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Emmanuel Macron and Moscow have different tales of Vladimir Putin meeting

Emmanuel Macron says Vladimir Putin agreed to stay put, but Moscow denies de-escalation

A close-up of Emmanuel Macron in front of a blue European Union flag.
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Emmanuel Macron says Vladimir Putin agreed to stay put. Moscow says no such de-escalation deal was reached between the presidents of France and Russia.

SoftBank is planning an IPO for Arm. Going with another tack after an $80 billion deal to sell the chip-maker to Nvidia fell apart, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said it’s a “golden period” for Arm.

Business sentiment in Japan dropped more sharply than it has since the 2011 earthquake. Rising covid cases sent confidence spiraling. Meanwhile Pfizer’s confidence is eye-poppingly high, and Johnson & Johnson paused production of its jab, on which much of the developing world depends.

Peloton’s CEO stepped down. John Foley, who founded the faltering fitness firm, will be replaced by ex-Spotify CFO Barry McCarthy amid 2,800 layoffs.

The Academy snubbed some of the best movies to come out of the pandemic. The 2022 Oscar nomination announcement contained no big surprises, which was a little surprising in itself.

A Russian Olympic hockey player tested positive for covid. Polina Bolgareva had just played a game with Canada. In other Olympic news, Italy won a historic curling gold, Chinese skier Eileen Gu did too, and Dutch speed skater Kjeld Nuis and US figure skater Nathan Chen both broke records.

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What to watch for

Mattel’s biggest news of 2022 won’t be reflected in its fourth-quarter earnings report today. Having lost a lucrative line of Disney princess figures to Hasbro in 2016, Mattel just won those princesses—worth at least $500 million in revenue—back.

A chart showing Mattel's worldwide net sales, which declined after it lost the Disney princesses.

But investors will watch Mattel’s numbers even for non-Disney reasons. Mattel’s oldest star, Barbie, has been gaining popularity after a temporary decline. In 2019, Barbie became a billion-doll brand again, and one analyst pegs her revenues at $481 million from the fourth quarter. Mattel’s other big brand, Hot Wheels, is also thriving; in the second quarter of 2021, the tiny cars posted a 68% year-over-year increase in sales.

The return of the Disney dolls will be a huge fillip to Mattel’s balance sheet once it starts selling them again. But a strong earnings report today will show that Mattel’s homegrown toys are playing to win, too.

Are you a crypt-no, or yes?

A grid showing where different leaders stand on crypto, whether they're enthusiasts or skeptics. .

Big Tech and cryptocurrencies are divisive topics among the investors, regulators, and executives who hold sway in tech and finance. Some defend Big Tech companies like Amazon, Alphabet, and Alibaba as solid businesses with great products and steady performance. Others attack the firms for monopolizing industries and bungling content moderation.

Are you more of an Elon Musk or a Janet Yellen? Answer six simple questions and we’ll show you how you stack up against prominent voices from around the world, based on public statements they’ve made about Big Tech and cryptocurrencies.

Egg freezing: Put it on ice

Image copyright: Photograph by Eric Helgas, styling by Alex Citrin-Safadi

More women are freezing their eggs for later use. The reasons vary—the high cost of having children, no suitable partner, pandemic panic, and more, and the procedure’s popularity has grown as celebrities and regular people alike share their egg freezing experiences on social media.

1,000%: Increase in the number of women in the US who froze their eggs from 2009 to 2016

28: Median marriage age for women

$20,000: High end of cost to freeze eggs in the US

What’s the likelihood that egg freezing leads to a viable pregnancy? It’s a question we answer in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.

🥚 Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | Stitcher

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