Become a member of Quartz
Go beyond the headlines to master your understanding of the forces reshaping the world. Get interviews with top CEOs, deep analysis of frontier industries, and exclusive access to our journalists.✨ Become a Quartz member ✨
Here’s what you need to know
The UK sank into a deep recession. GDP contracted for the second quarter in row, this time by more than 20%, for the first time since the financial crisis more than a decade ago, which precipitated deep cuts in government spending. But chancellor Rishi Sunak said he sees “promising signs” of recovery amid a falling pound.
CBS and Viacom empire builder Sumner Redstone dies at 97. The legendary media mogul helped launch entertainment brands including MTV, BET, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon during a colorful career that spanned decades.
Tesla split its stock to attract more investors. Existing stockholders won’t be materially affected by the five-to-one stock split, but the cheaper price of a single share could draw in new investment and impact options trading. Tesla stocks jumped more than 6% after the announcement.
Chain stores and restaurants are moving out of Manhattan. “There’s no reason to do business in New York,” said the CEO of a restaurant chain, as brands like Victoria’s Secret and Gap keep stores closed, and others move out entirely. Thanks to Covid, there are expensive, empty downtowns all over the world.
An Indian civil servant’s granddaughter is Joe Biden’s running mate
California senator Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s vice-president pick. The former state attorney general—or “top cop,” according to some of her critics—is the first woman of color to be a VP candidate. She is Black and South Asian, with a Jamaican father and an Indian mother.
Biden said that Harris came out top because he needed “someone working alongside me who is smart, tough, and ready to lead. Kamala is that person. I need someone who understands the pain that so many people in our nation are suffering. Whether they’ve lost their job, their business, a loved one to this virus.”
55-year-old Harris has spent the last 30 years building a political career on the West Coast. Here are some of the accomplishments that helped her become the first Californian on a presidential ticket in Democratic party history:
Quartz at Work
Want to build a more inclusive workplace? There is no perfect model for an antiracist company, and building one won’t be easy or quick, but there are lessons available to help correct structural inequalities and create more inclusive workplaces. Join us on August 13th from 11-12pm EDT for our second free workshop on how to build an antiracist company.
Here are a few articles to think about before you join the conversation:
Charting India’s digital payments boom
United Payment Interface—a digital platform regulated by India’s central bank used to instantly transfer funds—clocked its highest-ever volumes in July, according to the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).
Now, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is set to take India’s fintech space by storm as the NPCI cleared the messaging app’s payment features to go live. It all means bad news for India’s existing neo-banks.
Not just a passing trend
There are few moments when our buying habits make a significant shift—when something alters our lifestyles so drastically that our actual habits change in a lasting way. Can you think of any recent events that may have contributed to such a shift?
Covid-related lockdowns this year got more people out of the habit of buying from brick-and-mortar than ever before. In places where physical stores have reopened, sales there have yet to fully bounce back (and may never will). And those aren’t the only ways we’re buying differently after months of drastically altered lifestyles: crafting and hobby sales are still going gangbusters. Still, the question isn’t whether Covid-19 has changed shopping habits but by how much.
Do Quartz members crave office life?
The things we miss about our collective workspaces are often intangible: Chance conversations, jokes, shared complaints, and shared lunches. The way an employee experiences a firm and the way a firm tries to present itself come together to form a “company culture.”
Recently, we asked Quartz members what they miss most about office life (if anything), here’s what they had to say:
Read more about reimagining the office in our latest field guide.
You asked about eyeballs
If Covid-19 is airborne transmitted, then can it enter the body through the eye?
We regret to inform you that coronavirus can definitely enter through the eye—whether through a tiny aerosolized particle or a larger, sneezy droplet. The question is how frequently does it happen? And does it lead to infection when it happens? Unfortunately, we simply don’t know those details yet, because it’s hard to trace an infection’s origin once it has spread throughout the body.
Earlier this month, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, told ABC News that shielding the eyes “might” be recommended at some point and that “if you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it.”
Essential pandemic reading
- The latest 🌏 figures: 20.1 million confirmed cases; 12.4 million classified as “recovered.”
- Air supply: Lack of oxygen is leaving patients in Africa gasping for air.
- Hey, big spender: The UK is facing the prospect of a future with no Chinese tourists.
- What to expect?: The US data on Covid-19 and pregnant women is unreliable.
- Flight path: India’s refusal to bail out airlines is putting them on the verge of collapse.
- Sure, why not: Kraft Mac & Cheese has declared itself an acceptable breakfast food.
You can do better than Clorox wipes. Shortage or no shortage, making your own is cleaner, greener, and cheaper.
Don’t push slow friends out of the way if a bear attacks. The US park service published some useful tips.
An aquarium is putting wishing-well coins back in circulation. Staff drained a waterfall and gathered up 100 gallons (380 liters) of coins to help keep it afloat.
Spongebob’s friend is getting his own show. Sources told Deadline that Patrick the starfish’s vehicle will be “in the vein of The Larry Sanders Show.”
Mississippi won’t have a giant mosquito on its state flag. A design featuring the insect was mistakenly shortlisted in the selection process to replace the current flag, which features a Confederate emblem.
We would never turn you away. Come in, enjoy the latest Quartz content.