Juul’s market share went up in smoke — Quartz Daily Brief — Quartz

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This is what you need to know

The US Federal Reserve recognized that rising interest rates could trigger a recession. Last week’s decision is already having an impact on the housing market, with JPMorgan cutting jobs in its mortgage unit.

Elon Musk likened Tesla’s gigafactories to “giant money ovens.” The billionaire complained about the financial impact of supply chain disruptions on his company’s operations.

The market share of e-cigarette maker Juul went up in smoke. The US Food and Drug Administration is going to ban the vape company after an investigation and thousands of lawsuits.

Revlon has become a meme stock. After filing for bankruptcy last week, shares of the cosmetics company have surged more than 50% as speculative retail investors cashed in.

The Uvalde School District Police Chief has been granted leave of absence. Pedro “Pete” Arredondo is criticized for his handling of the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary.

The Westminster Dog Show crowned a new top dog. Trumpet the Bloodhound became the first of his breed to earn Best in Show.

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What should you pay attention to?

Summer has officially started in the Northern Hemisphere, but the judges still don’t have an official song. The charts are topped by Harry Styles’ “As It Was” and Kate Bush’s 1985 classic “Running up that Hill.” But Billboard charts may no longer be a good measure of a song’s success.

For one, Billboard’s charts are pop and reggaeton, but Twitter is all about Kpop and indie jazz is hot on Bandcamp. And Billboard itself has admitted that it can’t keep up with streaming. TikTok also generates viral hits – 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 want to hear which song defines our season.

What is the use of a holiday on the gas tax?

In response to record high gasoline prices, US President Joe Biden yesterday asked lawmakers to suspend federal taxes on fuel for three months. US gasoline production is already nearing its peak, and other than begging Saudi Arabia to drill more, the federal government doesn’t have many cards to play.

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

A bar chart showing elements of the selling 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 attempt to curb inflation is hard to say. But targeted aid for low-income households, as well as subsidies for public transport and electric vehicles, could be a better place to start.

Was the US wasting low interest rates?

The current inflation problem can be traced in part to the latest recovery, when public investment ground to a halt despite unprecedentedly low interest rates. The decision not to invest left the US vulnerable to supply chain problems, causing industries such as housing and energy to cut off much of the capacity the world desperately 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 today (with 40% off!)

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Surprising discoveries

A porn-detecting headgear now exists. Chinese scientists have developed a helmet that can read brain waves to detect the consumption of illegal material.

Robo fireflies have taken to the skies. Insect-sized flying robots can use light to communicate with each other.

A small, self-healing robo-fish is bait for microplastics. It is made of materials that cannot withstand the pollutants.

Amazon’s newest addition is a robot worker. It won’t stop unless it runs out of power.

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

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send all the news, comments, microplastic saviors and an old-fashioned kale to [email protected] Thanks to reader support, Quartz is available to everyone: 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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