Good morning, Quartz readers!
Here’s what you need to know
The UK economy shrank. March GDP was weaker than expected as the prospect of a recession looms. Meanwhile, the Bank of England said more rate hikes will be needed to control inflation.
India’s consumer prices hit an eight-year high. The Reserve Bank of India, which raised rates earlier in May to combat rising food and fuel prices, will likely follow with another hike next month.
Finland called for NATO membership. National leaders intend to apply “without delay.” Russia has warned it will take “retaliatory steps” should Finland join the military alliance.
SoftBank saw record losses. The Japanese conglomerate shed $26 billion in its largest-ever full-year loss due to failed bets on tech stocks.
Covid pills will be cheaper for poorer countries. Generic drug makers have agreed to sell Pfizer’s antivirals to low- and middle-income countries for $25 or less.
Sri Lanka got a new prime minister. In the midst of an economic crisis, five-time former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been brought back in a bid for stability.
The crypto market lost $200 billion in a day. Mass sell-offs continued as bitcoin and ether dropped in value, and stablecoin TerraUSD fell to a fraction of its dollar peg.
What to watch for
Honda reports its earnings today during a troubling time for automakers. Analysts expect Honda to report a 48% drop in net profits for the most recent quarter as part shortages, higher material costs, and supply chain delays eat away at carmakers’ margins. Earlier this week, Toyota revealed supply chain challenges slashed its profits by a third and will force the company to shut down production lines at eight factories next week.
But the otherwise dreary call could hold a silver lining for the future: Honda may give investors a progress update on its $40 billion plan to produce 2 million electric vehicles a year by 2030. Electric vehicle stocks surged yesterday, in part because electric truck startup Rivian announced lower than expected losses during a call with investors earlier this week.
What if Netflix and Peloton were one?
Netflix and Peloton have struggled in the first quarter, with the streaming service hemorrhaging subscribers and the luxury fitness company’s revenues taking a nosedive. But as profits are sinking, a partnership could help keep them afloat.
Peloton aims to boost subscriptions to 100 million globally and shift away from its reputation as a bike company, while Netflix is seeking strategies to monetize account sharing. Each company’s models could prove to be complementary, if not mutually beneficial, in meeting those goals.
Peloton could even open Netflix to a new market of high-earning subscribers, willing to pay a premium for content. At the same time, Netflix might help Peloton in becoming a digital streaming service. Perhaps, together, they could Netflix and hill.
Russia-Ukraine, as told through Eurovision
When the final of the Eurovision Song Contest kicks off May 14 in Turin, Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra will start as heavy favorites. Quartz reporter Samanth Subramanian explains how Russia’s ban from the contest this year over its invasion of Ukraine is just one example of how the countries’ fraught relationship has seeped into Eurovision.
Stories our readers are reading this week.
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🥩 Even with inflation, more than a third of Americans support a meat tax
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Our galaxy’s supermassive black hole got its first glam shot. The picture of light circling eternal darkness had one astronomer saying, “It seems that black holes like doughnuts.”
Meta teased its new metaverse wearable. Mark Zuckerberg showed off the high-end headset by playing with a weird bunny monkey thing.
Pandemic meat shortages in the US probably weren’t a thing. A report (pdf) from US lawmakers accuses meatpackers of using “baseless” claims to persuade the government to keep them open.
An airplane passenger scored a perfect landing. Proving that those disaster movies aren’t all fiction, an air traffic controller helped an untrained passenger land a plane after the pilot became incapacitated.
Worldwide, the median age is 31. But that’s on track to only get higher, and the replacement rate has a lot to do with that. 🎧 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, Twilight baseball cards, and flying lessons 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 Nicolás Rivero, Adario Strange, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.