Skip to navigationSkip to content

Poland wants EU countries to be punished for paying for Russian gas in rubles.

Germany and other countries are finding ways to navigate Russia’s rule that its gas can only be paid for in its own currency.

A sign, which reads: Warsaw, is pictured at the Gaz-System gas distribution station in Gustorzyn, central Poland.
This story was published on our Quartz Daily Brief newsletter, The concise, conversational rundown you need to start your day.
Published

Good morning,  Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Poland said EU countries paying for Russian gas in rubles should be punished. Russia cut off Poland and Bulgaria’s gas supply after they refused to pay with the currency, but countries like Germany are finding ways to navigate the rule.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Gazprom reported a record net profit. The state-owned energy company earned $29 billion in 2021, but said it expects gas output to fall by 4% this year as sanctions continue.

Joe Biden asked Congress for $33 billion to defend Ukraine. “Basically, we’re out of money,” the US president said when announcing the supplemental budget request.

Goldman Sachs said the yen will continue to fall with or without help. The US investment bank said it didn’t expect the value of the Japanese currency, which has fallen to its lowest level in two decades, to improve with an intervention.

US stocks rose on promising Big Tech earnings. Meta’s better-than-expected earnings helped fuel the rally. Amazon later reported its first quarterly loss since 2015, while Apple said revenue rose $97 billion—its third-best performance in history.

The US economy shrank. But the GDP decline doesn’t tell the whole story—demand for goods was strong and imports to the US rose, though exports didn’t keep up due to supply chain constraints.

What to watch for

US gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 1.4% on Thursday, as exports lagged behind imports. Covid lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine may be weighing down on imports of raw materials that are critical for manufactured goods.

We’ll see a more global—hemispheric?—picture today when Germany, France, Italy, and Spain all report their GDP numbers. Each of these countries has lowered its expectations for economic growth in 2022 because of the war in Ukraine. This past week, Germany’s economic ministry slashed its projection from 3.6% to 2.2% for the year. Earlier in April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its projection for global growth from 4.4% to 3.6%.

It remains to be seen whether these looks at first quarter GDP will cause that estimate to move one way or the other.

Musk’s other companies

What does Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter mean for SpaceX and Tesla?

🚀  SpaceX: Just six months ago, Musk warned his rocket company’s staff that bankruptcy was a possibility if they didn’t hit a key deadline. Regulatory limbo makes that outcome likely, which means, as Musk admitted, the privately held SpaceX will need more capital. Pursuing a multibillion-dollar Twitter deal could affect his ability to find it. One possibility: a faster-than-expected spin-out of Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet network.

🚗 Tesla: Shareholders at Tesla, Musk’s publicly traded electric car firm, are clearly concerned about the Twitter transaction: Tesla’s share price fell more than 10% after the deal. Musk has put up his stock in the automaker as collateral for Twitter. Investors may be worried that he could lose control of Tesla if he faces a margin call on that loan.

Handpicked Quartz (and about Quartz)

Stories readers especially liked, plus a blog post with some Quartz news.

📰  Quartz will join Gizmodo, Jezebel, and The Onion at G/O Media

🐦  An Indian-born female Twitter executive received a barrage of abuse following a Musk tweet

📛  Why Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey changed their CEO titles

🛕  Rahul Gandhi tells Modi that “hate in India” is spooking businesses and killing jobs

👵  China is trying to change its problematic retirement age

💉  How to help with vaccine inequality

✦ Love stories like these? Support our mission by becoming a member—use code MAKEBIZBETTER to take 50% off.

Surprising discoveries

Imitation space dirt is a booming business. Extraterrestrial soil simulants are being used in classrooms, space agencies, and even personal gardens.

K-pop and crypto combine in a new game called “Seoul Stars.” Players can earn tokens and purchase NFTs of the virtual K-pop star, Yuna.

The world’s first flying car airport opened in the UK. Called a “vertiport,” the hub will also accommodate drones and other eVTOL (“electric vertical takeoff and landing”) aircrafts.

The “E-nose” is nothing to sniff at. This olfactory tech can distinguish between high-quality whiskeys and detect knock-off perfume.

Liechtenstein is a debt-free country. But there may be downsides for nations running a balanced budget. Learn why in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.

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

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, fake dirt, and flying car predictions to hi@qz.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Julia Malleck, Tim Fernholz, Susan Howson, and Courtney Vinopal.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.