Skip to navigationSkip to content

Quartz

Gas prices grow along with inflation as this sign at a gas station shows in San Diego
Image copyright: Reuters/Mike Blake
A rising tide doesn't raise all boats equally.

Here’s what you need to know

The US and China are dragging down the world economy. The IMF lowered its prediction for global growth in 2022, in part because of slowdowns in the globe’s two largest economies.

Shein still wants to go public in New York. The Chinese e-commerce site’s founder is reportedly thinking about changing his citizenship to get around Beijing’s offshore IPO rules.

Companies are worried about potential US sanctions on Russia. Officials will want to hit critical Russian sectors such as aerospace and quantum computing. But a trade group, representing firms such as Chevron and General Electric, is pushing for exemptions so that American companies can fulfill their commitments in Russia.

The US is helping Europe find alternate energy sources. If Russia invades Ukraine, it could disrupt gas shipments to the EU. US president Joe Biden also said sanctions against Russian leader Vladimir Putin are on the table.

Pfizer will start testing an omicron vaccine. Some health experts question if it’s worth it, given omicron cases are usually less severe and the next variant could be completely different.

Mark Zuckerbeg’s cryptocurrency project is collapsing. Meta owns a third of the Diem Association (once known as Libra), the stablecoin initiative that is now trying to sell its assets and return capital to investors.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.


What to watch for

On Wednesday, Z Holdings, a SoftBank company that operates Yahoo Japan’s search engine and e-commerce services, is expected to lay out its strategy for so-called “quick commerce,” or delivery of groceries and household goods in as little as 15 minutes.

Z Holdings, like so many other businesses around the world, is vying for a slice of the money that can be made from the frequent, consistent purchases of food.

Let’s look at the receipts:

450: Global cities that can support quick delivery

≤18%: Expected grocery share of the US e-commerce market in the next three to five years

$15 billion: The valuation of Gopuff, a Philadelphia-based super-fast delivery company

$25 billion: Expected value of the “quick commerce” market in the US in 2021


The 15-minute promise

Z Holdings isn’t the only company racing to make grocery delivery near instantaneous. But 15-minute delivery is just the start for companies from Gopuff to Amazon.

📬 Sign up for the The Forecast

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.


Markets haiku: AmEx gets rewarded

Image copyright: Reuters
Swipe it

Shoppers are charging,
And AmEx reaps the rewards.
Markets say, cha-ching!

American Express stock had its best performance in more than a year after the payment company reported record spending in its fourth-quarter results. AmEx shares were up more than 8% on Tuesday.

📲 Download the Quartz iOS app to get a daily haiku pick-me-up.
Download our app

India’s newest decacorn

The accelerated adoption of food and online grocery paired with a rise in consumer demand for food delivery is a well-cooked combination for India’s latest decacorn: Swiggy.

The SoftBank-backed food-tech firm just closed a $700-million funding round led by asset manager Invesco. With its new valuation of $10.7 billion, Swiggy is the latest firm to enter India’s decacorn club of companies with at least a $10 billion valuation. It’s also better positioned to take on rivals like Zomato and powerhouses like Reliance and Amazon, which have made investments in the food delivery space.



Surprising discoveries

There’s a right way to pay homage to a movie… A tarantula-killing worm was named after Jeff Daniels in honor of his Arachnophobia character, who saves a town from killer spiders.

…And a wrong way. Two men brought a dead body, Weekend at Bernie’s-style, to an Irish post office to pick up the deceased’s pension check.

Giving cash stipends to poor mothers improves their babies’ brains. Honestly, this one isn’t actually all that surprising.

A Mexican cartel used Grand Theft Auto to recruit drug mules. At least one player agreed to drive across the US border with what turned out to be a shipment of methamphetamines.

A Martian underground “lake” is probably volcanic rock. A new study called hopes for finding water a “dusty mirage.”


Don’t say goodbye yet. Check our latest stories.

Image copyright: Giphy