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🌍 #1 best place to birth an IPO

Chinese companies have responded to the threat of delisting and made Shanghai the best place to debut.

A man walks by the Shanghai Stock Exchange building in the Pudong financial district in Shanghai.
Reuters/Aly Song
A man walks by the Shanghai Stock Exchange building.
This story was published on our Quartz Daily Brief newsletter, The concise, conversational rundown you need to start your day.
  • Morgan Haefner
By Morgan Haefner

Deputy email editor


Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The Shanghai Stock Exchange was ranked the world’s top IPO venue. It beat out the Nasdaq and Hong Kong in the first half of 2022 as Chinese companies have responded to the threat of US delisting.

The G20 chairman will meet with Russia and Ukraine. Chairman Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s sitting president, will speak with leaders of both countries to discuss food security and peace. Meanwhile, Russia reported a drone attack on one of its major oil refineries.

An earthquake in Afghanistan killed at least 1,000 people. The country’s deadliest quake in decades hit the southeast region of Khost.

China hosted a virtual BRICS summit. Chinese president Xi Jinping criticized sanctions in his opening remarks, as the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine loomed over the gathering.

South Korea reported its first monkeypox case. The WHO is meeting today to decide if the outbreak represents an emergency of international concern, and to discuss a possible name change.

UK health authorities detected polio in London sewage samples. The findings suggest the virus may be spreading from person to person, but no cases of polio have been reported so far.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince visited Turkey. The countries are mending ties strained by the 2018 murder of dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

What to watch for

Summer has officially started in the northern hemisphere, but the jury’s still out on its official song. The charts are topped by Harry Styles’s “As It Was,” and Kate Bush’s 1985 classic “Running up that Hill.” But Billboard charts may no longer be a good yardstick for a song’s success.

For one, Billboard’s chart-toppers are pop and reggaeton, but Twitter is all about Kpop, and indie jazz is hot on Bandcamp. And Billboard itself has acknowledged it can’t keep up with streaming. TikTok generates viral hits too—treat yourself to TikTok compilations of Lizzo’s upbeat “About Damn Time,” and Jack Harlow’s “First Class.” And, of course, Beyoncé has a new single (and Great Resignation anthem?).

Spotify just went ahead and threw them all on one list, and maybe we no longer like to be told what single song defines our season, anyway.

What’s the point of a gas tax holiday?

In response to record-high gasoline prices, US president Joe Biden asked lawmakers yesterday to pause federal taxes on the fuel for three months. Production of gasoline in the US is already close to maxed-out, and outside of begging Saudi Arabia to drill more, the federal government doesn’t have a ton of cards to play.

But it’s not like the temporary tax break, which some states have also tried, will save drivers all that much. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon, less than 4% of the current gasoline price. Plus, a break on a fixed rate looks even worse if gas just keeps getting more expensive.

A bar chart showing elements of the retail price of gasoline in the US. Crude oil itself accounts for more than 50% of the cost, while federal and state taxes account for 16.4%.

Whether the gas tax holiday will be another fruitless effort to curb inflation is hard to say. But targeted relief for low-income households, as well as subsidies on public transit and electric vehicles, could be a better place to start.

Did the US waste low interest rates?

Today’s inflation problem can be traced in part to the last recovery, when public investment stalled despite unprecedented low interest rates. The decision to forego investment left the US vulnerable to supply chain problems, and led industries like housing and energy to cut much of the capacity the world sorely needs today.

​​✦ Our next Weekend Brief, available exclusively to Quartz members, takes a look at the “wasted decade.” Get it in your inbox by signing up for a membership (at 40% off!) today.

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Surprising discoveries

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A tiny, self-healing robo-fish is bait for microplastics. It’s made of materials the pollutants can’t resist.   

Amazon’s latest hire is a robot worker. It won’t quit unless it runs out of power.

Londoners are going wild for vegetable cocktails. That’s one way to get your five-a-day.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, microplastic saviors, and one kale old-fashioned, please, to Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Julia Malleck, Sofia Lotto Persio, Morgan Haefner, and Susan Howson.

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