🌍 An oily tipping point

Plus: Inflation can’t stop people from snacking.
Russian president Vladimir Putin meets with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Sixth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Astana on October 13, 2022.
Russian president Vladimir Putin meets with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Sixth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Astana on October 13, 2022.
Photo: Vyacheslav Prokofyev/Sputnik (Getty Images)

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The International Energy Agency warned OPEC+ output cuts could trigger a global recession. Its monthly report finds that higher oil prices could be an economic tipping point amid soaring inflation and weak growth.

France sent Germany natural gas. The delivery, which covers 2% of Germany’s daily demand, is part of a bilateral deal to offset energy shortfalls from Russia. As Europe looks elsewhere for energy, president Vladimir Putin has proposed Turkey become a “gas hub.”

Taiwan reopened its borders to tourists... It lifted all covid entry restrictions and quarantine requirements after more than two and a half years.

…and one of the island’s biggest companies, TSMC, got a one-year US equipment license for production in China. The world’s top chipmaker, which just reported a record $8.8 billion profit, joins Samsung in getting the green light to at least temporarily maintain chip production in China.

Spain announced a $2.93 billion (€3 billion) energy assistance plan. Subsidies will help about 40% of households cope with soaring energy prices.

India’s Zoomcar is going public through a SPAC deal. The car-sharing startup plans to debut on the Nasdaq following a $456 million blank-check merger.

Singapore Airlines wants a stake in Air India. The Singaporean carrier has entered talks with India’s Tata Group to combine Air India with their jointly owned airline, Vistara. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways is adding 10,000 to its workforce in preparation for the 2022 World Cup.

What to watch for

Starting today, major US banks will begin posting their third quarter results. For institutions that get a greater share of their earnings from investment banking, the current market downturn is likely to rear its ugly head.

But earnings are only part of the story. Just as much attention will be devoted to the banks’ recession concerns. A major clue to banks’ outlooks is in their preparedness for loan defaults. While the US Federal Reserve’s rising interest rates give financial institutions a chance to make money, the higher cost of borrowing could also mean consumers and businesses will struggle to repay loans, increasing the risk of defaults.

The six biggest banks by assets (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs) are expected to earmark about $4.5 billion in loan-loss reserves in their third-quarter earnings—the third consecutive increase in those provisions.

Snacks @ inflation: Sorry, do you even go here?

Image for article titled 🌍 An oily tipping point
Photo: Mario Anzuoni (Reuters)

Food prices just can’t seem to catch a break from inflation. A trip to the grocery store is taking a serious bite out of shoppers’ wallets. But PepsiCo’s latest earnings make one thing clear—sticker shock just won’t stop people from eating Cheetos and chugging Mountain Dew.

Whether it’s an affordable luxury or a pick-me-up during stressful times, snacks are keeping Pepsi’s earnings bubbly. The drinks and snacks maker, which owns brands like Quaker Oats and Tropicana, expects its revenue for the year to be up by 12%, higher than the previously projected 10%.

On a conference call with investors his week, Pepsi CEO Ramon Laguarta put it pretty simply: “[O]ur brands are being stretched to higher price points and consumers are following us.” But how long can that last? For what it’s worth, Pepsi still has its recession scenario plans on the table, which include a cut in capital spending and labor automation.

Why good feedback is so hard to get

Free bags of chips and refreshments at the office might be a nice perk (for those that are in-person, anyways), but what workers really crave is something less tangible: feedback.

We need feedback to know how we’re doing at work, and also, well, because we’re human. Most managers are never trained on how to give feedback, and as one guest on our podcast Work Reconsidered explains, it’s also so hard to get because workplaces are “inherently psychologically unsafe.” But there are ways to fix that.

🎧 Listen to this week’s episode: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | Stitcher

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Surprising discoveries

Secret menu orders are running restaurant workers ragged. That “hacked” pumpkin spice latte might be cheaper, but making it probably took more work.

Frog numbers in Switzerland have leaped back. Conservationists dug more ponds and the amphibians sprang forth.

Lab-grown brain cells can play video games. We now know how many brain cells it takes to play the 1970s game Pong.

Jazzing up a PowerPoint minutes before your presentation just got a whole lot weirder. RIP Clippy, which would have stood no chance against Microsoft Office’s newest suite member, DALL-E.

Balenciaga made a Lay’s potato chip bag. At $1,800, or about the cost of 450 bags of actual Lay’s, it may be the snack pack that can’t beat inflation.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, Pong stats, and DALL-E PowerPoint slides to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Sofia Lotto Persio, Ananya Bhattacharya, Morgan Haefner, and Julia Malleck.