?

Our best wishes for a relaxing but thought-filled weekend. Please send any news, comments, Trumpy words, and rare musical recordings to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

Black Friday begins, #Japan ponders missiles, tuskless elephants

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY AND OVER THE WEEKEND

Russia and the EU talk energy. Russia’s energy minister and his EU counterpart will discuss “energy cooperation.” Russia wants tosend more of its gas through Germany’s Opal pipeline to Europe. The backdrop, though, is the EU-Russia face-off over Ukraine, whose president was in Brussels this week trying to wrangle more supportfor his embattled government.

European finance ministers continue Greece bailout talks.Representatives from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands will meet with IMF officials in Berlin to discuss the Greek debt crisis. The euro zone is aiming for a new agreement on fiscal reform by Dec. 5.

A less-crazy Black Friday in US stores. The traditional start of holiday shopping in the US is expected to break records in terms of sales, but fewer Americans will line up at brick-and-mortar stores, buying online instead. Some major retailers will be closed for business—trying to generate goodwill by giving employees the day off instead.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Japan criticized Russia’s deployment of missiles on disputed islands… Prime minister Shinzo Abe called the situation “regrettable.” Russian media reported this week that anti-ship missiles are now operational on the islands, called the southern Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.

…And Japan moved closer to a US missile defense shield.Defense minister Tomomi Inada said Japan is “investigating future systems for intercepting missiles.” Inada will visit Guam next monthto inspect the US-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system. South Korea has already agreed to deploy the technology.

Colombia signed a revised peace deal with FARC rebels. Thenew agreement will be put to Congress for approval rather than to the public, which rejected a previous one in October. The deal requires the FARC to hand over all its assets to repay victims, but opponents say the changes are “cosmetic.”

Russia indicated it won’t cut oil production. Energy minister Alexander Novak said the most it would do is hold current output steady next year—which, he argued, amounts to a reduction in light of previous plans to boost production. Saudi Arabia wants fellow OPEC members to squeeze the oil supply to prop up prices (paywall).

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

Aamna Mohdin on the economic case for the US granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants. “In 1986, Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to nearly 3 million undocumented immigrants… There’s evidence that shows undocumented workers went on to get better jobs and higher wages in the years after legalization. A previous study suggests there was a 15% increase in productivity after legalization in 1986, followed by another 10% to 12% increase in productivity when migrants became citizens.” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

Don’t lie to your children about Santa Claus. Such an elaborate, long-lasting deception subtly but permanently damages family trust.

Self-control is a myth. Willpower can’t be strengthened, so try toavoid situations that call for it.

India is displaying classic signs that foreshadow fascism.Under Narendra Modi, the country is checking off items on Umberto Eco’s classic list of features of “Ur-Fascism.”

QUARTZ ANNOUNCEMENT

Are you stocking up on holiday gifts for your loved ones today? We also have presents on the brain, and will be sharing daily “gifts” with readers for the month of December. Be sure to sign up to start receiving yours in next Thursday’s Daily Brief so you don’t miss the first one.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

Mad Shelia, a cheap knockoff of Mad Max: Fury Road, is streaming in China. It’s a bit of a parody, a bit of an homage, and a whole lot of taking someone else’s creative work.

More African elephants are being born without tusks. Ivory poaching may be an evolutionary pressure resulting in survival of the tuskless.

The Vatican is launching a Tinder-like app for confessing sins.It matches users with nearby places to confess and attend Mass.

Japan is using ramen to lure elderly drivers off roads for good.Police arranged for a chain of noodle restaurants to give discounts to senior citizens who relinquish their driving licenses.

That bling-y picture of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump is raising thousands for charity. The photographer sold the rights to the image and is donating his share of the proceeds.

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

#China woos the #Philippines, #Trump appoints two women, cranberries’ sour past

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

China showcases investment opportunities in the Philippines.As part of the cozy new relationship between Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte and Beijing, the Bank of China is trying to matchmake investors with small Filipino businesses at a conference today. The bank has promised to become a “bridge between Chinese and Philippine trade and investments.”

The EU talks Turkey and Ukraine. In response to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s human rights crackdown, the European Parliament is expected to vote to freeze long-term plans for the country to join the European Union. EU leaders will also meet Ukraine’s president to discuss governance reforms, visa-free travel, and a stalled EU-Ukraine trade deal, in what is likely to be a morose summit.

ThyssenKrupp takes stock. The German manufacturing giant publishes its full-year results for 2016, which may contain clues for its year ahead. These include a potential merger with Tata’s European steel arm, which could save the latter from write-downs worth billions.

SPONSOR CONTENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN

Japan is promoting unity at the 2020 Tokyo games. Koji Murofushi—4-time Olympic hammer-thrower and gold medalist—was appointed sports director in advance of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games. Murofushi is working toward inclusivity and integrity by employing socially conscious design at both event venues and the Olympic Village.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

The Fed hinted further at a rate hike. The US Federal Reserve’s last pre-election monetary policy minutes showed many officials leaning toward an interest rate increase “relatively soon.” Much of the market has already priced in a hike for the not-too-distant future, so US traders can enjoy their Thanksgiving break.

Trump named two female administration members. Thepresident-elect nominated South Carolina governor Nikki Haley for UN ambassador and billionaire Betsy DeVos for education secretary. Haley is much admired in the GOP but has little experience outside her home state, let alone internationally. Meanwhile DeVos, a fierce advocate of parental choice in education, is expected to push fordecentralizing government control of the sector.

