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Here’s what you need to know
The US TreasuryDirect website struggled with demand for government I bonds. The website experienced outages as investors rushed to buy the securities, which pay a 9.62% interest rate if bought before Oct. 28.
Elon Musk brought a sink to the Twitter headquarters. The billionaire looks set to complete the $44 billion takeover and wants the news to “sink in.”
Argo AI shut down. Ford and Volkswagen pulled the plug on their driverless vehicle experiment, citing issues with taking it mainstream.
Ye showed up uninvited at Skechers’s LA offices. The footwear company issued a statement saying the rapper, who was dropped by Adidas this week, was escorted out and that there’s no intention of working together.
Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse pitch failed to convince investors. Meta shares fell 20% after posting another quarter of declining profits. The company was also hit with a $24.7 million fine for violating campaign finance disclosure laws.
The world is on track for a devastating 2.5 degrees Celsius rise in temperatures by 2100. As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, climate pledges aren’t currently meeting the goals set in the 2015 Paris Agreement, threatening livelihoods and species’ survival.
The Miss Universe pageant will be owned by a woman for the first time. Jakkaphong “Anne” Jakrajutatip, the Thai CEO of JKN Global Group and a trans celebrity, paid $20 million for the organization.
What to watch for
After recording two consecutive quarters of negative growth, the Bureau of Economic Analysis is expected to announce today that the US economy expanded during the third quarter.
Various analysts have been revising their GDP growth estimates, pointing toward a healthy, albeit momentary, rebound. Consumer spending has not dropped (yet) and employment numbers remain robust. Amid persistent inflation and increasing interest rates, a strong GDP reading might help Democrats convince voters that they can curb economic turmoil ahead of the midterm elections on Nov. 8.
One of the factors contributing to GDP growth this past quarter was a shrinking trade deficit powered by a decrease in imports, as retailers adjusted their inventory levels. But in the long run, inflation remains the beast to tame. The combination of the rising cost of living and the Federal Reserve’s ongoing attempts to tackle it by hiking interest rates—thus strengthening the dollar and hurting exports—is still predicted to cause a recession.
Biodiversity is a business problem
On the heels of two damning climate change reports, businesses are in a game of tug of war on protecting biodiversity. On one side are those that want more regulation, and on the other are those actively lobbying against it.
Sweden’s IKEA and India’s Tata Steel are among 330 firms from around the globe that recently signed an open letter calling on world leaders to strengthen biodiversity rules by 2030. But there’s a long road from pledge to action—and companies aren’t great at reaching their own goals.
If you’re skeptical, you probably should be—greenwashing can be hard to spot. You can bet we’ll be watching for it at the UN’s upcoming climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Quartz reporter Tim McDonnell will be on the ground reporting, and you can get updates sent directly to your inbox with our Need to Know: COP27 pop up newsletter. Sign up today!
RIP 🪦 YouTube’s ad revenue
YouTube’s ad division saw its revenue decline for the first time since the company started separately reporting those numbers in 2019.
The video streaming service, owned by Alphabet, was the weakest link in the parent company’s earnings last quarter, too. But beyond YouTube, even core search ads are growing slower for fellow Alphabet subsidiary Google. It’s emblematic of a broader trend of falling ad revenue that’s affecting rivals across the industry.
✦ Want to dive into what else is floating in Alphabet’s soup? The next Weekend Brief will explain YouTube’s effect on the Google parent’s bottom line, as well as the Android-maker’s global antitrust snafus. Don’t miss out on the email—grab a Quartz membership at our steepest discount yet.
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Each British prime minister gets a personalized podium. The speech-making accoutrement can cost anywhere from $2,300 (£2,000) to $4,600 (£4,000).
Video games could improve memory and motor skills in adolescents. Kids, print out this study if you want to bargain for some extra screen time.
Bees may be able to affect weather. Hives can electrify the air to the same degree as a thunderstorm.
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