Morning Brew Newsletter
Morning Brew Newsletter

☕️ Big announcement

Email sent: Jun 29, 2020 6:13am

Is this your brand on Milled? You can claim it.

An energy pioneer goes bankrupt...
June 29, 2020 View Online | Sign Up

Daily Brew


The Motley Fool

Good morning. As a company dedicated to bringing you daily news, we’re not typically known for keeping secrets. But...we have been keeping a pretty big one. Today we're launching Marketing Brew. 

Three times a week, we’ll be delivering the most important news in the marketing industry—curated, distilled, and written with typical Brew flair. If you work in the sector, this will be a must-read for you and your colleagues.

The first edition hits inboxes in just a few hours, so sign up to get Marketing Brew today. 




+ 8.74%



- 6.86%



- 12.34%



+ 17.42%



- 127.30 bps



- 37.66%

*As of market close

  • COVID-19: Total coronavirus cases topped 10 million yesterday, and more than 500,000 deaths have now been linked to the disease. Check whether cases are rising or falling in your state. 
  • Markets: Sure it’s been choppy sailing recently, but the S&P 500 is still on track for its best quarter since 1998. This week, investors will be focusing on the jump in cases across the U.S. as well as the June jobs report on Thursday.


Masks: A More Controversial Accessory Than Croc Charms

Face mask requirement

John Paraskevas/Newsday via Getty Images

Gotten into an argument with a stranger recently? Here's a guess—it was because one of you wasn’t wearing a mask.

As coronavirus cases jump in the U.S., a small piece of fabric has become a hot-button issue across politics, business, and health. And the conversation is only growing more heated.

What are leaders saying? Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a national mask mandate is “long overdue.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell emphasized on Friday that Americans should wear masks in public. Joe Biden said he’d make them compulsory if elected. 

President Trump, however, has called masks a "double-edged sword" and doesn’t wear them in public. VP Mike Pence encouraged Americans to wear masks in affected areas, but said the White House will continue to “defer to governors” about setting policies.

When you let states decide...

You get a fragmented approach. 21 states have some form of public mask requirement, per CNBC research. Which means 29 don't...

  • Nebraska threatened to cut off counties from COVID-19 relief if they pass mask mandates. 
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said, "Government cannot require individuals to wear masks...local governments can require stores and business to require masks." 

Why the controversy? 

Studies show mask mandates help reduce the spread of COVID-19—even a simple cloth mask cuts transmission 10%. Another study revealed that countries with policies and norms more favorable to mask-wearing had lower coronavirus death rates. 

But some Americans have called mask mandates an infringement on their individual liberties, which has led to chaotic scenes in grocery stores and airplanes as a result of customers who don't comply. 

  • Plot twist: It’s not just the U.S.—European countries also have lower acceptance of masks, a study by Germany's University of Bamberg shows.

The situation leaves businesses and their employees the stressful job of refereeing mask-wearing. Yesterday, one LA-area taco stand temporarily closed locations after employees faced verbal and physical harassment by angry customers who refused to don masks. 

Bottom line: Mask squabbles show just how political America’s pandemic response has become, and companies are caught in the crosshairs.

+ Learn more: We wrote about the future of face masks as a retail category. Tl; one really knows what's going to happen.



737 Max Enters Phase 1 of Its Reopening

If you see a plane doing lazy passes over Seattle today, it’s not the Patriots filming Seahawks practice—it's the Boeing 737 Max on its first certification flight since being grounded 15 months ago.

The test flights, which are expected to start today and last for three days, represent a key milestone in getting the Max back into the air.  

  • All 737 Maxes have been parked since March 2019 following two fatal crashes that killed 346 people. Boeing has suffered a severe financial and reputational crisis as a result—the 737 Max was its best-selling aircraft. 
  • In January, Boeing said costs associated with the 737 Max grounding will add up to more than $18 billion.

