What to watch for today
Long live the king! The investiture of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands will take place immediately after his mother, the queen, abdicates in Amsterdam to make way for a “new generation.” Dutch monarchs are primarily figureheads, but it could still be fun to watch.
The final test for India’s Companies Bill of 2012. Lawmakers in the upper house of the Indian parliament will vote on the proposal, which has already passed in the lower house. The bill could increase transparency by forcing companies to consult their boards of directors (pdf) more frequently.
Inflation in the euro area. Inflation data for April will be key to predicting whether the European Central Bank will cut interest rates later this week, as it’s currently expected to do (though we’ve argued that won’t help the economy much anyway.)
Data deluge. We’ll also have new reads on Spanish first-quarter GDP, Japanese industrial production, South Korean industrial production, Taiwan GDP, and the US S&P/Case-Shiller home price index.
Earnings madness continues: Rosneft, Thomson Reuters, Gazprom, Anheuser-Busch InBev, BP, Pfizer, and Softbank report. We’ll also hear more from UBS and Deutsche Bank in their conference calls.
While you were sleeping
Deutsche Bank announced plans to raise €2.8 billion ($3.7 billion) in capital. The German bank wanted to bolster its capital position, and released its earnings report for the first quarter a day early. At the end of March, the bank said its Basel III core Tier 1 capital ratio was 8.8%. That meets Basel III’s stipulations right now, but Deutsche Bank is thinking ahead for the future—when Basel standards get tougher—and raising capital now.
Russian president Vladimir Putin and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe decided they should officially end World War II. ”The leaders of both countries agreed that the situation where, 67 years after the conclusion of [World War II], we have still been unable to conclude a bilateral peace treaty, looks abnormal,” said a joint statement after their meeting. They’re still fighting over the Kuril Islands, which Russia has occupied for nearly 70 years but Japan still claims.
Yes, the CIA does deliver money in suitcases. The New York Times reported (paywall)—and Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged (paywall)—that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been dropping off millions of dollars in backpacks, suitcases, and even plastic bags at Karzai’s offices for years. For his part, Karzai downplayed the amount.
The first athlete in any major American team sport came out as gay. Professional basketball player Jason Collins made a landmark announcement in US sports with this Sports Illustrated editorial.
Quartz obsession interlude
Gwynn Guilford on why a dispute between US NBA star Michael Jordan and a Chinese sportswear company is a big deal: ”Today was the first day of trial in the lawsuit brought by Michael Jordan—you know, “Air Jordan”—against Qiaodan Sports Co. (乔丹, an ostensible Mandarin transliteration of “Jordan,” pronounced “chee-ow dahn.”) The suit will test the Chinese legal system’s recognition of personal trademarks, something increasingly important to the country as it seeks to upgrade its protection of intellectual property.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
North Korea closed its cross-border factors with the South because they were too successful.
Goldman Sachs is becoming Apple’s go-to bank under Tim Cook. Under Steve Jobs, the tech giant had looked down on bankers.
China is secretly pouring far more aid money into Africa than it has ever disclosed.
The US tech talent shortage is a myth. And what that means for immigration reform.
One of these four people could be the future CEO of JP Morgan. When Jamie Dimon steps down, that is.
The world’s population by latitude and longitude. On average, the world lives 24 degrees from the equator?
The Margaret Thatcher hairdo. The UK politician’s death has evidently set off a fashion frenzy.
A great photographer runs out of steam. The European Space Agency’s Herschel telescope finally ran out of helium, meaning it will take beautiful pictures of the universe no more.
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