This week’s champ told us back in 2009 that she’s “like 8-foot-4, blonde hair to the floor.” Taylor Swift, also known as T-Swizzle, got on Instagram this week and told her 112 million followers to fill in that blank space and vote! Civic engagement! That’s an end game I can get behind.
I don’t care whether she supports Marsha Blackburn or Phil Bredesen or Jim Cooper or Jody Ball. What I care about is that more than 166,000 people across the country signed up to vote on just one website between Sunday when the post went up and noon on Tuesday. Nearly half of the those were people between the ages of 18 and 24.
Paul Donovan of UBS’s investment research team even suggests that Swifties could be shaking up the stock market by making the midterm elections harder to predict and increasing the odds the Democrats take control of Congress.
But more importantly, once people start voting they usually keep voting, so getting young people to the polls is great for democracy. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d say this, but Taylor Swift is this week’s champ.
This week’s chump is retail. It was a rough week for the overall market, but man, oh man. Recently, I’ve heard a lot of experts say that the death of retail has been greatly exaggerated. Well, if retail wasn’t dead, it got shot this week.
Shares of Louis Vuitton owner LVMH fell by the most since 2008 after Bloomberg reported that Chinese officials were cracking down on travelers coming back into the country with luxury merchandise. Tiffany, Michael Kors, Prada and Gucci owner Kering SA, all got pummeled. That’s because Chinese shoppers have made up two-thirds of the luxury market’s recent growth.
Don’t look now, but retail could be the first major casualty in the US-China trade war.
And it’s not just luxury. Sears is said to be headed for bankruptcy. On Wednesday, Amazon lost $56 billion in value. Apple lost $51 billion. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos lost $9 billion, personally. And this is in the month after the government reported solid U.S. retail sales for August and July. The next report is out October 15th. I don’t want to know what happens to these retail stocks if it’s bad.
The retail sector is this week’s chump.