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What the Grateful Dead and the stock market have in common

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Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer explains how the ebbs and flows of the stock and the Grateful Dead coincide and the similarities between the band members and some of America's top executives.

Video transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Is the US economy already in a mild recession? Conflicting data suggests there's far more than a touch of gray required to answer that question. That's why we've enlisted the services of Yahoo Finance editor-in-chief and our chief Deadhead here, Andy Serwer. And Andy, you say the economy and the Grateful Dead have more in common than US blues. Tell us.

ANDY SERWER: Nice. I knew we were going to get some dead puns in here because what a long, strange trip it's been, Dave. And you knew that was coming.

DAVE BRIGGS: Yes.

ANDY SERWER: I got a little tired of, like, checking in on this market, day after day, week after week. And so maybe something a little bit different here. Delved into the Grateful Dead, and it's really a great American success story, right? The band is 57 years old. And they've made hundreds of millions of dollars over the years, not only in concert tickets, but also selling music and in merchandising.

So these hippies from the Bay Area have become a great American success story. And some of them are still going. They're touring this summer. There's 20 tour dates. And lots and lots of people will be out there going to see the Dead.

SEANA SMITH: Andy, you also make this connection between Jerry Garcia and Steve Jobs. Explain to us the connection between those two icons.

ANDY SERWER: Yes, Seana, it's interesting. As I mentioned, the Dead are from the Bay Area, actually, originally from Palo Alto. And there are a number of connections between Silicon Valley and the Grateful Dead. They played their first shows there. Stewart Brand, who, of course, is this high tech visionary, was one of their early co-producers of their shows.

So if you think about it, you know, Steve Jobs would talk about the intersection of art and science. And so one of the local inspirations for people in the Bay Area, of course, was the Grateful Dead. And when the Grateful Dead was looking for funding along the way, they turned to some of these venture capitalists. It didn't work out, but they walk in the same circles.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And so, Andy, then, in terms of the connection between the two, then, what do you think we should really focus on here in terms of any sort of lessons learned?

ANDY SERWER: Well, you know, I think that it's all things come around, Rachelle, right? So in other words, the Dead were just considered counterculture, offbeat, not connected to the mainstream of our economy or society at all. And now you see Jerry Garcia on the cover of those supermarket checkout magazines.

There's one that says, oh, 20 years of the Grateful Dead and all those kinds of things. So in a way, you know, Jerry Garcia has kind of become the new Elvis Presley. And so what was sort of offbeat is now mainstream. And if you keep at it, in many cases, in some cases, we hope, things will come to you.

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