Good morning, Quartz readers!
Here’s what you need to know
US inflation slowed down. Falling commodity prices helped rein in inflation to 7.7%, providing some relief for Americans struggling to cope with higher costs of living.
Elon Musk said the B-word. The Twitter CEO who spooked advertisers, drove out key employees, and attracted regulators’ attention in his first two weeks in the role, said bankruptcy was a possibility for the company (see more below).
BlockFi paused client withdrawals. The crypto lender advised against making new deposits in the wake of the FTX crisis, which could reverberate in the sports world, too.
Amazon started a cost-cutting review. CEO Andy Jassy is reportedly looking to trim expenses and unprofitable businesses amid a company-wide hiring freeze.
KFC blamed a bot for its Kristallnacht ad fail. An app push invited German customers to mark the remembrance day of coordinated Nazi-era attacks on Jewish people and businesses with some cheese and chicken.
California launched a first-of-its-kind lawsuit over “forever chemicals.” Manufacturers 3M and DuPont are among the 18 companies sued.
What to watch for
Today (Nov. 11) is the largest online shopping day in the world—China’s Singles’ Day.
The event, which started as a celebration of singledom in the 1990s, was turned by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma into the e-commerce giant’s flagship shopping festival in 2009. The bonanza sales day—also known as Double Eleven because of the date 11/11—draws sellers and stars from around the world.
For a while, there seemed to be no limit to its revenue-generating power. In 2020, Alibaba and its rival JD.com generated a record $115 billion in sales during the 11-day shopping spree. This year, Singles’ Day sales have been on for a fortnight, but don’t expect such a blockbuster performance amid China’s economic slowdown.
With sales failing to impress, companies and brands are trying to use the shopping extravaganza to woo and lock in customers for the long-haul by offering lucrative loyalty programs. And there’s probably no better occasion than Singles’ Day to forge long-term customer relationships.
The not-so-sneaky climate whisperers
It’s unlikely you’ll hear the CEO of Shell boast of his influence on the Paris Agreement at the ongoing COP27 climate meeting in Sharm El-Sheik. But there’s no denying that, even on the DL, fossil fuel lobbyists are shaping discussions at the conference.
Of the 33,449 registered attendees at COP27, 636 are lobbyists for fossil fuel or fossil-reliant energy companies. That’s larger than any nation’s group at COP27, apart from the 1,000-person delegation from the United Arab Emirates.
The sheer number of opportunities lobbyists have to whisper in influential ears about the role fossil fuels could play in the future has watchdog groups worried. Climate lead Brice Böhmer from Transparency International says, at a minimum, rules should exist that ensure civil society voices get the same access to airtime with delegates as lobbyists.
Keep up with the latest news from Sharm El-Sheik with our limited email series, Need to Know: COP27.
How the Twitter saga could end
It’s been yet another wild week for Twitter. Elon Musk found himself in a virtual standoff with advertisers (TL;DR: he needs them more than they need him), blue check chaos ensued, and cracks from the company’s mass layoffs began to show.
There’re several directions in which Twitter’s missteps could take the company. The next Quartz Weekend Brief will look at some of the most likely scenarios, and others that maybe aren’t so clear. Whatever the path, the ramifications will reach far beyond the platform.
✦ You won’t miss out on this email if you sign up for a Quartz membership today. We’ll even knock 50% off our usual price.
Quartz’s most popular
🦃 Bet you can’t guess these Thanksgiving staples from their inflationary trends
😅 Sequoia won’t be the last to mark FTX a zero dollar investment
🎥 AI means anyone can cast Hollywood stars in their own films
😬 India has lost 70 million hectares of farmland since 2015
🐡 Could offshore aquaculture make fish farming more sustainable?
Adam Smith’s invisible hand is a mishandled metaphor
A pair of used Birkenstocks could sell for as much as $80,000 at auction. They belonged to Steve Jobs and were later plucked from a garbage heap back in the ‘80s.
Cephalopods also get the urge to chuck things. The so-called “gloomy octopus” flings shells and silt at their own species when they’re ticked off.
Nasa piloted a UFO-shaped heat shield. Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator, or “LOFTID,” may be deployed in future planetary missions.
Broccoli gas could be the key to finding aliens. Scientists have a hunch that methyl bromide, a gas released by the brassica vegetable family, could signal there’s life on other planets.
Have you ever wondered what Blink-182's “All the Small Things” would sound like if Johnny Cash sang it? A major UK retailer adopted the cover as the soundtrack to its much-anticipated yearly Christmas ad.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, brand spanking new Birks, and cephalopod reality TV shows to firstname.lastname@example.org. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Ananya Bhattacharya, Sofia Lotto Persio, Tim McDonnell, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.