Morning Brew - ☕ Beyoncé makes history

Why Biden waited to bring down the Chinese balloon...
February 06, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off

Morning Brew


Good morning. One small formatting update before we get into the news: In an effort to better organize our recommendations in the “Brew’s Bets” section, we’re going to borrow a page from our Sunday newsletter and call that section the “To-do List” every day of the week. The content isn’t changing a lick—our aim is just to add more consistency and clarity for you.

Thanks for the memories, Brew’s Bets...

—Neal Freyman














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00am ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: In the five weeks of trading so far in 2023, the Nasdaq has gained in all five and the S&P in four. The still-booming labor market and falling inflation appear to be outweighing poor corporate earnings in investors’ minds.


Spy balloon gets popped

Chinese spy balloon floating in the air Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Nearly a decade into its combat service in the US military, the F-22 Raptor fighter jet finally completed its first air-to-air strike. It took out a balloon.

As excited onlookers watched from Myrtle Beach, the jet climbed to 58,000 feet and downed a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday. The balloon’s debris was scattered across seven miles of the sea—but the geopolitical fallout from its doomed voyage is much wider.

Here’s what you need to know about balloongate.

Why wait to shoot it down? The US knew that the balloon had entered its air defense zone on Jan. 28, well before it floated across North America. President Biden wanted to shoot the balloon down last Wednesday, when it was hovering above Montana, but military leaders recommended waiting until no Americans were in harm’s way when its remnants came crashing down.

Biden was attacked by Republicans, who wanted him to destroy the balloon much earlier and called it a “projection of weakness” to allow a Chinese surveillance tool to enjoy unfettered access to our amber waves of grain. But the Pentagon actually thinks the balloon played into the Americans’ hands—they were able to study the balloon as it floated, and an analysis of the debris will teach them even more about Chinese espionage tactics.

What is China’s response? The foreign ministry called the balloon pop a “clear overreaction” and suggested it could retaliate. China never admitted the balloon was intended for spying—claiming instead it was a meteorology research airship that got blown off its course. The US isn’t buying that.

Were there other Chinese spy balloons? Yes, and pretty recently, too. Chinese surveillance balloons entered US airspace at least three times during the Trump administration and once previously while Biden was president, a senior defense official said. And there’s also one currently floating above Latin America, the Pentagon revealed on Saturday.

What happens next? The balloon drama will only deepen the distrust between rivals US and China—it already led Secretary of State Antony Blinken to call off his planned meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. But China’s relatively muted response to the balloon downing suggests it may let the hot air blow over...just like the US did.



One less thing on the to-do list


Trying to eat healthy without taking too much time out of your day can be a real struggle. Fortunately, Huel found a way to bring convenience and nutrition together in one delicious meal.

Huel Black Edition is ready in seconds and packed with 40g of plant-based protein plus 27 essential vitamins and minerals. With just two scoops shaken up with water, you’ll have a nutritious breakfast or lunch in less time than it takes to make a sad sandwich.

Get a taste of convenient nutrition with Huel. Brew readers, score a free shaker + T-shirt with your first order.


Tour de headlines

A collapsed building in Turkey Volkan Kasik/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Major quake hits Turkey. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake and several aftershocks struck southeastern Turkey early today, causing buildings to collapse and sending tremors across other areas of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. The preliminary death toll was at least 234 people, but that number is expected to rise. Compounding the damage: Many of the residential buildings in the region near the epicenter are of low-quality construction, making them susceptible to shaking, per the United States Geological Survey.

Close call at Austin’s airport. A FedEx cargo plane and a Southwest 737 came within 1,000 feet of one another in a scary moment at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Saturday morning. Investigators are looking into the incident, which may have been caused by an air traffic controller double-booking a runway (the Southwest plane was taking off right as the FedEx one was landing). This is the second near-collision in as many months—authorities are investigating a close call on a JFK runway that occurred in January.

Kyrie Irving is headed to Dallas. The Brooklyn Nets are shipping star Kyrie Irving to the Mark Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks days after Irving requested a trade. Irving’s four-season ride with the Nets was a bumpy one—he missed 35 home games under NYC’s Covid vaccination policy, and earlier this season was suspended for posting a link to an antisemitic movie on Twitter. Expect a flurry of other moves ahead of the NBA trade deadline on Thursday.


Beyoncé anointed Grammy

Beyonce on stage at the Grammys Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images

Beyoncé cemented her reign on the musical throne last night, becoming the most-decorated artist in Grammy Awards history.

Her four wins, including best dance/electronic album for Renaissance, vaulted her past classical conductor Georg Solti for the most Grammy awards ever. She ended the night with 32 total.