Mexico’s Jose Cuervo postponed its IPO. The world’s biggest tequila producer has reportedly pushed back plans for a potential $1 billion IPO, as Trump’s ascendancy has wreaked havoc on Mexican stocks. The company plans to reassess in January, after Trump’s inauguration.

Skyscanner got bought. Chinese travel booking site CTrip purchased its Scotland-based counterpart for $1.74 billion. CTrip already dominates the domestic Chinese market through ownership stakes in its rivals, and its latest purchase gives it a stronger presence overseas.

Costa Rica and Nicaragua braced for Hurricane Otto. Costa Rica declared a national emergency, and both countries have called to evacuate thousands as the Category 1 storm traverses Central America. It has killed at least three people in Panama.

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

Lily Kuo on life aboard the Chinese fishing boats dominating West Africa’s seas. “China is now the largest fishing power in West Africa, home to more than 500 Chinese industrial fishing fleets in seas once dominated by Russian and European operations, according to Greenpeace. Environmentalists say the waters can’t support this level of fishing for long, and that local fishermen will eventually be left with nothing to catch.” Read more here.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

Apple has turned its back on software professionals. The new MacBook Pro’s features fail to deliver on the flexibility, power, and battery life needs of designers.

Makeup doesn’t need to be moralized. A “serious intellectual person” can care about his or her appearance, argues writer and Boots beauty ambassador Chimamanda Ngoczi Adichie.

Our slavish devotion to clocks is hurting us. Using nighttime as a resource might help us deal with time more effectively.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

Michael Flynn broke “rules he thought were stupid” in the Pentagon. His transgressions reportedly include installing a private internet connection in his office, in spite of a ban.

Fake news writers are going after Elon Musk. With presidential nominee Hillary Clinton out of the way, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO is being targeted by attackers who fear he might go into politics.

Cranberry sauce has a dark past. Many farmers believe there’s no viable way to organically farm the popular Thanksgiving fruit.

Scientists don’t improve with age. They’re as productive and influential at the start of their careers as they’ll ever get, according to new research.

Domino’s is pondering reindeer pizza delivery in Japan. Winter temperatures in its northernmost island, Hokkaido, could make delivery by humans—and even drones—impossible.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, fake Elon Musk headlines, and pizza-toting reindeer tohi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.

#Trump transition drama, #China’s trade pact, #space debris adoption

Good morning, Quartz readers!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

UK chancellor Philip Hammond gives his first budget speech.Despite dire warnings about a post-Brexit downturn, growth forecastsare expected to remain (paywall) around 2%. But predictions for 2017 and onwards are likely to be downgraded.

The Fed releases its pre-election minutes. The monetary policy meeting notes are expected to reveal hints that officials are increasingly keen to hike interest rates to 0.5% in 2017. Some markets have already begun pricing in an increase.

The US-China joint commerce commission begins in Washington. The annual meeting to discuss matters ranging from cybersecurity to agriculture will be a less sunny affair than last year, when the TPP (now cratering) and a US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty seemed to be done deals.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

A day of drama in the Trump transition. The president-elect cancelled and then reinstated a meeting with journalists from the New York Times, then appeared to renege on several key campaign issues: his promise to prosecute Hillary Clinton, climate change denial, and his embrace of the alt-right. Separately, the Trump Foundation admitted to violating laws that ban nonprofit leaders from using charitable funds to help themselves or their families.

China moved forward with its own Pacific trade pact. The Beijing-dominated Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnershipmay replace the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is now dead in the water. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Beijing was hoping for “early results” in negotiations.

Facebook developed a censorship tool to re-enter China. It hopes the tool will help it persuade Beijing to allow its service back into the world’s second-largest economy after a seven-year ban, reported the New York Times. The software would allow a third party to monitor and suppress posts.

The US cleared the sale of 100 Airbus jets to Iran. The move comes in the waning days of the Obama administration, and is likely to anger Republicans in Congress and the incoming Trump White House. The clearance, required because about 10% of components are US-made, could potentially be reversed by the new administration.

Barack Obama commuted his 1,000th drug crime sentence.The US president reduced the sentences of an additional 79 people imprisoned for non-violent drug crimes. He’s now granted more commutations than the previous 11 presidencies combined. With criminal justice reform efforts stalled in Congress, the commutations are aimed at easing the effect of “outdated and unduly harsh sentencing laws.”

QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE

Dave Gershgorn on the limits of artificial intelligence in the fight against fake news: “Parsing a few paragraphs of text for factuality is nowhere near the complex fact-checking machines AI designers are after. ‘It is incredibly hard to know the whole state of the world to identify whether a fact is true or not,’ says Richard Socher, head of Salesforce Research.” Read more here.

QUARTZ HAIKU INTERLUDE

Yet more stock records.
Hope these winners won’t have to
give their medals back.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

Global gasoline consumption has peaked. The growing popularity of electric cars will have dire consequences for the oil industry.

America’s office of the first lady should go away. It’s a redundant form of modern royalty that doesn’t serve any purpose.

Donald Trump’s advisors are lying to him. Top aides have manipulated their boss on several occasions.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

The world’s largest brewers are pushing non-alcoholic beer.It’s a fast-growing market where profit margins are high and regulation minimal (paywall).

You can adopt a chunk of space debris. It will tweet its location at you to raise awareness about the dangers of space junk.

Everyone is getting high on Thanksgiving. Marijuana sales spikearound the US holiday as people seek a way to deal with their relatives.

Yesterday’s Fukushima earthquake was an aftershock.Geologists traced its origins back to the devastating 2011 quake.

You can detect self-loathing in the way people speak. Linguistic tics signal psychological distress.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, space debris, and self-loathing tics to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or downloadour iPhone app.