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🌎 Twitter shareholders don't mind Musk's money

The current decline in prices for goods like gasoline, used cars and apparel will most likely be reflected in the data in the next few months.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks up as he addresses guests at the Offshore Northern Seas 2022 (ONS) meeting in Stavanger, Norway on August 29, 2022. - The meeting, held in Stavanger from August 29 to September 1, 2022, presents the latest developments in Norway and internationally related to the energy, oil and gas sector.
CARINA JOHANSEN/NTB/AFP via Getty Images
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  • Sofia Lotto Persio
By Sofia Lotto Persio

Newsletter writer and editor

Published

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Here’s what you need to know

Twitter shareholders will take Elon Musk’s dumb joke money, please. Yesterday’s vote to approve the Tesla CEO’s $44 billion takeover was predictable—investors only had two real options: make money or lose money.

US prices rose faster than expected in August. The current decline in prices for goods like gasoline, used cars and apparel will most likely be reflected in the data in the next few months. Meanwhile, Americans’ median income has flatlined for the second year in a row.

US GOP senator Lindsey Graham proposed a federal 15-week abortion ban. The most significant bill since the repeal of Roe v Wade has divided, rather than unified, the Republican Party.

Starbucks unveiled a $450 million store makeover. The coffee company aims to make workers’ jobs less physically taxing and more time efficient, but it has yet to mention whether a store’s union status will influence the investment it receives.

More than 10,000 Hard Rock workers are getting a salary boost. Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming have earmarked $100 million towards pay rises as high as 60% for some staff.

The NBA sanctioned Phoenix Suns team owner Robert Sarver for racist behavior. Critics said the league could have gone further than imposing a one-year ban and a $10 million fine.

UNGA will start revealing progress towards its sustainable development goals. We’re not holding our breath. Keep up with what the United Nations General Assembly does—and doesn’t—do over the next two weeks by signing up for our Need to Know: UNGA 2022 limited email.


What to watch for

The US initial public offering market is finally seeing some action. Slated for Thursday, insurance giant AIG’s flotation of its life and retirement unit Corebridge Financial would be the biggest US IPO so far this year. The market debut aims to raise $1.92 billion at a $15.5 billion valuation, overshadowing private equity firm TPG’s $1.1 billion listing in January.

2021 proved a milestone year for IPOs. The number of companies that went public crossed 1,000 for the first time, attracting a total $315 billion in investment—setting a new bar for a record that had never surpassed $200 billion.

The fall from those dizzying heights has been a lot steeper than expected, due to those “factors outside of our control,” as CEOs like to call them—i.e. inflation-boosting supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. AIG also blamed market conditions for a delay in Corebridge’s planned listing. Thursday will show whether good things come to those who wait.


Are those Ray-Bans you’re wearing, or are you just recording me?

Image copyright: Ray-Ban

When you saw the photo above, did you notice the camera? When Quartz’s Adario Strange wore Meta’s Ray-Ban Stories to lunch, none of us realized he wasn’t just being regular cool, but tech cool.

Meta had the right idea in avoiding the design folly of, say, the clunky Google Glass. But it overcorrected by embedding tech a bit too seamlessly in the instantly recognizable Wayfarer. Something as simple as a distinctive design element or a prominent new logo might alert one’s lunch pals that the shades they see before them are $300 smart glasses and not classic, analog $163 Ray-Bans. Plus, that kind of incognito styling can come off as more than a little creepy.

Ray-Ban Stories have yet to really catch on, and it all tracks with Meta’s struggle to sell hardware, says Adario. However, there’s still time: They’re the best-looking smart glasses on the market, and a new T-Mobile partnership could up the product’s appeal.


Thinking of offering abortion benefits?

Of the 114 major US employers who reportedly have pledged to offer or expand abortion-related benefits since a Supreme Court decision reversing federal reproductive rights was first leaked in May, 54 of them are in the Fortune 500. These types of policies represent meaningful gestures of support in the face of drastic rollbacks to reproductive rights. However, they also raise serious concerns about safety and confidentiality.

For Quartz at Work, Rebecca Grant lays out how employers can offer abortion benefits while remaining compliant—and empathetic.

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Surprising discoveries

A Persian epic poem manuscript will be up for auction. The 16th century Shahnameh folio, which contains 50,000 rhyming couplets and took 20 years to illustrate, could fetch $6.9 million (£6 million).

AI art is getting banned. Some online communities fear computer-generated works will crowd out human-made art, such as illustrated tomes containing 50,000 rhymes about kings.

Tesla wants your vote. The automaker is seeking public feedback on where to place EV charging stations across three continents.

A horse-sized Negroni cocktail broke the world record. A Bangkok hotel’s version of the aperitif was 1,109 pints (630 liters) and 400 kg (882 lbs).

Mr. Bah can help catch grandma. The mobile assistance robot detects when seniors lose balance.


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