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Here’s what you need to know
Toyota profits plunged in the last three months of 2021. The world’s biggest automaker blamed the chip shortage for the 21% drop to $6.8 billion, and cut its production target for 2022. Meanwhile, US automakers are blaming dealers for inflating prices.
UCLA agreed a $250 million settlement over alleged sexual assaults. The university will make the payout to more than 200 women who say they were abused by former campus gynecologist James Heaps—he also faces 21 criminal charges.
The Academy again snubbed superheroes. The 2022 Oscar nomination announcement contained no big surprises, which was a little surprising in itself.
Jet Airways is on a hiring spree as it prepares for its comeback. The Indian airline has been grounded for three years, but expects to relaunch in the first half of 2022.
Meet the couple arrested over a $4.5 billion crypto scam. Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, who’s also a rapper, were detained and charged in New York for allegedly conspiring to launder billions in stolen cryptocurrency.
The US won its first gold in Beijing. Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, 36, is competing in her fifth Winter Games, and spent 16 years trying to secure victory.
There’s too much Beijing 2022 Olympic news to fit in this email—good thing we’ve got another one just for that purpose. Sign up by hitting the button below!
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.
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?
Big Tech and cryptocurrencies are divisive topics among the investors, regulators, and executives who hold sway in tech and finance. Some defend 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
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. 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.
Sponsored by Alumni Ventures
Racist street names bring house prices down. And the US has a whole lot of streets named after Confederates.
A crocodile had a tire stuck around its neck for five years. Understandably wary of humans, the reptile long evaded would-be rescuers.
Singaporean TV had its first gay kiss. An Olympic news report became a revolutionary moment when two men locked lips.
A Siberian zoo’s mascot search turned political. The contestants—an orangutan, a snow leopard, and a polar bear cub—were unaware they were at the center of so much drama.
Sleeping more helps you reduce your calorie intake. Also, it just feels good.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, sleep tips, and apolitical Quartz mascot suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah, Samanth Subramanian, Nicolás Rivero, Amanda Shendruk, Susan Howson, and Morgan Haefner.
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