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🌍 Ouch, global economy

The World Bank blames the Russia-Ukraine war and inflation for a slowing global economy

A woman moves a gas tank as she stands in line to buy another tank near a distributor, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte
A woman moves a gas tank as she stands in line to buy another tank near a distributor, amid the country’s economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
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  • Morgan Haefner
By Morgan Haefner

Deputy email editor


Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The World Bank cut its outlook for the global economy. The agency said the Russia-Ukraine war and high inflation will likely slow growth to 2.9% this year, down from 5.7% in 2021.

Russia claimed to gain more control of the eastern part of Ukraine. The advance comes as the US and UK have stepped up supplying sophisticated weapons to Ukraine.

Sri Lanka said it needs $5 billion to ensure basic living standards. The country is facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades as it deals with a shortage of essential items such as fuel and medicine.

Pakistan will reduce its work week from six to five days to save energy. The country has been hit by hours-long power outages, with high demand outstripping generation in the summer.

Thousands of South Korean truckers went on strike. The protest over wage changes could slow the export of goods from the country.

Climate crisis costs are up over 800%. Not only is the need for extreme weather-related humanitarian funding higher, but donor nations are having trouble keeping up.

What to watch for

In the foreground are two giant, stylised penguin plushies with red and pink scarves, respectively, on an orange-tinged glass shelf, above it is another shelf with two more plushies that are slightly smaller, also with scarves. One looks like a rabbit, the other is a tiger. Tencent's CEO is in the back, leaning against the wall and looking slightly down at the cameraman with his arms crossed. The space is covered floor to ceiling in light-colored wood panels, some of it curved concave and convex.
Image copyright: Reuters/Bobby Yip
Tencent Chairman and CEO Pony Ma poses with mascots for inside the company’s headquarters in Nanshan Hi-Tech Industrial Park in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen during an interview by Reuters June 9, 2011. Picture taken June 9, 2011.

Tencent is officially shuttering its streaming service Penguin Esports this week, citing changes to its business strategy. The change comes months after Chinese regulators blocked a $6 billion merger between two other streaming platforms where Tencent holds a sizable stake: Huya and Douyu.

China’s hostile attitude toward the gaming industry is nothing new. In recent years, it has suspended game title approval and banned children’s playing time for video games. No new game titles were approved for sale in May this year, while 60 were approved for June but none for Tencent and NetEase, the industry’s largest players.

This trend is likely to continue. Beijing’s targeted crackdown, which led to the closure of 14,000 game studios between July 2021 and April 2022, is pushing companies to pivot their business overseas. Just last month, NetEase announced the opening of its first US-based studio in Texas as it seeks new opportunities for growth.

Now hiring: Starbucks CEO

Howard Schultz’s third stint as Starbucks CEO is set to end in March as the company zeros in on a new leader it hopes to name by this fall. According to the Wall Street Journal, the coffee chain isn’t interested in another Schultz. In fact, it’s only considering external candidates, and Schultz has asked some executives, who’ve been at the organization for more than 15 years, to step down.

What will make the best CEO candidate for a global coffee giant that’s looking to stir things up? Here are a few qualifications that might move someone to the top of the list:


  • Prefers iced lattes to go (but coffee experience isn’t mandatory)

The big business of podcasts

a microphone as used in podcasting
Image copyright: Eric Helgas, styling by Alex Citrin-Safadi

Question: Which fact is true of Quartz Obsession podcast listeners?

1. 50% live in the US

2. 6% live in Sweden

3. They listen on Apple Podcast and Spotify the most

4. Nearly all finish each episode

Answer: Trick question. They’re all true!

As with most things on the internet, data collection has become a big part of the podcasting business. But there’s still limitations for podcasters who want to really understand and grow their audience. Get meta with us and learn all about the business of podcasting in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.

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Surprising discoveries

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Bumblebees are fish, according to a California court. The unanimous ruling straightened out a legal debate between conservationists and farmers over a half-century-old endangered species law.

Licking fish roe from one’s fist is all the rage. The caviar “bump” is a no-frills way to eat a pricey delicacy.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, lettuce substitutes, and a 40-pound bag of cat food to Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Julia Malleck, Michelle Cheng, and Morgan Haefner.

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