🌍 Sticker shock

Plus: Who needs subscriber forecasts anyway?
An Asda shopping basket containing groceries taken on October 19, 2022 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
An Asda shopping basket containing groceries taken on October 19, 2022 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Photo: Christopher Furlong (Getty Images)

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

UK inflation hit a 40-year high. Consumer prices in September increased by 10.1% as food and energy costs soar. Meanwhile, UK home secretary Suella Braverman resigned in another high-profile departure for the Truss administration.

Tesla released its third quarter results. The electric car maker reported $21.45 billion in revenue, slightly lower than analysts expected, but beat on earnings.

Russia declared martial law in the illegally annexed regions of Ukraine. Russian president Vladimir Putin made the announcement as Ukraine’s counteroffensive continues to make gains.

Hong Kong has a $3.8 billion fund to attract overseas businesses. In his first policy address, chief executive John Lee also unveiled a new visa to draw in foreign talent as the territory seeks to revive its status as a global financial hub.

Workers at France’s TotalEnergies ended a strike at one refinery. The move could kickstart an end to the national petrol crisis, though union members continue to strike for higher pay at three other refineries.

Germany plans to legalize cannabis. Draft proposals leaked yesterday reveal it will allow adults to buy and possess up to 20g of cannabis in what could become the world’s largest legalized weed market.

What to watch for

Leaders of the EU’s 27 member states begin a two-day meeting today (Oct. 20) in Brussels. The energy crisis remains a top priority for the bloc, especially following the recent damage to the Nord Stream pipelines.

Members face a complex task: achieving independence from Russian fossil fuels while also curbing energy prices. The EU is due to implement a ban on Russian oil imports in December as well as impose a price cap on oil and gas, but progress on both fronts has been a slog.

A price cap on Russian oil was approved earlier this month as part of a new round of Russian sanctions, but it was light on important details, such as the actual price point. And a plan for a gas price cap isn’t ready, but the European Commission has asked members to draft a proposal. Reaching a consensus will be tricky, but implementation even trickier.

Who needs subscriber forecasts anyway?

Streaming giant Netflix surprised investors by turning around two quarters of subscriber losses in its latest earnings report, netting 2.41 million new viewers. But don’t expect future subscriber forecasts from the company. Beginning in 2023, that metric is gone, and it’s all about that top-line revenue, baby.

Netflix hopes that by nixing its subscriber forecast in favor of a revenue guidance, investors will start to see it as a diversified entertainment media brand instead of just a streaming company. It makes sense—Netflix’s days of binging on unchallenged subscriber growth are over, so why not decouple its fortunes from its ability to expand its 223 million-strong subscriber base?

But the reporting change (Netflix prefers “guidance evolution” 💅) doesn’t alleviate the growing competitive pressures it faces from rivals like Disney and Amazon. A new number might shift investors’ focus, but they’ll still be tough critics.

The next step in Amazon’s union saga

The Amazon Labor Union was just handed its second election loss in a row at a warehouse in Albany, New York. It’s not the kind of momentum workers were looking for ahead of another vote set to take place at an Amazon warehouse in Moreno Valley, California.

While unionizers won’t accept the results of the last two elections lying down, the setbacks do raise questions around whether the grassroots organization has the resources and experience to take on the e-commerce behemoth.

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Graphic: Ananya Bhattacharya

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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, toggle goggles, and fish-sized SUVs 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, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.

Correction: Yesterday’s newsletter referred to the CCP’s seven-member committee as the “Politburo,” but it should be called the Politburo Standing Committee.