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Elon Musk teases Man U fans...
August 18, 2022 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

Morning Brew

Buick

Good morning. We recently lamented the fact that 2022 doesn’t have a song of the summer, and now New York Magazine just declared that there’s no drink of the summer, either. While for many years summer’s top drink was the Aperol spritz and in 2021 it was the espresso martini, people are now just ordering whatever the heck they want without any societal guideposts.

If you have over 50,000 followers on social media, please tell us what you and your friends are drinking this summer.

Matty Merritt, Abby Rubenstein, Jamie Wilde, Neal Freyman

MARKETS

Nasdaq

12,938.12

S&P

4,274.04

Dow

33,980.32

10-Year

2.900%

Bitcoin

$23,384.12

Progressive

$127.06

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 9:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: The major indexes all fell, and the Dow snapped a five-day winning streak, as the recent rally hit the hill portion of a Peloton ride. There aren’t many stocks hitting all-time highs these days, but Progressive just did. Insurance companies typically benefit from higher interest rates.
  • Economy: The minutes from the Fed’s July meeting showed that central bankers aim to continue raising interest rates to curb inflation, but that there might be a point in the future where it would be “appropriate” to slow the pace of those rate hikes in order to avoid hurting the economy more than necessary.

PUBLIC HEALTH

CDC hits refresh

Rochelle Walensky speaking. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The CDC knows how hard the CDC dropped the ball on its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. And like a company that’s spent millions on slide decks from a 24-year-old consultant, it announced a major restructuring. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky met with other senior leaders at the organization yesterday to lay out her new plan to help the CDC better handle a public health crisis.

Walensky—a doctor, infectious disease expert, and Harvard Medical School professor—was an early Biden administration appointee. In April of this year, she launched a major review of the agency and found more weak spots than a gluten-free pie crust.

“For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for Covid-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,” Walensky said. Critics say CDC fumbles started almost the second Covid appeared in the US, with scarce access to testing and a lack of data about the virus’s spread.

A few of her proposed changes

Dial down the academic culture. CDC professionals need to be less focused on publishing in fancy academic journals and more focused on tangible outcomes, Walensky said. The organization will also update its communication style with the public so you don’t have to ask your cousin in medical school to decode CDC guidelines.

Move faster. Walensky wants the CDC to get data and actionable steps to the public much more quickly than before. The Division of Laboratory Science and the Office of Sciences will now report directly to Walensky so that public health findings will have a direct line to the top—and, in theory, to the public.

Play well with others. Walensky will establish a dedicated office to coordinate and collect data from state agencies. The CDC will also ask Congress for more power to require state and county agencies to report important public health data to the CDC. Right now, it’s just voluntary.

Big picture: While the proposed reforms have been celebrated by some health experts, the real test will come as the CDC attempts to wrangle the rapid spread of monkeypox. Thus far, it appears to be repeating Covid missteps.—MM

        

TOGETHER WITH BUICK

For an electric tomorrow

Buick

Feel yourself approaching “E”? You’re risking exhaustion, burnout, irritability…the list goes on. It’s time to take a few to ~actually recharge~.

If you need motivation to prioritize a wellness moment (or two, or maybe even a week of PTO), think about finding your inner spark—whatever it is that ignites you and makes you optimistic for a brighter future.

The world won’t stop turning if you take a breather. We promise. Go for a walk, have a nourishing meal, try meditating (finally), drink more water.

Heck, use this as inspo to finish reading this newsletter outside in some fresh air. But forreal: Life’s a journey, so fuel yourself today for an energized tomorrow. It’s all out there waiting.

Join Buick for a future designed around you.

        

WORLD

Tour de headlines

NASA's rocket that's going to the moon Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

Countdown is on for NASA’s moon mission. NASA’s most powerful moon rocket made its public debut, getting pulled from its hangar to a launchpad in preparation for an uncrewed launch on August 29. The Space Launch System rocket’s planned trip to orbit the moon will be the first lunar voyage in the space agency’s costly and long-delayed Artemis program, which aims to get humans back on the moon as a test run for future Mars missions. NASA hopes to land astronauts on the moon in 2025.

China tries to make it rain. China is firing silver iodide rods into clouds in hopes of spurring rainfall after a two-month heatwave pushed the Yangtze River to its lowest-ever levels. The river not only provides drinking water for people and livestock, it’s also a major source of hydropower—and with hydropower reservoirs reduced by as much as half, companies such as Toyota and Apple supplier Foxconn have been forced to suspend operations in southwest China.

Kobe Bryant’s widow goes to court over crash photos. Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit accusing LA County employees of sharing images of the wreckage of the helicopter crash that killed the basketball star and their 13 year-old daughter “without any legitimate purpose” is in court this week. The suit alleges photos of her husband’s and daughter’s remains were passed around by sheriff’s deputies and firefighters at a bar and an awards gala, causing her emotional distress. LA County’s lawyers maintain that it worked diligently to ensure the crash photos were never publicly released.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Political ads exiled from the For You page

TikTok voting station Francis Scialabba

TikTok said yesterday it won’t let influencers post any paid political content ahead of the 2022 midterms, in an effort to close a Grand Canyon-sized gap in its policy against political ads that was frequently exploited in 2020.

That doesn’t mean Ty Bridgwater can’t shout out Dr. Oz for the Senate during an iced coffee review—just that he can’t be paid to do so. Organic political posts are still cool, as long as they don’t spread misinformation on how to vote, incite harassment of election workers, or include harmful deepfake edits of candidates. TikTok also announced that it’s launching an educational hub within the app that’ll include info on how to vote and who’s running.

