Even the Vices Aren't Selling Like They Used To

A good friend of mine left a message for me on Facebook saying the only stock that didn't go down in the historic market drop yesterday was Campbell's Soup. Dedicated to find him wrong, I reached back in my mind for something I heard once. In times of economic turmoil, the sale of alcohol increases. It turns out I was wrong. The Washington Post noted earlier this month that the figures are actually unchanged. Still, when every stock is falling and your industry stays the same, that has to say something, right?

So I set out on a little quest this afternoon to see if what I heard was right. Since I tend to drink like an old man, I thought about how Jack Daniels was doing. Jack Daniels is owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation. They took about a 4 point hit yesterday. Jim Beam is made by Fortune Brands, Inc. They lost about two points in all the kerfuffle. Diageo which is one of the largest alcohol manufacturers in the world lost about three points. After a while, I figured I'd look intently at beer so I went with "America's" beer company, Anheuser Busch; they lost a little over two points yesterday.

Is there no faith in the market that we can't even put faith in people wanting to drink? The nation was hit pretty hard yesterday and having faith in the free market isn't going to really be the best policy for us. People aren't even drinking like they should, for crying out loud. Maybe they're all just changing their ways. Or maybe they're not getting drunk in their misery but keeping the same buzz as before. (By the way, I like to read that verse as still pro-drinking but anti-alcoholism. It's not like I'm telling people not to drink, although I haven't had a drink myself in a month and a half.)


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