Taylor Swift, X, AI, Disney, and more: Top stories of 2023


As 2023 comes to a close, there were several stories that dominated headlines this year. Yahoo Finance breaks down the top 10 stories of the year.

10. Twitter Becomes X (00:00:06)

Twitter took on a new name and CEO this year. Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley breaks down some of the top moments for X, formerly known as Twitter, this year. In March of 2023, Twitter’s valuation dropped to $20 billion from $44 billion. In May, Elon Musk named Linda Yaccarino the new CEO of Twitter. In July, Musk changed Twitter’s name to X.

9. Bob Iger returns to Disney (00:00:29)

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger “has addressed several key issues that were big question marks at the end of 2022,” Yahoo Finance’s Alexandra Canal notes. Canal breaks down the 5 questions Iger answered in 2023. Number 1: Who will own Hulu? Number 2: What is the future of ESPN? Number 3: What is Disney’s streaming strategy? Number 4: Will Iger reverse Chapek-era theme park updates? And number 5: How to fend off DeSantis?

8. Taylor Swift and the Taylor-made economy (00:00:56)

It was a big year for Taylor Swift as she embarked on her Eras Tour and released Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film. Swift also received several mentions in financial news for her impact on the economy and consumer spending. Yahoo Finance’s Josh Schafer breaks down some of Swift’s recognitions in the world of finance news. On July 12, Swift received a mention in the Fed Beige Book as the Philadelphia Fed noted the boost in hotel sales and the economy when her Eras Tour came to town. On July 21, Moody’s analytics published “Swiftflation – An Unprecedented Boost” and on July 26, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell was asked a question about Taylor Swift and the Barbie movie in regards to consumer spending.

7. Sam Bankman-Fried Goes on Trial (00:01:14)

Yahoo Finance Legal Reporter Alexis Keenan discusses Sam Bankman-Fried’s fraud trial. Bankman-Fried was found guilty of 7 criminal counts and is facing 110 years in prison. In January 2023, Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty. In August, Bankman-Fried’s bail was revoked and he was transferred from house arrest to prison. In October, the criminal trial began and in November, Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all counts.

6. Retail Theft (00:01:37)

Retailers such as Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT), and The Home Depot (HD) all noted retail theft this year. We won’t know retail theft’s impact for 2023 till next year, but Yahoo Finance’s Brooke DiPalma takes a look at the average shrink rate in 2022. According to the National Retail Federation, there was $112.1 billion of losses in fiscal year 2022, which was up 1.6 percent year-over-year. Organized retail theft made up 36 percent of that number, while internal theft made up 29 percent. Process errors made up 27 percent and unknown reasons made up the last seven percent.

5. Weight Loss Drug Craze (00:01:56)

Weight loss drugs have grown in popularity this year. Yahoo Finance Health Reporter Anjalee Khemlani discusses the GLP-1 drugs. “There’s type 2 diabetes drugs and weight loss drugs that make up the class of GLP-1 drugs… The diabetes drugs are Novo Nordisk’s (NVO) Ozempic and Eli Lilly’s (LLY) Mounjaro, which are both available off-label for weight loss,” Khemlani notes. Yahoo Finance named Novo Nordisk as the 2023 Company of the Year, as the company’s Ozempic and Wegovy are very popular drugs in the weight loss space.

4. Union Strikes (00:02:15)

The entertainment and automotive industry were both impacted by strikes this year as Writers Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, and United Auto Workers went on strike. The WGA went on strike in May and the SAG joined the writers on the picket line in July. Yahoo Finance’s Alexandra Canal notes that although the WGA and SAG are different, “the threadline is similar, in terms of what they were fighting for.” Some elements in the actors’ deal included, 7% general wage hike, AI protections, and $40 million a year streaming residual bonus. The writers’ deal included minimum pay increases of 5%-4%-3.5% over 3 years, 50% residual viewership-based bonus, and AI protections. Yahoo Finance’s Pras Subramanian discusses the “unprecedent strategy of stand-up strikes starting in mid-September” when the UAW went on strike against the Big Three automakers, Ford (F), General Motors (GM), and Stellantis (STLA), striking all three.

3. Collapse of Regional Banks (00:02:33)

Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank were two of the regional banks that collapsed this year. Yahoo Finance’s David Hollerith breaks down the timeline of the collapses. On March 8, SVB planned an emergency stock sale and on March 9, customers attempted to withdraw $42 billion. On March 10, regulators shut down SVB and two days later, on March 12, regulators shutdown Signature Bank.

2. The Fed (00:03:06)

Inflation and interest rates continued to impact Americans this year. “The Central Bank began 2023 slowing the pace of its most aggressive rate hiking campaign to cool inflation since the 1980s,” Yahoo Finance Fed Reporter Jennifer Schonberger explains. “As 2023 comes to an end, that campaigns appears to be all but over.”

1. AI (00:03:24)

It has been quite the year for artificial intelligence. Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley takes a look at the year AI has had. “To say that 2023 was the year of AI, would be the understatement of, well, the year,” Howley says. In second quarter 2023, AI was mentioned 62 times at Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), 58 times at Microsoft (MSFT), and 827 times in total for the S&P 500 (^GSPC), according to Reuters. Although 2023 was the year of AI, “it started in November 2022 with the release of ChatGPT by OpenAI,” Howley notes. “The chat bot quickly became the fastest growing app in history, to that point,” hitting 100 million users in two months. In May 2023, Nvidia’s (NVDA) market value “briefly topped $1 trillion dollars for the first time. Cementing its status as the AI chip leader,” Howley explains.

Watch more of the Yahoo Finance’s Countdown: Top Stories of 2023 here.

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