So what’s the point of the test flights? Pilots from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration will be doing various flight maneuvers and intentionally triggering the automated stall-prevention software system that malfunctioned in both crashes, Reuters writes

Looking ahead...even if it aces these certification flights, the 737 Max has months to go before it’s back in the skies. 



We’re Far From the Shale-ow Now

Chesapeake Energy filed for bankruptcy yesterday, and if you’ve never heard of this company before...the things you are about to read will blow your mind. 

Let’s start at the beginning. Chesapeake was cofounded and led by a character named Aubrey McClendon, who saw the promise of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and gobbled up land for oil and gas exploration. 

Then came fantastic growth...and fantastic debt.

  • In the early 2010s, Chesapeake spent about $30 billion more on leasing and drilling than it earned in revenue from energy production, the NYT writes. 
  • In 2012, Chesapeake’s market value was 1/27th the size of Exxon’s, but its net debt load was double, per Bloomberg’s calculations.

McClendon was forced out in 2013 after accumulating more than $20 billion in debt. 

Fast forward to 2020...the coronavirus and ensuing lockdowns caused a crash in oil and gas prices, and Chesapeake reported a more than $8 billion loss in Q1.  

Bottom line: “The COVID-19-driven collapse in world energy prices merely added one more exclamation point to a tale of risk, hubris, and debt,” Bloomberg writes.



The Final Chapter in Our Investing Saga

The Motley Fool

As you may have noticed recently, we’ve been pumping a lot of brain power into creating “The Ultimate Guide to Investing” with our stock-guru friends at The Motley Fool.

Well, other friends, the sixth and final installment of that guide is finally here.

In this closing piece, we break down what you should think about when investing on a budget and how even a little can go a long way.

We’re super clever and titled it “A Little Goes a Long Way: Investing on a Budget.”

For those hearing of this guide for the first time, check out the full feature—it’s packed with all sorts of helpful insights from The Fools of The Motley Fool, including thoughts on the current market and how to diversify your portfolio.

Read, absorb, and cherish the entire guide right here.


This Boycott Just Got a Caffeine Shot

Looks like Zuck is joining team Dunkin’. In a stand against hate speech, Starbucks announced it’s pausing advertising on social media platforms—including Facebook, the recent subject of a boycott by nearly 100 brands. 

There’s a reason we’re giving Starbucks the spotlight: The coffee chain spent almost $95 million on Facebook last year, making it the platform’s sixth-largest advertiser, per Pathmatics.  

Before you prep Facebook’s obituary...know that just 6% of the platform's 2019 ad revenue came from its 100 biggest spenders. So while Zuck lost his whales, like any good pit boss he knows the money’s in the slots. 

  • Which, in this case, are the small- and mid-sized businesses that make up the vast majority of Facebook’s 8 million advertisers. 
  • “It would likely take tens of thousands of them, acting over a significant period of time, to put a big dent in Facebook's bottom line,” CNN reports

Looking ahead...the boycott runs through July, the start of Q3, so we won’t know the financial impact until later this year. 



The Week Ahead

Halftime speech


On Wednesday we'll head into the locker room for halftime of 2020, and boy do we need a pep talk. 

Monday: Wimbledon was supposed to start

Tuesday: Fed Chair Jerome Powell will testify about pandemic relief efforts; earnings (Conagra Brands; FedEx)

Wednesday: July begins; USMCA trade deal goes into effect; Canada Day; MLB players report to camp; earnings (Constellation Brands; General Mills)

Thursday: June jobs report (one day early); initial jobless claims; World UFO Day 

Friday: Markets closed pre-July 4; Hamilton arrives on Disney+



The Ad Industry Is Overwhelming

Times Square

Getty Images

So let us break it down for you.

Introducing Marketing Brew, our newest and most, well, marketing-centric newsletter. As an industry that loves talking about itself, we thought we could add a bit of the Morning Brew je ne sais quoi (i.e. GIFs) to the marketing and advertising conversation. 

