🌏 UK’s got a tough year ahead

Plus: Genesis was behaving badly.
A pedestrian holding an umbrella walks in the rain in Chester on November 17, 2022.
A pedestrian holding an umbrella walks in the rain in Chester on November 17, 2022.
Photo: Oli Scarff / AFP (Getty Images)

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The OECD delivered a grim outlook for 2023. Out of the G7 nations, the UK economy is expected to perform the worst, while global growth is projected to drop to 2.2%.

Gazprom threatened to cut natural gas supplies to Europe. The Russian state-owned company claims gas traveling via pipeline through Ukraine is not reaching its intended client, Moldova. In Ukraine, blackouts are expected to last for months following heavy damage to its energy grid.

Experts criticized the UK’s plans to remove thousands of EU laws post-Brexit. A government watchdog stated that the impact of the legal “sunsetting” has not been properly assessed.  

JD.com will slash top executive salaries in 2023. Over 2,000 employees in senior management at the Chinese e-commerce giant will face a pay reduction of 10% to 20% amid Beijing’s push to reduce societal inequalities.

China resumed distributing South Korean media after a six-year pause. Tencent Video began streaming South Korean film Hotel by the River this month, signaling a thaw in relations.

The UK launched a market investigation into Apple and Google’s mobile systems. Antitrust authorities have 18 months to probe potential anti-competitive behavior, with a focus on browsers and cloud gaming.

Cristiano Ronaldo split with Manchester United. The two parties arrived at a mutual agreement to sever their contract less than a week after the football superstar publicly criticized the club. In other sports drama, Saudi Arabia claimed a historic victory over football powerhouse Argentina and declared a public holiday.

What to watch for

It’s judgment day for Scotland’s independence efforts. At 9:45 am local time today (Nov. 23), the UK Supreme Court will decide whether or not Holyrood can hold a second independence referendum without approval from Westminster.

There are several ways the ruling could go. The judges could either let members of the Scottish parliament pass a referendum bill; decide that it’s a matter for Westminster to consider; or establish that it’s either too early or not possible for them to make a ruling.

If Scotland gets a green light, first minister Nicola Sturgeon plans to hold an advisory referendum on Oct. 19, 2023, asking once again the yes-or-no question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The path to an independence referendum wouldn’t be straightforward, and the outcome of a potential vote is, at this point, also difficult to predict. No matter the ruling, supporters of Scottish independence have planned at least 14 rallies to take place today.

Et tu, Genesis?

Genesis Global Capital abruptly halted operations last week, blaming crypto market turmoil and a crisis of confidence in the industry. Three people familiar with operations at Genesis during the recent crypto boom-and-bust period told Quartz that the company’s loans were sometimes unsecured or secured with collateral from other clients.

Sound familiar? These are the same practices that felled Alameda Capital, the hedge fund attached to FTX, which declared bankruptcy this month. Alameda took loans from Genesis using FTX’s now-worthless token as collateral, Reuters reports, though the amount of debt is still unknown.

In a nutshell, Quartz’s investigation of Genesis Global Capital has found:

🤷 Unsecured loans to clients, who then used that money to raise capital during the crypto bull market without having to sell their holdings.

😓 Secured loans that had their collateral lent out as well, a practice known as rehypothecation that is closely regulated in traditional finance after it helped set off the 2008 global financial crisis.

When did luxury brands’ customers get so young?

Image for article titled 🌏 UK’s got a tough year ahead
Photo: Screenshot / Getty Images (Getty Images)

Once devoted to ballgowns, Balenciaga has undergone a streetwear-savvy makeover, hawking everything from sneakers to trash bags to whatever’s going on in the above picture.

In 2019, millennials and Gen Z accounted for 40% of luxury shoppers in North America, and 44% for the industry globally. These generations are expected to account for as much as 70% of the global luxury market by 2025.

China’s growing, young luxury market is partly responsible for the trend, as is savvy marketing, forays into casualwear, and fashion resale sites. The most fun way to measure the shift, though, is undoubtedly “Who’s dropping what brand name in which Billboard Top 100 song?” Quartz’s Tiffany Ap does just that in her breakdown of luxury consumer trends.

✦ Help keep Quartz free for those who can’t sport Gucci on the regular, and grab a membership now, at 50% off our usual price.

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A new AI renders 3D models from text prompts. Nvidia’s Magic3D claims to be two times faster than Google’s DreamFusion.

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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, bacteria passports, and universe directions, to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Nate DiCamillo, Ananya Bhattacharya, Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, and Susan Howson.