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Happy Wednesday Morning Brewers

Good morning! With life as busy as it has been, I wanted to take a few minutes and apologize for not updating your Morning Brew for a few days. Just like all businesses, we are growing and finding our way all at the same time. However, we are now back on track, and dare I say it: Better Than Ever! And do I hear anything about “SWAG” in the coming future?? Stay tuned! And now back to your regularly scheduled programming! The writing gang is all in town for the Brew’s summer party this week, and after a randomized controlled trial lasting one day, we can conclude that in-person work does not boost productivity. But it does lead to a statistically significant rise in tossing around a ball and debating the various smells of NYC vs. Chicago from our desks.


Wegovy might do more than help people lose weight

Wegovy packages

Picture Alliance/Getty Images

The hyped anti-obesity drug from Novo Nordisk was found to cut the risk of major cardiovascular events, such as stroke and heart attacks, by a whopping 20%, the company announced yesterday.

These findings, which came from a late-stage clinical trial, are important for two reasons:

  1. They show that Wegovy could be more than a lifestyle drug that helps people shed pounds. It also has considerable benefits for heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death in the US.
  2. And, given those wider benefits, insurance companies and Medicare could feel pressured to start covering the popular, pricey medication, which many insurers have avoided since it wasn’t deemed essential to overall health. Wegovy costs over $1,300 per month for weekly injections.

The reaction:   

“If they play baseball in Denmark, Wegovy just hit a home run,” Barclays analyst Emily Field wrote, referencing Novo Nordisk’s Danish home base. (Just checked: They don’t seem to play much baseball in Denmark.)

Others went further, declaring these findings amounted to a grand slam. The study means that Wegovy and a similar drug from Eli Lilly (Mounjaro) will easily become the “top-selling pharmaceuticals in history,” Barron’s gushed. And investors are betting they will be, too.

  • Novo Nordisk gained $60 billion in market cap yesterday to close in on luxury conglomerate LVMH as Europe’s most valuable company, per Bloomberg.
  • Eli Lilly also got a big boost from its bullish earnings report and the Novo Nordisk results. Shares of the world’s largest healthcare company soared 15% to a record high yesterday.

Big picture: A new class of superdrug that significantly reduces weight, cuts the risk of heart attacks, and offers numerous other unexplored benefits (like curbing addiction) could herald an exciting new era for public health.

But don’t count your chickens, etc., etc….Supply has been constrained amid a celebrity-powered frenzy for these drugs, there can be serious side effects, and the most recent study showing cardiovascular benefits hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet.—NF


Supercharge your summer miles


Don’t let a little heat slow you down this summer. Hit the road and take on adventures in the 100% electric BMW iX or BMW i4—only at the BMW Summer On Sales Event.

As the new standard of electric driving, the BMW iX is defined by luxurious craftsmanship, premium capability, and an unbeatable experience.

The BMW i4 brings a futuristic edge to BMW’s timeless style, equipped with a sleek curved display and engineered for dynamic electric driving.

Ready to take the wheel? Perfect timing: The BMW Summer On Sales Event is on now through Sept. 4. Lease a 2024 BMW iX xDrive50 for $799/month or a 2023 BMW i4 eDrive35 for $499/month.

Step on it—electric deals like these won’t last.


Tour de headlines

ESPN on a field

Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

 Major gambling deal involving ESPN, Penn, and Barstool. After buying Barstool Sports in 2020, casino owner Penn Entertainment has sold the media company back to its founder, David Portnoy. Portnoy said Barstool would refocus on making content after its foray into sports betting caused friction with regulators. ESPN, meanwhile, will create a sportsbook with Penn (named ESPN Bet) in a 10-year deal worth $2 billion—the network’s first big push into gambling. Following the news, Penn stock spiked ~13% in after-hours trading.

 WeWork said it could go bankrupt. The coworking company that was valued at $47 billion just four years ago warned yesterday there was “substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern,” which in English means its finances are in such a deep hole it could soon file for bankruptcy. The gradual return-to-work movement has not benefited WeWork as much as it anticipated: Memberships declined last quarter, and the company posted a net loss of $397 million.

 Constitutional amendment measure defeated in Ohio. In a special election, voters in the state rejected a measure introduced by Republicans that would raise the threshold to pass constitutional amendments to 60% from the current simple majority. It’s a win for abortion rights supporters since an amendment to enshrine abortion rights will be on the Ohio ballot in November.



Credit card debt reaches $1 trillion (but don’t panic)

Hand tapping credit card at checkout

Francis Scialabba

Americans are spending like they’re Isla Fisher in a 2009 rom-com. A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that Americans charged more than ever to their credit cards last quarter, bringing credit card debt to over $1 trillion for the first time.

Booming credit card debt is the result of higher prices caused by inflation, rising interest rates, and strong consumer confidence, as well as 24 million new credit cards issued in the last quarter.

  • As debt has risen, so have late payments: The report found that in Q2, 7.2% of credit card accounts were 30 days overdue—the highest level in 11 years—and delinquency rates rose to 3.18% (up from 3%).

