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CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart have reached deals to settle US opioid lawsuits. The combined $13 billion settlement is a tiny fraction of the ongoing epidemic’s estimated cost of $1 trillion a year.
The US Federal Reserve isn’t done raising interest rates. But the next hike, due in December, might not be as steep as yesterday’s 75 basis points increase.
Half of Twitter’s staff is in the firing line. According to Bloomberg, Elon Musk is planning to cut 3,700 jobs at the social media company.
Boeing set an ambitious revenue target. Chief Financial Officer Brian West said the manufacturer expects to record $100 billion in annual sales within the next four years, a goal last achieved in 2018.
CBS and Les Moonves must pay $30.5 million in a case related to sexual misconduct. The New York attorney general said the network’s leadership sought to conceal the allegations from investors.
Glaciers in the US Yosemite National Park will melt by 2050. A UN report found several glaciers across the world will disappear in a few decades’ time due to increasing global temperatures.
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What to watch for
It’s finally happening—Netflix is resorting to ad sales. The streaming service launches its advertising-supported tier today. At $7 a month in the US, and even less in some countries, the budget service is about on par with the ad-supported plans of streaming rivals Disney+, Hulu, and HBO Max.
Co-CEO Reed Hastings has long pledged to avoid ads. But a falling stock price and subscriber losses have forced the company to rethink its strategy. Netflix’s stock price was down 66% in June from its peak in 2021, even though Quartz’s Tiffany Ap handed them a golden idea—team up with Peloton!—back in May.
If you’re willing to suffer through commercials for a lower price, just know you won’t be able to download content and, due to what Netflix describes as licensing issues, some content will also be unavailable. Which shows? It’s not clear at time of writing. But if it’s The Great British Bake Off, we’ll be sticking with the ad-free tier, thank you very much.
To manufacturers, Mexico is the new China
The disparity in manufacturing wages between Mexico and China is starker than ever.
With fewer people in its labor market as a result of Beijing’s decades-long one-child policy, China’s wages have been rising. Low wages have long attracted businesses to open factories in Mexico, and the pandemic may have accelerated this trend as it pushed up labor costs along the supply chain.
But it’s not just a matter of wages. The availability of qualified labor and geographic proximity to the US also works in Mexico’s favor, as does the broader interest among companies in diversifying their sources in order to reduce supply chain risks.
Every crisis everywhere, all at once
Collins English Dictionary announced that its 2022 word of the year was “permacrisis,” an “extended period of instability and insecurity.” For the UK, where Collins is published, this certainly feels true about a time period marked by covid, inflation, Brexit, and let’s not forget a climate that’s on its way to becoming inhospitable for future generations.
Meanwhile, historian Adam Tooze has taken to calling the global economic situation a “polycrisis,” where a number of depressing factors have combined to create one big alarming supersituation. But is describing our tangle of crises this way actually useful?
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A new recipe for fresh pasta can double the product’s shelf life. A change in the package’s atmosphere and the addition of good bacteria to the dough can keep the goods fresh for 120 days.
The days of the fax machine are numbered. A UK communications regulator is deciding if fax is a wrap.
The size of rhino horns has shrunk in the past century. Poachers targeting the pachyderms with the biggest outgrowth may have had something to do with it.
Two “planet killer”-sized asteroids were found lurking behind the sun. Luckily, neither are expected to pose a threat to the Earth.
The world has been robbed of the song “Inflation” for nearly 50 years. NPR’s Planet Money discovered the economically topical tune, and created a record label to assist singer Earnest Jackson in finally getting it out. We are here to help.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, hidden economic song gems, and old fax machine uses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Sofia Lotto Persio, Adario Strange, Michelle Cheng, Julia Malleck, and Susan Howson.