🌎 A divided Congress

Plus: That autumnal budget feeling in the air.
🌎 A divided Congress

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The Republican Party has officially won the US House of Representatives. California’s Kevin McCarthy was nominated to become House Speaker, while in the Senate, 12 Republican lawmakers voted with the Democrats to protect equal marriage under federal law.

Elon Musk took the stand at the Delaware Court of Chancery. The Tesla CEO defended himself against a lawsuit contesting his $56 billion pay package from the electric car maker.

Two of America’s most prestigious law schools withdrew from a 30-year-old ranking. Yale and Harvard said the US News & World Report’s system is flawed.

First Solar is opening a factory in Alabama. The solar panel manufacturer credited the Inflation Reduction Act incentives for its decision to invest $1.1 billion in its fourth US facility.

Microsoft is working on a new supercomputer with Nvidia. The multiyear agreement comes two years after Microsoft partnered with OpenAI to make the same type of technology.

The Food and Drug Administration declared a lab-grown meat product as safe to eat for the first time. All UPSIDE Foods now needs to bring its products to market is to pass an inspection by the US Department of Agriculture.  

El Salvador’s president doubled down on bitcoin. Nayib Bukele said his country, where the cryptocurrency is legal tender, will keep buying bitcoin, despite mounting losses from the digital asset’s price collapse.

What to watch for

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak’s new government is about to unveil its autumn budget today, a much-anticipated plan that has been rescheduled twice since a so-called mini-budget delivered by the previous government on Sept. 23 wreaked havoc on the country’s finances, reputation, and housing market.

The UK chancellor of the exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, has to delicately balance reassuring investors the country is committed to fiscal discipline and supporting Britons who are experiencing an inflation rate of 11.1%, the highest in 41 years, as per new data released yesterday (Nov. 16).

Hunt claims he wants to shield the most vulnerable from the consequences of rising prices, but he also needs to lay out plans to reduce debt in line with the government’s fiscal plans. A cocktail of spending reductions and higher taxes is expected, and their mix and consistency will determine how easy it’ll be to swallow.

The latest crypto domino to fall

The lending arm of Genesis, a trading desk for professional investors, announced that it was halting withdrawals and new loan originations, saying in a tweet that market turbulence following FTX’s collapse had triggered a run on its lending arm, which lacked the liquidity to meet “abnormal withdrawal requests.”⁠

Genesis has $2.8 billion in outstanding loans, primarily offered to institutions, but also gives loans to customers with crypto as collateral. What’s not clear is whether that collateral was kept locked or lent out. According to the interim CEO, the trading and crypto custody arm of Genesis remains unaffected.

Here’s where crypto is currently:

😬 Crypto exchanges are desperate to show they’re not the next FTX

😬 FTX’s collapse has sent shivers down the spine of Africa’s crypto community

😬 The moment FTX was marked as a zero-dollar investment

Taylor Swift fans cannot be ignored

The practical implications of a monopoly made themselves known this week when US ticketing giant Ticketmaster began melting down under the sheer weight of Swiftie enthusiasm. Despite plenty of notice and a rather opaque vetting process, a presale for Taylor Swift’s 2023 tour broke that particular corner of the internet.

Ticketmaster has been doing its thing for decades, and its purchase by LiveNation in 2010 theoretically brought together two thoroughly tested logistics processes. So how did it go so wrong? The answer—say legions of fans and some notable politicians—lies in the fact that they shouldn’t have been allowed to merge in the first place.

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Surprising discoveries

Ash Ketchum became the very best. It only took the show’s protagonist 25 years, but he finally was crowned a Pokémon world champion. Now what?

Babies born the old-fashioned way have higher amounts of beneficial bacteria. That leads to double the antibodies when they’re vaccinated, though doctors are playing around with ways to help Cesarean babies catch up.

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Never mistake a regular black hole with a wormhole again! Just analyze the light that’s spinning around the object’s opening.

AI-generated selfies made it to Tinder. Catfishing, but make it DALL-E.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, real selfies, and on second thought, no selfies at all to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Ananya Bhattacharya, Julia Malleck, Sofia Lotto Persio, Nate DiCamillo, Morgan Haefner, and Susan Howson.