It's Friday! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,075 words ... 4 minutes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
CEOs, central bankers and money managers say they're operating in a world where they have no idea what's coming next, leaving them with few options but to prepare for the worst, Axios' Courtenay Brown writes.
Corporate America is raking in eye-popping profits, but is in a decision-making tailspin.
Everyone is stymied over how to make financial or investment plans, because the rules keep changing by the day.
Central bankers are also throwing up their hands.
Main Street is grappling with a lot of questions, too — mostly about how to absorb the impact of tariffs.
Consumers, too, are in a bind.
The bottom line: The trade war and Brexit — two fights that were supposed to be in the rear view mirror by now — have gotten even messier and uglier in recent days. So uncertainty will remain ubiquitous.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who put his independent presidential exploration on hold in June, will tell supporters later this morning that he's abandoning his campaign but still plans to spend big "to fix our broken system."
Between the lines: Schultz, 66, didn't want to be a spoiler if Joe Biden becomes the nominee, and calculated that he'd have to begin locking down ballot access before the Democratic race is settled.
In a "Dear Friends" letter going to hundreds of thousands of supporters later today, Schultz writes:
These satellite photos show downtown Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco, the Bahamas, on Oct. 25, 2018, and yesterday, p0st-Dorian.
Johnny Crawford navigates his kayak down a flooded street in Charleston, S.C., yesterday after Hurricane Dorian blew through.
Americans have slowed the pace at which they’re forming new companies, AP's Josh Boak writes.
Why it matters: Smaller companies account for roughly 85% of all hiring.
"The Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced it will host a CNN Democratic presidential town hall in [L.A. in October] focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer issues," CNN's Mark Preston writes.
If you're looking for some certainty about how much a health care test will cost you, the best solution may be a maddening one, Axios' Sam Baker writes — buying a Groupon.
Sam’s thought bubble: Medical Groupons are not the sign of a system that’s trying very hard to offer better care for patients. They’re a sign of a system that still rewards volume, whether those procedures are necessary or not.
Japan will start using the traditional order when printing Japanese names in English in official documents, putting family names (surnames) first — a switch from the Westernized custom the country adopted more than a century ago, officials said today.
The Cabinet agreed today to begin making the change with government documents, though no timeline was given.
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