Saying you’ll do the dishes in five minutes and actually doing them are two very different things, though, and TikTok’s artificial intelligence and human moderators may have a hard time keeping the platform as squeaky clean as the company would like. And even with the renewed commitment to policing the app, TikTok isn’t really making a lot of big changes from the 2020 election cycle. The same goes for fellow social media giants Meta and Twitter.

Zoom out: As much as we hate to admit it, newsletters are not all Americans’ top news source. Social media and the influencers who “dangle test” hyenas there could have a major influence on how voters cast their ballots.—JW

        

SPORTS

Man, U hate to see this

Photoshop of Elon Musk in a Man U jersey Dianna “Mick” McDougall, Sources: Getty Images

On Tuesday night, Elon Musk continued his shtick of promising to buy a really expensive thing and then saying it was all a joke.

The latest object of his desire: iconic but beaten-down English soccer club Manchester United. Musk tweeted that he was “buying Manchester United ur welcome” before later admitting it was a “long-running joke.” The initial tweet was shared more than 171,000 times, and briefly sent Man U shares spiking 17% on the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the market open.

Which goes to show just how desperate many Man U supporters are for new ownership. Their anger at the team’s current owners, the Glazer family of the US, has boiled over recently due to Man U’s embarrassing performance on the pitch and a perceived lack of attention to club infrastructure, such as its stadium, Old Trafford.

The official supporters’ group has compared the Glazers’ stewardship of the team to a fish that “rots from the head,” and a protest is planned for Monday’s game against rival Liverpool.

Zoom out: As all of the Musk drama was flying, Bloomberg reported that the Glazers are considering selling a stake in the team—but aren’t planning on giving up full control. Man U could be valued at $6 billion in a potential sale.—NF

        

GRAB BAG

Key performance indicators

a photo of Matt Damon starring in a Crypto.com ad Crypto.com

Stat: For a brief moment this winter, it looked like crypto would be a staple of football commercials along with insurance, beer, and cars. But then crypto winter came along, and major firms in the sector spent just $36,000 on TV ads in July, down from a peak of $84.5 million in February (the month of the Super Bowl), per ISpot. Matt Damon’s infamous “fortune favors the brave” ad campaign, which cost an estimated $65 million, hasn’t aired since the big game, Bloomberg notes.

Quote: “From NATO with Love.”

Foreigners are (literally) shelling out donations on crowdfunding sites in exchange for Ukrainian soldiers scrawling choice messages on bombs being fired at Russian troops. The leader of the most prominent fundraising group, Sign My Rocket, told the Washington Post it has raised more than $150,000 for the Ukrainian military by offering inscriptions on everything from mortar shells to hand grenades and antitank mines.

Read: The fabulously wealthy are fueling a booming luxury ranch market out West. (Washington Post)

BREW'S BETS

Here’s the thing about New Jersey: Make fun of it all you want, but people who grow up there…stay there.

Dinner inspo: Jamie’s loving these three-ingredient Trader Joe’s recipes: 1) sheet pan sweet potato gnocchi with chicken sausage and Brussels sprouts and 2) tomato soup with stuffed gnocchi and spinach.

Lox Club is making moves: The dating app your NYC, LA, and MIA friends tell you about is expanding to five new cities this fall. Apply now and snag an invite to upcoming events.*

The robotics golden age is here: 88% of businesses want to add robotics. Now they can. Ally’s robotic arms can be trained to weld, mow, stock, cook, and more—plus, they’re 70% cheaper than the competition. Learn more about investing in Ally.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Two former judges behind the “kids-for-cash” scandal, where children were sent to for-profit jails in exchange for illegal kickbacks, were ordered to pay more than $200 million in damages.
  • CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart were ordered by a federal judge to pay $650.5 million to two Ohio counties for their role in the opioid epidemic.
  • US retail sales were flat in July, with an increase in non-car related purchases offsetting a decline in gas sales.
  • UK inflation hit 10.1% in July, the first time it’s exceeded double digits since 1982.
  • Road deaths in the US climbed 7% in the first quarter of 2022 over a year earlier. It’s the seventh straight quarter that traffic fatalities have increased.
  • Is earned wage access the future of hourly pay?

GAMES

The puzzle section

Brew Mini: Mary put together an absolute peach of a crossword for you today. Play it here.

Three headlines and a lie

Three of these headlines are real and one is faker than anyone having a good time at a music festival. Can you guess the odd one out?

  1. Hacker gets video game Doom to play on John Deere tractor display
  2. Spotify tries asking users to record audio reactions to music playlists
  3. New study finds that people who rewatch TV shows get better sleep
  4. Japan’s government launches competition to get people drinking

If you love Three Headlines and a Lie, play along on The Refresh from Insider and dive deeper into these weird news stories.

Dealing with a charismatic CFO

Dealing with a charismatic CFO

Your business might have a charismatic CEO—but what about the CFO (Chief Financial Officer)? This episode of Good Work shows how that could play out. Watch now.

Check out more from the Brew:

Say hello to fall semester essentials with the Morning Brew Store. Stock up on the Back to School collection to get ahead on your most successful school year yet. Shop now.

️ Managing up isn’t about buying your boss coffee—it’s about building relationships and selling your soul value. Learn how to get your boss on your side.

ANSWER

We made up the sleep one.

         

Written by Neal Freyman, Jamie Wilde, Matty Merritt, and Abigail Rubenstein

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