Situational awareness: Shinzo Abe's LDP has won today's upper-house election in Japan, although the size of his majority is still unclear.
1 🚘 thing: Now might be a good time to buy a new Tesla, if you're so inclined: Elon Musk's carmaker has started to adopt Detroit's time-honored discounting strategies. I prefer a hammock, myself. If you have one handy, might I suggest repairing there to read these 1,974 words? It'll take you roughly 7 minutes.
Heads up: Axios Trends is coming out on Saturday, and as an Edge subscriber, you're on the list. This time it's all about climate change. I'll have an item the following day showing which countries are likely to see their GDP go up as a result of global warming.
The media consumption wars are heating up.
Much of the battle between services will be fought over what executives think of as "intellectual property" and everybody else thinks of as "shows."
The shrinking picture: Netflix and Amazon became giants in this space by delivering unlimited video content on demand, uninterrupted by ads, all for much less than even an HBO subscription, let alone a typical cable-TV bundle. On mobile, however, where games and social-media apps are only a tap away, the most popular and addictive content looks very different and often isn't professionally produced at all.
Netflix's ambition is to replace television — to be the thing you turn on out of force of habit as you sink into your couch, whether or not you really have any idea what you want to watch. With a large enough library, and detailed enough data about your viewing preferences, Netflix should always be able to find something to entertain you.
The company disappointed the market with its second-quarter earnings report this week. International subscribers grew more slowly than anticipated, while the number of U.S. subscribers actually fell.
The other side: Netflix kept substantially all of its U.S. subscribers even after hitting them with a 20% subscription-price hike. Even if a higher sticker price made it harder for Netflix to attract new subscribers, existing customers seem to be extremely loyal to the brand.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Elizabeth Warren understands Wall Street better than any other presidential candidate. She studied it in her previous career as a Harvard professor, and she has effectively built her own think tank inside the Senate, coming up with genuinely novel ideas for how to improve financial regulation.
Driving the news: Warren blasted the private equity industry this week. She understands that bankruptcy and limited liability can be good for capitalism and society as a whole, but that they can also be abused. When that happens, private equity companies can end up making profits from portfolio companies that go bust. Employees invariably bear the brunt, alongside trade creditors and even consumers with gift cards.
Our thought bubble: Private equity is the polite term for what used to be called leveraged buyouts. Mike Milken gave buyouts a bad name in the 1980s, and Warren is betting that private equity is similarly unloved today. Axios' Dan Primack says that Warren's proposals would kill much of the private equity industry, especially the turnaround sector. He may well be right. The question is whether it would be mourned.
What's next: Warren's academic research changed the way bankruptcy was thought about. Her proposal for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau became reality, with broad public support. When she says that the unbanked spend more on interest and fees than they do on food, she touches a nerve. It's easy to see potential profits for smart financial services industry executives who embrace her legitimate criticisms and try to get ahead of these issues.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Many thanks to everybody who wrote in last week, responding to my item about the volatility of house prices. There were a lot of you! Many of you thought I was saying that houses are a bad investment. I wasn't saying that. They are a riskier investment than most people believe, however.
The big picture: Homes are extremely illiquid assets that are very expensive to buy and sell. If you rent, then you're better positioned to roll with financial punches and move somewhere cheaper when you lose income. It's also easier to move to higher-income opportunities elsewhere. And renting doesn't involve taking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
Go deeper: I'll write much more about homeownership, and its role in the American economy, in 3 weeks' time. If you have questions, now's the time to send them in.
There's been a quiet revolution going on in the mortgage market. In 2017, it took an average of 74 days to close on a mortgage, per LendingTree. In May 2019, the most recent month for which data is available, that number had come down more than 50%, to 36 days.
The decline is a function of an increasing number of lenders embracing digitization. The surprise is that it took this long.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Boris Johnson is going to become the new leader of the Conservative party — and therefore Britain's new prime minister — this week.
What they’re saying: There have been too many Johnson profiles to count. If you want to understand who the man is and what the implications are for the country, 2 of them stand out.
Threat level: With Johnson becoming prime minister, the risks of a no-deal Brexit rise to an all-time high. That could send the pound down to parity against the dollar. Parliament is deeply opposed to that outcome and will always vote against it; the risk is that J0hnson will be able to suspend parliament in an attempt to stop it from doing so. A vote this week makes that less likely, but not impossible.
Reality check: Even if the U.K. parliament votes against a no-deal Brexit, it still happens unless the E.U. and the U.K. agree to yet another delay. It's hard to imagine Johnson ever agreeing to that.
If you're an undocumented immigrant seeking to make your life in America, your first best opportunity to get out of a crowded detention center is to persuade an immigration judge to set bail for you. Axios' Stef Kight took a dive into the data.
By the numbers: While the number of immigrants getting bailed out has been steadily increasing, so has the size of the bail bonds.
Details: Before an asylum-seeker or unauthorized immigrant sets foot in court, Immigration and Customs Enforcement makes the initial determination of who qualifies for bail and how much that bail should be. That determination has an anchoring effect for judges. Furthermore, a growing number of new immigration judges have a law enforcement background and seem inclined to be tougher on immigrants.
Go deeper: The cost of bail for immigrants is surging
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Results from the U.K. Conservative Party leadership contest are expected on Tuesday, writes Axios' Courtenay Brown. Theresa May will officially hand over power on Wednesday.
In the U.S., second-quarter GDP is out on Friday. The economy is estimated to have grown at a 1.8% annualized rate, a much slower pace than Q1's 3.1%.
Photo by Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The Washington Monument, built to commemorate the first president of the United States, topped out in 1884. It was the tallest structure in the world for 5 years, until it was overtaken by the Eiffel Tower.
Go deeper: Axios' deep dive into all things lunar.