Good morning, Quartz readers!
Here’s what you need to know
Rate hikes didn’t go over well… Stocks slumped on Wall Street, with the Nasdaq having its worst day since November 2020. Meanwhile, the pound dropped in value as the Bank of England raised rates amid fears of stagflation.
…but oil’s doing swell. Prices rose to their highest since March, with Shell’s quarterly profits almost tripling, buoyed by an OPEC+ output ratification and a US plan to replenish crude reserves later this year.
China’s services sector activity hit a two-year low. The EU Chamber of Commerce warned that Beijing’s zero-covid policy, which has caused steep market contraction, could also lead to foreign investment withdrawal.
Nearly 15 million people have died from covid. The WHO estimated that death tolls have been undercounted in many countries, with India seeing nearly one third of deaths globally.
What to watch for
Hong Kong will put on a show of “democracy” on Sunday (May 8) when a tiny group of electors votes for a single Beijing-approved candidate who is all but guaranteed a victory for the top job of chief executive.
That person is John Lee, an ex-cop and former security chief who pushed for a disastrous extradition law that sparked massive protests in 2019. For that debacle, Lee was rewarded with a promotion to the city’s second-highest office. Now, barring unforeseen circumstances, he will become Hong Kong’s top official. (Like his predecessor Carrie Lam, Lee is sanctioned by the US).
Preordained elections are hallmarks of authoritarian regimes. But Lee’s appointment is also significant for another reason: he’ll be the city’s first chief executive without an extensive civil service or business background. His law enforcement pedigree suggests national security issues to be China’s top priority for Hong Kong.
How to drink sustainably
If your Cinco de Mayo drinking plans are extending into the weekend (but for various reasons, you’re done with tequila), you may be tempted by mezcal.
Over the past decade, mezcal has increasingly joined tequila as the Mexican spirit of choice. But with booze comes overindulgence. In the case of mezcal, the boom has led to the overharvesting of wild agaves (also available in Spanish).
5.8 million: Liters of mezcal Mexico exported in 2019
50%: Increase in American imports of mezcal in 2019
53: Species of Mexican agave used to make mezcal
But there is a way to drink mezcal sustainably. According to Quartz reporter Samanth Subramanian, there’re at least three things you should look for—two of which fly.
The business of bullshit
Bullshit is everywhere and takes many forms, but in workplaces it’s often evidenced by acronyms, excessive jargon, and information-poor communication. Do you think you have a good bullshit detector? Take our test to find out.
Stories our readers especially liked.
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Over 350,000 Korean teenagers own Samsung stocks. Collectively, their shares are worth around $890 million.
Lagos’s “Face-Me-I-Face-You” homes signal the city’s population boom. The name comes from awkwardly-divided single-family homes where doors face one another.
Ms. Pac-Man finally gets her due. The 41-year-old arcade game entered the World Video Game Hall of Fame, seven years after Pac-Man.
New Zealand has nearly eradicated a deadly cattle disease. Health officials say that only a single farm has mycoplasma bovis, a bacterial infection that has killed over 175,00 cows in the country.
Pasta as we know it—dry and ready to boil—was born in the 1200s. Sicily was its hometown, but how did the food find its way to pantries globally? Find out in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, nice neighbors, and Ms. Pac-Man arcade machines to email@example.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, Mary Hui, Anne Quito, and Morgan Haefner.
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