While Beyoncé was the biggest story of the Grammys, she wasn’t the only story from the award show, which returned to the Arena in Los Angeles after several pandemic-altered broadcasts.

  • Harry Styles won album of the year. His groovy Harry’s House topped entries from Beyoncé, Adele, and Bad Bunny.
  • A new EGOT was crowned: Viola Davis became the 18th person to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony after she received a Grammy for the audiobook to her memoir, Finding Me.
  • The best performance: Certainly the Questlove-produced celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.
  • Didn’t see this one coming: Dr. Dre won the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award.

Looking ahead…the first tickets for Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour, her first solo tour in seven years, go on sale today. Ticketmaster has changed its process to avoid being attacked by the BeyHive like it was the Swifties.




Diversify à la real estate. These days, having a diversified investment portfolio is as important as ever. And DiversyFund Premier Offerings can help you get there with single-asset multifamily offerings designed for accredited investors who want to build long-term wealth. You can invest based on location, tax benefits, and more. Start here.


The week ahead

State Farm Stadium in Arizona is decked out in Super Bowl regalia Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It’s Super Bowl week. Here are a few storylines to get you prepped for Sunday’s game between the Eagles and the Chiefs: Read about the woman who rescued Patrick Mahomes’s season. Two starting Black quarterbacks will face off in the Super Bowl for the first time ever—and so will two brothers. Here’s a preview of Rihanna and the other musical acts. Finally, browse the Super Bowl betting guide.

State of the Union address: President Biden will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night with a potential reelection campaign looming on the horizon. In something we can definitely relate to, he’ll probably be editing the speech up until deadline to tweak his China section in light of the balloon drama.

Earnings: This week’s busy earnings slate is highlighted by Disney, PepsiCo, Uber, and Chipotle. Investors are setting the bar low given the disappointing Q4 reports companies have posted thus far.

Everything else…

  • Google could make some big AI announcements at an event on Wednesday.
  • LeBron James is just 36 points away from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. He should break the record this week.
  • It’s National Pizza Day on Thursday (and, frankly, every other day of the year).


Key performance indicators

Mount Washington Summit Mount Washington Observatory

Stat: Yes, we all know it was really cold in the Northeast on Friday night. But how cold? So cold that New Hampshire’s Mount Washington found itself in the next layer of the atmosphere. Freezing temps caused the atmosphere to compress, and the dividing line between the troposphere (which we’re in right now) and the stratosphere sank in altitude to below the summit of the mountain.

Quote: “It’s really an amazing day, an awe-inspiring day and actually a bit of a frightening moment.”

Speaking of Mount Washington, there were actually people up there as the wind chill plunged to a record low of minus 108 degrees Fahrenheit. A team of scientists live on the mountain in order to take weather measurements, and one of them—Francis Tarasiewicz—described to WMUR the thrilling-but-terrifying experience of braving the historic cold this weekend. Tarasiewicz said it was so cold that frostbite would set in after less than a minute.

Read: I hired five people to sit behind me and make me productive for a month. (Simon Berens)


What else is brewing

  • Tesla hiked prices on its Model Y by $1,000 after the Biden administration raised the cap on prices for certain EVs eligible for tax credits.
  • Elon Musk said that while the last three months “were extremely tough,” Twitter is trending to break even “if we keep at it.”
  • Ukraine is warning of a Russian offensive later this month, around the one-year anniversary of its initial invasion.
  • An Italian mafia fugitive was arrested in a town in France where he had opened his own pizza parlor.
  • A Colombian judge used ChatGPT in a court decision—the first known instance in which the chatbot has been included in a legal ruling, per Vice.


Monday to-do list image

Life hack: Use this one-page calendar.

Listening binge: A podcast on the mysterious Havana Syndrome.

Wellness tip: That caffeine kick you feel from coffee is really just borrowed energy you’ll have to pay back later.

Work smarter: A (fake) calendar plug-in that shows the cost of your meeting. Plus, thoughts on being laid off.

Interview evolution: The problems with automated interviews are real; here’s what HR professionals need to know.

Your potential “buy low” moment: Want top stock picks? The Motley Fool is offering new members a $79 intro offer. Their picks have averaged a 420% return since its inception [as of 2/3/23].*

*This is sponsored advertising content.


The puzzle section

Turntable: There are 38 words just begging you to find them in today’s Turntable. Play it here.

Peak trivia

New Hampshire might have Mount Washington, but not all states can boast such great heights.

There are five US states where the highest point of elevation does not exceed 1,000 feet. Can you name them?


Become a data expert

Become a data expert Game of Thrones/HBO

The NYT’s Upshot uses data and charts to analyze politics, policy, and the everyday life in between. Don’t miss our free virtual event this Wednesday at 12pm ET, when we’ll discuss all things data with Upshot editor Kevin Quealy. Register now.

