Skip to navigationSkip to content

Quartz

Make
cities
better

We believe companies should solve real problems without creating new ones. Quartz is your ally and resource in developing better ways of doing business. Join us in this mission by becoming a Quartz member.


Get the Quartz Daily Brief in your inbox each morning.

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


Image copyright: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Farmers sit around the body of a person who died during the violence.

Indian protesters battled Delhi police on Republic Day. Police deployed tear gas as protesters scaled the walls of the historic Red Fort, with at least one killed in the struggle.

The International Monetary Fund said skies were clearing. Its 2021 global forecast for economic growth was a full percentage point better than expected, thanks to vaccine progress.

The chief of the Capitol Police apologized to the US Congress. She testified that the department and its board failed to prevent or react to the Jan. 6 violence, despite briefings, in a timely manner.

The US suspended some Yemen Houthi sanctions. The latest rollbacks of Donald Trump’s administration’s actions included an exemption of certain transactions with the Yemeni rebel group.

Europe is putting pressure on vaccine makers. Pfizer and AstraZeneca production delays have the bloc’s leaders threatening to curb exports and, in Italy’s case, to take legal action.

Janet Yellen became US treasury secretary. It’s her toughest job yet, and her past mistakes won’t make it any easier.

Microsoft beat expectations. Working and learning from home boosted Azure revenue, while Verizon is still paying for its iPhones, and Starbucks fell flat.

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

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


Image copyright: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Facebook, Twitter and the battle for democratic integrity

Today, three of the world’s biggest tech companies have a chance to prove themselves to investors. Here’s what to watch for:

📱Apple: Apple’s data will offer the first glimpse at how the company fared during a pandemic-tinged holiday shopping season. All eyes will be on sales numbers for the iPhone 12, launched last fall. The company has reportedly hiked production 30% to meet demand, suggesting that not even a pandemic can kill Apple’s product buzz.

💰Tesla: The electric car maker is riding a wave of stock market enthusiasm that has septupled the company’s valuation and crowned its CEO as the richest man on earth. Its latest earnings report will tell whether Tesla can live up to its own hype.

💆‍♀️Facebook: The social media giant has a chance to soothe investors’ nerves by releasing convincing user growth and revenue numbers. Facebook’s stock is down 2% this year amid fear of antitrust enforcement, a potential repeal of social media companies’ liability protections, and backlash over its decision to ban extremist US political figures.


Image copyright: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Testing times in South Africa. Jan. 18, 2021.

Covid isn’t slowing down, and vaccine rollouts show no sign of catching up. South Africa, where a more contagious strain of the novel coronavirus was recently discovered, is awaiting two deliveries of a combined 1.5 million doses to start its program to vaccinate its 59 million residents.

The new variant has driven the numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths to an all-time high leading to hospitals being overwhelmed. While South Africa’s government waits on the supply of vaccines to bring the pandemic under control, recent studies have confirmed that current vaccines are less efficient on the new variant.


Image copyright: AP Photo/Seth Wenig
BlackRock chairman and CEO Larry Fink isn’t just talking the talk now.

On Tuesday, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink dropped his annual letter to CEOs, and surprise surprise, it’s focused on the climate. “Climate risk is investment risk,” Fink emphasized, but the transition also offers “a historic investment opportunity.”

BlackRock is now “asking” all public and large private companies to disclose their exposure to climate risk. Naturally, Fink said BlackRock will launch investment products offering explicit temperature goals and a pathway to net-zero emissions.

This is far from the first time Fink has led Wall Street on initiatives to address climate change: BlackRock announced in 2020 it would screen investments for sustainability criteria, divest from thermal coal producers, and vote against management failing to act on climate. With the pandemic accelerating the climate transition, “we need to move even faster,” Fink says.

✦ Want more intel on companies reshaping the global economy? As a Quartz member, you’ll get weekly debriefs in your inbox—try it free for seven days.

Becoming a member directly supports the work we do and gives you access to every bit of it. For a limited time, become a Quartz member for 20% off. Use promo code QZTWENTY at checkout.

Become a Quartz member

Who’s a good stock buy?
Elon’s dog’s hat lifts Etsy
(But it didn’t last)

Elon Musk’s tweets about a purchase made on Etsy for his dog led to an 18% jump in the company’s shares on Tuesday morning, but the stock closed down 2%.


Image copyright: Reuters/Nir Elias
Nip/tucks are on the up and up.

Plastic surgery is getting a lift. The industry’s in a sweet spot, as vaccine hopes rise while masks are still around to keep faces hidden during recovery.

Some beetles can change how a corpse smells. To ward off hungry competition, they use microbes to change the odor during a process too gross for us to describe here.

An old star survived a black hole. The two are stuck in a delicate dance.

The first entirely private squad will head to the ISS. Three wealthy men will have one former astronaut to guide them.

iPhone 12s can screw up medical devices. Apple says the model contains so many magnets, it can mess with defibrillators and pacemakers.


Until we figure out how magnets work, check out our latest.