Helmed by our very own marketing maven, Phoebe Bain, Marketing Brew will be a 3x a week, in-depth look at everything from ad tech to campaign executions to platform revolutions. And just to reiterate, there will of course be GIFs. 

We'll be hitting send on the first issue in just a few hours

Get Marketing Brew in your inbox today.


  • President Trump retweeted a video that included an apparent Trump fan yelling “white power,” a white supremacist slogan, at protestors. Trump later deleted the tweet. 
  • The White House will give Congress all the details of where $515 billion worth of small business loans have gone, but warned lawmakers not to make the information public. 
  • Germany is overhauling its accounting regulation following the Wirecard scandal.
  • The Fed revealed a list of its first corporate bond purchases for coronavirus relief efforts. Its portfolio includes AT&T, Walmart, and tobacco company Philip Morris.
  • QB Cam Newton has reportedly signed a 1-year deal with the New England Patriots.


Time sensitive. If you want to score big with the $2.6T art market gold rush you have to act fast. Masterworks is the only platform for investing in blue-chip art and their Basquiat and Monet offerings are 95% sold out! Don’t want to wait? Skip the 25,000 person waitlist here.*

Whiskers the cat is no match for cat burglars. But SimpliSafe is. From video doorbells and smart locks to entry, water, and glass break sensors, you can protect your home like a pro with SimpliSafe. Pounce on their limited time offer today.*

Take a focus quiz: Get a personalized blueprint on how to scratch your distraction itch by completing a quick 10-question assessment of your work behavior. 

Name a business horror story in three words: We asked Twitter, and Twitter did not disappoint.

RIP Milton Glaser: The legendary graphic designer who created the "I NY" logo died on his 91st birthday on Friday. Check out his work, then read the 10 things he learned.

*This is sponsored advertising content.  See Masterworks' disclaimer here.  


Start Talking

On Mondays, we're going to present some of the thorniest business topics of the day, give you a jumping-off point with balanced resources, and encourage you to debate it with friends, family, and coworkers. 

Today’s prompt: On Friday, the Fed ordered banks to suspend share buybacks in Q3 (which, granted, many of the largest banks already promised to do through next spring). The practice of share buybacks has generated criticism in recent years, including earlier this spring when the airline industry sought a massive government bailout. 

  1. What’s a share buyback? (Investopedia)
  2. A quick video discussing whether buybacks help or hurt the economy (WSJ)
  3. Why the coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to many buybacks (CNBC)
  4. Warren Buffett explains buybacks (YouTube)
  5. An argument against punishing companies for buybacks (Washington Examiner)
  6. There’s also been some controversy around insider trading (Morning Brew)

Once you’ve dug through the articles/videos, hit reply and let us know how your digging went. Are you in favor of limiting buybacks?


Today's sample clue: 43,560 square feet (four letters).

Think you have the answer? Solve the crossword here


You only need 5 more referrals to receive Morning Brew stickers.

In the wise words of a certain Jedi master: “Sticker or no sticker, there is no point in having a laptop if it doesn’t have a Brew sticker on it.” Or something like that.

Click here to get free swag.

Hit the button below to learn more and access your rewards hub.

Click to Share

Or copy & paste your referral link to others:


Written by Neal Freyman and Alex Hickey

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.


  Business podcast → Business Casual


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

Copyright ©2020 Morning Brew. All rights reserved.
40 Exchange Pl., Suite #300, New York, NY 10005

Other emails from Morning Brew Newsletter

Morning Brew Newsletter
Jul 10, 2020
☕️ The BTS question
Morning Brew Newsletter
Jul 10, 2020
☕️ Storage wars
Morning Brew Newsletter
Jul 10, 2020
☕️ Eureka
Morning Brew Newsletter
Jul 10, 2020
☕️ Bye Bye Beijing
Morning Brew Newsletter
Jul 9, 2020
☕️ Oh, brother
Morning Brew Newsletter
Jul 8, 2020
☕️ From the rooftops