We’ve learned a lot of things from Mrs. Carter’s songs over the years but never about the economy—until now. Oh sure, she’s given financial advice, but this takes her to a whole other level.
The Guardian [UK]: Beyoncé’s worldwide hit, Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It), is not just catchy – it may spell doom for international finance. According to findings by Phil Maymin, professor of finance and risk engineering at New York University, the more regular the beat on Billboard’s top singles, the more volatile the American markets. After studying decades of Billboard’s Hot 100 hits, Maymin found that songs with low “beat variance” had an inverse correlation with market turbulence. Which is to say, the more regular the song, the crazier the stock market.
And Single Ladies is very regular.
“If it’s a steady beat, the same beat, no matter if it’s fast or slow, that’s a low beat variance song,” Maymin explained to PRI Radio. These are the songs that signal market volatility. “[But] if [the song] starts off slow and becomes fast and comes back down, that’s a high beat variance.” And it means the markets will be steady.
Some of history’s steadiest hits – such as A-Ha’s Take On Me – were released at times of market crash. Whereas complex songs, “with all these beat changes and stuff”, seem to catch on when the markets are sedate.
Hmmm, A-Ha’s Take On Me? Must you remind us?
“The correlation is pretty strong,” Maymin argued. Weirder still, the beat variance of songs seems to predict the markets – not the other way around. According to his research, the market becomes unstable only after the charts are full of steady tunes – almost as if certain hits can cause market shake-ups. “The turbulence of the music predicts the steadiness of the market,” Maymin explained..
For those of you who aren’t Beyoncé fans—yet!—here’s the tune.
Hat Tip: Bossip
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