Arts & Entertainment

It’s Taylor Swift’s economy

October 2, 2023 • 5 min read
with Dan DeFrancesco
Welcome back! That includes government workers, as Congress reached a last-minute funding deal on Saturday to avoid a shutdown.

In today’s big story, we’re looking at how it’s Taylor Swift’s economy, and we’re all just living in it.

What’s on deck:
But first, a Grammy winner’s latest encore.


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Taylor Swift at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night. Elsa/Getty Images
The big story
The economy (Taylor’s Version)


A football game broke out at a Taylor Swift appearance.


Sunday nights during the NFL season are typically reserved for marquee matchups, but this time around the biggest star in attendance didn’t step foot on the field.


Swift was at MetLife Stadium, with actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds in tow, to support Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs as they took on the New York Jets in the newest development in their situationship.


Before the game even started, the announcers acknowledged Swift’s presence.

“Oh, and yea, she’s here,” NBC’s Mike Tirico said at the start of the game’s broadcast.


The Chiefs ended up nabbing a closer-than-expected 23-20 win, but Swift seemed to be the real winner, securing plenty of screentime.


Swift’s NFL takeover is the latest conquest in what has already been an impressive run for the artist. Her Eras Tours has injected billions of dollars into the US economy, prompting the Fed to give her a shoutout.


Meanwhile, a film documenting her tour seems likely to be a box-office hit when released later this month, giving Hollywood a much-needed boost.

Simply put, Swift has become one of the most influential players in the US economy.

Jason Hanna/Getty Images
You might be quick to dismiss the Swift hype as just tabloid fodder


But Swift has repeatedly proven that she’s an economic force.


You’d be hard-pressed to find an artist or influencer whose fan base has more financial impact. With all due respect to the TikTokers and Instagramers racking up likes, views, and followers, Swifties speak in a much more valuable currency: their wallets.


The group is so powerful that deputy economy editor Bartie Scott joked we should create a Swift-related leading indicator. Juliana Kaplan suggested the SWIFT index (Swifties Want It For Themselves). I opted for RED (TayloR Earned Dollars).


(To be sure, followers of two fellow artists could give Swifties a run for their money: Beyonce and BTS.)


Swift’s popularity also seems to bridge generations in a way almost nothing else can.


Good luck reaching a consensus between a Gen Zer, a millennial, and a boomer on nearly anything. And yet, here too, Swift seems to do the impossible.

Read the full story
3 things in


🔔 Before the opening bell: U.S. stock futures trade higher as investors move past fears of a government shutdown.

Chelsea Jia Feng/Insider
1. SBF goes to trial. Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal fraud trial begins Tuesday in New York with jury selection. The cofounder and former CEO of crypto exchange FTX could even take the stand during the trial. Here’s everything you need to know about the case.


2. A relatively new trading product is taking over Wall Street. Zero-day options, which expire the same day they are issued, have only been around for a year, but make up about 50% of S&P 500 options activity. Despite being dismissed as the “fantasy football of option trading” by some, they could pose significant risks to the broader market.


3. Some good bets in case the US economy takes a dip. Top money managers, from the CEO of Soros Fund Management to the president of UBS Asset Management, shared their thoughts on a potential economic slowdown. They also detailed where they are looking to invest in the interim.

3 things in
NurPhoto/Getty Images
1. Meta’s mandatory return-to-office push has been a “mess” so far. It’s enforcing a three-days-per-week policy, but employees say there isn’t enough office space or privacy. Plus, they could be fired if they don’t comply.


2. iPhone users don’t know all the features and benefits they’re missing out on, according to a former Apple exec and original iPhone user — who now also owns a Google Pixel Fold. In his new review of the iPhone 15, he writes that Apple’s device is boring compared to Androids.


3. Behind-the-scenes of Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s career rise. He’s currently being paid hundreds of millions of dollars to pave the way toward an “AI-first” company. Pichai started at the company as a 31-year-old product manager in 2004 and climbed the ranks to CEO.

3 things in
1. The great Zelle scam. All Devin Friedman wanted was a pool. Instead, he got a $31,000 lesson in the downsides of payment apps. He contacted everyone: the FBI, the state police, the state attorney general, and more. But it was a crime nobody would investigate.


2. The pandemic broke the used car market. And now, buyers are screwed. Regardless of how much waiting you’re doing, that used car you want isn’t getting much cheaper. Between 2020 to 2022, carmakers made and sold way fewer vehicles than usual. Fast forward to today, and once again, we have scarcity that’s keeping prices elevated.


3. Joe Biden has a decision to make about Julian Assange. For years, the Assange debate has focused on press freedom and US national security. But in the end, Assange’s future could come down to summit-level diplomacy between Australia and the US.


In other news



What’s happening today
  • Donald Trump’s $250 million New York civil fraud trial begins today. New York Attorney General Letitia James will seek to permanently ban Trump’s business from the state. Here’s a helpful primer.
  • Multiple late-night talk shows are scheduled to come back on air. “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” are set to return now that the Writers Guild of America strike is over.
  • Happy birthday, Annie Leibovitz! Sting, Donna Karan, and Mahatma Gandhi were also born on this day.


Scovad/Getty Images; Dariusz Jarzabek/Shutterstock
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The Insider Today team

Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor and anchor, in New York City. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Annie Smith, associate producer, in London. Jack Sommers, senior editor, in London. Spriha Srivastava, UK bureau chief and executive editor, in London. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York City.


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