Yes, but…according to the Fed, neither of these numbers is shocking. Delinquency rates are returning to pre-pandemic levels after plummeting in 2020 when everyone collected stimulus checks and saved money.

Big picture: While $1 trillion in credit card debt seems alarming, economists are as unbothered as the guy holding up the line at Chipotle. Consumer debt is still just 6% of total deposits Americans have in their bank accounts, the lowest percentage in 20 years, per Axios. Plus, New York Fed researchers said, “There is little evidence of widespread financial distress for consumers.”—CC



Power up your path. Ready for a souped-up 2-wheeler? Upway’s got you covered. As the #1 certified e-bike provider, they deliver top-notch bikes (like a Specialized or Trek) straight to your door and assemble ’em right then and there. Use code BREW150 for $150 off your order of $500+.


A Holocaust museum is coming to Fortnite

The virtual Fortnite Holocaust Museum

Epic Games / Luc Bernard

Epic Games just approved a virtual Holocaust museum for its popular online video game Fortnite. It’s probably the last thing anyone would expect from the battle royale that lets users play as Optimus Prime and do a TikTok dance after 360-no-scoping a walking fish.

But the digital gallery’s designer, who also created the educational Holocaust game The Light in the Darknesstweeted that this museum—existing separately from Fortnite’s main play—will be “game changing” for Holocaust awareness: Fortnite has about 239 million active monthly users, according to ActivePlayer, and 80% of Americans have never visited a Holocaust museum, according to a 2018 study.

Fortnite players who visit the Voices of The Forgotten Museum…

  • Can: Walk through exhibits resembling those found at in-person Holocaust museums, minus photos of dead bodies and concentration camps, which would violate the game’s age rating.
  • Cannot: Use weapons, break anything, or dance. Epic learned its lesson after players kept doing the floss and the robot at a 2021 in-game event celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

Once the virtual museum opens (no release date yet), it could be a potent tool to deploy against a rise of white supremacy in online gaming spaces.

Zoom out: Roblox and Minecraft, two popular sandbox games, have also been used for educational purposes, like teaching students during the pandemic. Reporters have also used Minecraft to make a library of censored journalism available in restricted countries.—ML


Key performance indicators

Still from Oppenheimer

Universal Pictures

Stat: Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer has become the highest-grossing film set during World War II in history, passing Dunkirk and Saving Private Ryan with a $500+ million global box-office haul, CNN reports. Of course, if you adjust for inflation, Oppenheimer is still behind the other two movies, but that’s less fun. Anyway, question for the audience: Ignoring box-office revenues…what’s the best movie set during WWII? Inglourious BasterdsSchindler’s List?

Quote: “The Orioles have won more games against them this season than the last two combined.”

The baseball world is in an uproar over reports that the lead TV announcer for the Baltimore Orioles, Kevin Brown, was suspended by the team owner over his on-air comments in late July that mentioned how poorly the Orioles have historically played against the Tampa Bay Rays in Florida. Many fellow baseball announcers voiced their support for Brown and bashed the Orioles organization, which until this PR debacle was having a stellar season (they’re in first place in the AL East). The Orioles denied that a suspension took place and said, “We look forward to hearing Kevin’s voice soon.”

Read: The future of East Coast wind power could ride on this Jersey beach town. (Washington Post)


What else is brewing

  • Rapper Tory Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting Megan Thee Stallion.
  • Philly’s Made in America festival was canceled less than one month before it was supposed to take place with headline acts from Lizzo and SZA. Organizers cited “severe circumstances outside of production control” for the decision.
  • A woman is in critical condition after being bitten by a shark off NY’s Rockaway Beach Monday evening. Officials closed the beach yesterday but stressed such shark “encounters” are rare.
  • Cha-Cha Slide” creator, DJ Casper, died at 58.
  • Heineken is leveraging sports partnerships for its push into the light beer space, Retail Brew reports.


Wednesday to-do list

 Should you do what you love? It’s complicated. This classic essay from Paul Graham explains how to do it the right way.

 Judge a book by its cover: Here are the 50 best-designed book covers of 2022.

 For the math nerds: The Wikipedia article about bingo cards shows how complex it is to create random and unique cards.

 History quiz: Flashback is a new quiz from the NYT that asks you to put historical events in chronological order.


 Go digital: Grow an online presence with Squarespace. Design a completely custom website with Squarespace Blueprint’s professionally curated layout and styling options. Get started with a 14-day free trial.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.


The puzzle section

Word Search: Make International Cat Day a two-day celebration with today’s Word Search—all about cartoon cats. Play it here.

Battle for the box office

We mentioned earlier that Oppenheimer is now the highest-grossing World War II movie ever. But what about films set during other wars?

For today’s trivia, we’ll give you a war and you have to name the highest-grossing film set during that war.

  1. Iraq War
  2. Vietnam War
  3. World War I
  4. American Revolution
  5. Greco-Persian Wars
  6. First War of Scottish Independence


  1. American Sniper
  2. Platoon
  3. Wonder Woman
  4. The Patriot
  5. 300
  6. Braveheart

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