Good morning, Quartz readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY AND OVER THE WEEKEND
Xi Jinping arrives in Switzerland. Pro-Tibet demonstrations are expected on Sunday during the first visit by a Chinese president to the country in nearly two decades. Xi will go to Bern, Lausanne, and Geneva before making his way to the World Economic Forum in Davos next week.
Middle East peace talks begin in Paris. John Kerry will attend on Sunday in one of his final trips as US secretary of state, but Israel is not sending any senior officials. It’s angry about the US allowing a UN resolution to pass last month condemning Israeli settlement building.
US banks report on their fourth quarters. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo are among the banks that will deliver their numbers. Since Donald Trump’s election victory, bank stocks have done well amid expectations of financial deregulation, higher interest rates, and increased trading activity.
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There’s a $3 million gap between Europe and North America’s 1%. This is just one insight from the recently released Credit Suisse Wealth Report, which explores global household wealth and its uneven distribution. These five charts highlight regional differences and similarities in how households earn and save.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Nintendo revealed more details about its Switch console. The hybrid device—designed for both home and mobile use—will cost about $300 and feature an online gaming network. The latter has been standard for years on competing products, which sell for less. Analysts were expecting a price closer to $250.
The US accused Fiat Chrysler of Volkswagen-style emissions cheating. Regulators said the company used secret software to evade pollution limits in more than 100,000 diesel vehicles. The complaint, which could result in billions of dollars in fines, sent Fiat shares down more than 15%.
The US Federal Reserve sees a short-term Trump boost, followed by bigger risks. Central bank officials said the president-elect’s infrastructure spending plans and tax cuts could provide an immediate boost to the economy. But they warned that it could lead to dangerous inflation unless complex structural problems are fixed.
Trump’s secretary of defense pick talked tough on Russia.Retired general James Mattis told a US senate panel that the Kremlin is a “principal threat” to the United States. His testimony comes a day after Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, voiced similarly skeptical views of Vladimir Putin.
QUARTZ OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Gwynn Guilford on the evolutionary advantages of killer whale grandmothers: “Scientists have long puzzled over why killer whales stop reproducing in their 30s and 40s yet—in the words of Destiny’s Child—keep on surviving, often for several decades. We now know that a matriarch’s longevity allows her to use her knowledge and hunting skills to increase her family’s chances of survival.” Read more here.
QUARTZ HAIKU INTERLUDE
In Maine, where winter /
Is long, gloomy and frigid /
Things are heating up!
MATTERS OF DEBATE
Imitation is the secret to tech success. Instagram’s “Stories” is thriving after shamelessly copying the feature from Snapchat.
Manufacturing is not dead in America. Job losses have mostly been limited to low-pay, low-skill positions.
Globalization needs to be all or nothing. The woes associated with free trade can be blamed on not going far enough.
Microsoft is being sued for making workers watch kiddie porn.Two ex-employees say they have PTSD.
The healing powers of turmeric are a myth. The spice’s active ingredient is notorious for false positives in the lab.
A Chinese city built more skyscrapers last year than the US and Australia combined. Shenzhen, known for high-tech manufacturing, has the country’s hottest real estate market.
Gay men have an earnings gap but lesbians earn a premium.On average, gay women make 9% more than their heterosexual peers.
Hedge fund managers are better if they’re born poor. Investors born in the bottom quintile by wealth outperformed the top quintile by more than 1% a year.
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