February 25, 2024

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Here’s what you need to know

Macy’s got offered a $5.8 billion buyout. Investor group Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital Management is looking to take the US department store chain private, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The University of Pennsylvania’s top brass resigned. President Liz Magill and board of trustees chair Scott Bok stepped down after Magill’s politically disastrous congressional testimony about antisemitism on college campuses, and after Penn donor Ross Stevens, the CEO of Stone Ridge Asset Management, threatened to pull a $100 million gift to the university’s Wharton School.

The US blocked a United Nations resolution that would have demanded a ceasefire in Gaza. The 15-member Security Council voted 13-1 in favor of an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, with the UK abstaining.

The EU’s proposal to tax emissions from imports sparked debate at the UN’s climate conference. Poorer countries fear the levy would hurt their economic growth.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is back on X (Twitter). It’s another move that’ll put the platform’s already weary advertisers even more on edge.


Obesity drugs may be about to get cheaper

The sticker shock for weight-loss drugs could become a little less, well, shocking. Eli Lilly’s new weight-loss drug that just hit the market has a lower monthly sticker price than rival drug Wegovy’s $1,350—Zepbound is listed at $1,060.

While list price is usually higher than what’s paid by patients at pharmacy checkouts, the lower list price for Zepbound signals that US-based Eli Lilly may engage in price competition with its Danish rival Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company that makes Wegovy. And that could be the first step to bringing down the prices of several obesity and diabetes medicines, like the ones listed below:

Image for article titled 🌎 Macy’s $5.8 billion price tag

Graphic: Quartz


Can “buy now pay later” plans really help raise credit scores?

Amid gift-buying season and inflation in the US, a record number of Americans are using buy now pay later (BNPL) plans to avoid paying the full cost of items upfront.

Some companies are billing the payment method as a way to build credit. But experts say BNPL’s relationship with credit is more complicated. Sure, it can improve their scores in some cases… but it can also really hurt them. Some pros and cons:

👍 Paying off four, interest-free BNPL installments usually is much cheaper than paying off a credit card bill

👍 BNPL services can also help consumers maintain lower balances on their credit cards

👎 If customers take too long to pay BNPL installments, they can be turned over to a debt collector

👎 If credit bureaus include BNPL information on consumer credit reports in the future, the balances could pollute someone’s credit score by lowering the average age of their accounts

Quartz’s Laura Bratton has some additional pluses and minuses to consider.


Quartz’s most popular

The price tag on Tesla’s cheapest EV is going up in 2024

👀 Next year’s labor market could look a lot like 2019

🎮 Former financial plaything GameStop wants to play the stock market

🎧 Days after mass layoffs, Spotify’s finance chief is out

AI in Focus: Gemini has entered the chat

💵 Dollar General is spending $150 million to bring back employees because self-checkout can’t do everything


Surprising discoveries

The skull of a giant sea monster was found in the UK’s Dorset cliffs. The 150 million-year-old bones belonged to a pliosaur.

There are dueling Christmas tree trade groups in the US. One is all for chopping down a fresh one, and the other is all about artificial.

Floating farms may be the agriculture of the future. On one in a Rotterdam harbor, cows happily graze, poop, and produce milk.

The oldest black hole in the universe was observed. Its mass is a million times that of the sun, something that surprised astronomers.

A Mao Zedong-signed menu fetched $275,000 at an auction. Five other influential Chinese leaders also put their names on the menu next to items like “shark’s fin in brown sauce” and “fried spiced chicken.”


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Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, pliosaur flippers, and floating cows to talk@qz.com. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Morgan Haefner.

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