Inflation vs. Basketball: A Different Definition of Progress


Winning! Cheers and congratulations seem to be in order for the Fed’s handing of getting inflation to moderate.

With the Fed raising interest rates, inflation has eased to roughly 5% (so far) from a high of around 9%. The “crowd” (investors) seems to be satisfied that the Fed has remedied a problem they themselves created. Whew! So what do Fed Chair J. Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen do now? (They’re going to Disneyland?)

What if they ran a different business?  Like an NBA basketball team?  Would fans be as enthralled as investors with similar results? Hmmmm!

IMAGINE IF…..instead of running the Treasury or being in charge of Fed policy,  Janet Yellen had been General Manager of the “expansion Fargo Flames” basketball team with J. Powell as the head coach? How would reporting the team’s development and progress go over? Let’s take a listen…………………….

“The Flames record two years ago was 10-72.  We are excited to report that under J.Powell’s excellent coaching, the team improved to 15-67 last year and we are confident that next year the Flames will reach a 20-win season.

“We believe losing is transitory and that it will eventually subside.

“In order to continue the team’s progress, we are implementing the “Roster Improvement Act.” Of course we will have to increase ticket prices, the price of all concession stand amenities (beer, food, etc.), parking and perhaps institute a bathroom entry fee to pay for the anticipated progress.

“Coach Powell has agreed to cap the amount of players’ salaries from the “Roster Improvement Act” and use excess funds to make the stadium environmentally friendly. Wind and solar energy generation equipment will be placed on the roof of the stadium. Charging stations will be placed in the parking lots for EV’s since vehicles using fossil fuel will no longer be allowed in the stadium’s lots.

“We are sure our fans will certainly recognize that by initiating these initiatives (even if it means higher prices) attending a Flames game will be a much more enjoyable experience. Coach Powell believes that top quality players (maybe ‘Le Brun Johns’) will even accept a lower salary just to play for the Flames. All Flame fans should be excited with the prospect of a magical 30 win season on the horizon. A coveted “Participation Trophy” is not out of reach.”

Well, perhaps basketball fans would rather Janet Yellen and J. Powell stay in government and leave the private sector (and their beloved sports teams) alone. So, 5% inflation is “a win”? Pretty sure fans would agree a 20-win basketball season is NOT a win.

It seems sports fans may be more demanding than market investors.