Happy Tuesday! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,399 words ... 5½ minutes.
☕ You're invited! If you'll be in D.C. on Thursday, join me at 8 a.m. for breakfast and conversation with Samantha Power, former UN ambassador, who's out today with a memoir, "The Education of an Idealist" ... Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ... and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Every public poll shows a steady and indisputable trend: The Democratic 2020 race is a three-way brawl between 70-somethings who came to fame in the U.S. Senate.
The big picture: National and state polls show all three have consistent bases of political support, virtually assuring them the money and grassroots to grow or at least hold their top-tier position.
Breaking a record? Reagan was 77 when he left office. Biden turns 77 in November.
Reality check: An experienced Democratic adviser points out that a whole bunch of eventual nominees were in low single digits or very far behind at this point in the cycle — Jimmy Carter, Mike Dukakis, Bill Clinton, John Kerry.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The basic principles of investment are being upended, perhaps irreversibly, as the world enters an era of ultra-low and even negative interest rates, Axios Markets editor Dion Rabouin writes.
The Federal Reserve is gearing up to cut interest rates for the second time this year when it meets later this month, and banks are already cutting rates on savings accounts.
The big picture: The low-to-negative interest rate environment poses a major problem for people looking to save for retirement.
Between the lines: U.S. pension and retirement funds are currently underfunded by trillions of dollars, and states are already in a position where they’re either going to have to raise taxes or cut benefits for future retirees — or both.
"For the first time, most new hires of prime working age (25 to 54) are people of color, according to a Washington Post analysis of data the Labor Department began collecting in the 1970s."
The key stat: "There are 5.2 million more people in the United States with jobs than at the end of 2016, and 4.5 million of them are minorities."
"Jack Ma is giving up the reins of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. after presiding over one of the most spectacular creations of wealth the world has ever seen," Bloomberg's Venus Feng reports.
Why he matters: "His record-breaking rise from a bootstrapped entrepreneur working out of his apartment in 1999 to jet-setting e-commerce mogul is one for the history books, mirroring China’s own evolution from technological backwater to world’s No. 2 economy."
Snapchat is creating a dedicated news channel specifically for the 2020 debates, Axios media trends expert Sara Fischer writes.
Why it matters: The company is trying to do more to increase civic and political engagement on its platform as it readies a more aggressive push into news.
The curated Democratic Primary Debate Channel will be live on Thursday during the Houston debate, as well as the following morning, targeted to select users who are interested in news and political content.
Snapchat is also investing more in political news programming. It recently moved its political news show "Good Luck America," hosted by Peter Hamby, from weekly to daily, after seeing that political news consumption was becoming more of a daily habit of Snapchat users.
The top 15 richest Americans could have seen their net worth decline by more than half — hundreds of billions of dollars — had Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax plan been in place since 1982, Bloomberg reports.
British Parliament was suspended until Oct. 14, sparking tense scenes in the House of Commons, where opposition lawmakers held signs reading "silenced" and yelled "shame on you" at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservatives, Reuters reports.
🇬🇧 Late into the night, members of parliament "burst into song on the Commons benches, singing traditional Welsh and Scottish songs." (BBC)
Out today ... "The Many Lives of Michael Bloomberg," by N.Y. Times veteran Eleanor Randolph, including this backstory on Bloomberg's Trump takedown speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention:
The Democrats, realizing they needed independents like Bloomberg and maybe even some Republicans, asked if he would endorse Hillary Clinton in prime time — for 25 million people. They wouldn’t even look at the speech in advance, they promised. The slot was all his. ...
Back at the Bloomberg offices in Manhattan, ... Frank Barry drafted the text. Howard Wolfson ... eyeballed it for political traps. Others took their turn, including Kevin Sheekey and Patti Harris.
As he showered to get ready that night, Bloomberg realized he wanted one more line. The speech had already gone out, embargoed, to a few top journalists, his staff explained. But this line was going in. ...
"Trump says he wants to run the nation like he runs his business. God help us. ... I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one."
Then Bloomberg added his line from the shower. "Let’s elect a sane, competent person."
⚡ Posted overnight ... Bloomberg has a N.Y. Times op-ed with Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, "Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes to Protect Our Children."
Coast Guard rescuers drilled into the hull's steel plates and pulled four trapped men alive from a cargo ship that had capsized a day earlier off Jekyll Island, Ga.