IT Brew shares the three big cybersecurity trends that will shape 2023. Check them out.

Money Scoop is a 3x/week newsletter that makes you smarter about your money. You’ll learn how to better invest, budget, spend, manage your taxes, and more.


Share Morning Brew with your friends, acquire free Brew swag, and then acquire more friends as a result of your fresh Brew swag.

We’re saying we’ll give you free stuff and more friends if you share a link. One link.

Your referral count: 2

Click to Share

Or copy & paste your referral link to others:


Florida, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island

✤ A Note From The Motley Fool

Discount disclosure: $79 introductory price for new members only. $79 introductory offer is based on current list price of Stock Advisor of $199/year. Membership will renew annually at the then current list price.


Written by Neal Freyman

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.

Take The Brew to work

Get smarter in just 5 minutes

Business education without the BS

Interested in podcasts?

  • Check out ours here

Update your email preferences or unsubscribe here.
View our privacy policy here.

Copyright © 2023 Morning Brew. All rights reserved.
22 W 19th St, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011

Key phrases

Older messages

☕ Fear and loathing

Sunday, February 5, 2023

British Columbia embarks on a controversial experiment... Together with Apollo Global Management February 05, 2023 | View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off The fabled green comet. Dan Bartlett/AFP/NASA/

☕ Big jobs

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Why it looks like the laws of economics no longer apply... February 04, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off Morning Brew TOGETHER WITH Droplette Good morning. On this day 19 years ago, Harvard

☕ Keep it clean

Friday, February 3, 2023

Beauty brands reformulate to be clean and vegan. February 03, 2023 Retail Brew TOGETHER WITH Printful Enterprise Hello there. Is your schedule so packed you can't even remember the last time you

☕ Turbulence

Friday, February 3, 2023

Plus, retailers and robots. February 03, 2023 Emerging Tech Brew TOGETHER WITH Vanta Happy Friday. Meta reported earnings Wednesday night, and in a surprising turn of events given the state of the tech

☕ I’ve been searching so long

Friday, February 3, 2023

TikTok as a search engine. February 03, 2023 Marketing Brew Happy Friday. With the news that Netflix is putting its password-sharing crackdown into motion, our hearts go out to those still logged into

The Honey Trap

Thursday, March 23, 2023

The FBI used an undercover cop with pink hair to spy on activists and manufacture crimes. MOST READ The FBI Used an Undercover Cop With Pink Hair to Spy on Activists and Manufacture Crimes Trevor

TikTok, Organ Transplant Overhaul, and Allergy Hotspots

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Facts, without motives. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

A Betrayal Lets Big Pharma Profiteer Off Cancer Drug

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Rejecting cancer patients' petition, the Biden administration refuses to use the power its HHS Secretary demanded Trump use. A Betrayal Lets Big Pharma Profiteer Off Cancer Drug By The Lever • 23

Say your piece

Thursday, March 23, 2023

It's been a busy month for Popular Information. Here are a few highlights from our reporting over the last 30 days: Popular Information authorit… ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

☕ We don't <3

Thursday, March 23, 2023

The Supreme Court considers a dog poop joke... March 23, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off Morning Brew SPONSORED BY tastytrade Good morning. It's a big day: TikTok's CEO is testifying

Numlock News: March 23, 2023 • Gladiators, Oreos, Dolphins

Thursday, March 23, 2023

By Walt Hickey Fraud A Massachusetts man was sentenced to four and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to running a sophisticated romance fraud scheme from 2016 to 2020. Targeting mostly older

Supreme Court weighs trademarks - Organ transplant reform - 3D-printed food

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Fed interest rate hike • Uganda anti-gay bill • Supreme Court trademark case • 3D-printed cake • Organ transplant reform • 23 MAR 2023 View in browser The Factual Facts, not fear. TRENDING TOPICS Fed

SpaceX tries to de-orbit Amazon's request for a satellite broadband shortcut [Thu Mar 23 2023]

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Hi The Register Subscriber | Log in The Register {* Daily Headlines *} 23 March 2023 satellite SpaceX tries to de-orbit Amazon's request for a satellite broadband shortcut Stop the presses:

Creator funds are even more bullshit than we realized

Thursday, March 23, 2023

PLUS: How Matt Navarra turned his marketing newsletter into a six-figure business ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

What A Day: D.A.-break

Thursday, March 23, 2023

We're getting whiplash with all of these legal updates someone please indict this man already. Wednesday, March 22, 2023 BY JULIA CLAIRE & CROOKED MEDIA - Rep. John Joyce (R-PA) describing