Episode 39 of The Far Middle is dedicated to the one-and-only Dave Parker, aka “The Cobra.” Nick recounts how Parker was a feared, force to be reckoned with—both in the field and in the batter’s box. While The Cobra didn’t play it safe, Nick discusses how the same can’t be said of our education system today. Across American schools the term “out of an abundance of caution” has taken precedence over the term “student proficiency.” Nick goes on to question our tally of government paid holidays, stressing the need to improve inclusiveness, celebrate more, but also spend less and serve taxpayers more. Nick next explains how he defines a sustainable business model, highlights the reasons behind the year-to-date success of S&P 500 Energy Index, and once again stresses investment caution as numerous metrics set the stage for a looming market correction.
Connections: “Whole of Government” to Shark-Infested Markets
Episode 38 is dedicated to Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ray Dandrige, “the greatest third baseman you’ve never heard of.” While Ray was playing stellar ball at the hot corner, across the globe Joseph Stalin was tearing up humanity and giving rise to the “whole of government” approach we hear so much about today. Next, Nick examines coastal big city real estate markets; questioning that if the elite class is so worried about climate change, then why are they buying real estate that will soon be underwater? Nick then discusses the price increases of a range of commodities due to ill-advised government policy. Nick concludes with calling out a couple stark differences between China and the U.S. in terms of STEM, juxtaposed against similar optical approaches between the two countries when it comes to the Olympics and the Super Bowl.
Combinations and Connections
Episode 37 is dedicated to the great sport of boxing, with a special focus on the 1970s—the Golden Age of heavyweights. Nick pays tribute to the self-described greatest of all time Muhammad Ali (and his 37 career knockouts), before transitioning to one of the self-described medical profession greats, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Following this week’s “Fauci Focus,” Nick’s “Mask Mania” segment addresses the reporting by NPR over an alleged mask tiff between Supreme Court Justices Sotomayor and Gorsuch. Nick goes on to discuss the ramifications of “anti-carbon ideology” being championed by Pope Francis, the Federal Reserve and Chairman Powell, and the ideology’s impact on inflation and rising food costs. Nick concludes by addressing student loan debt, arguing the higher education system is broken and schools need to be held accountable.
Simple Equations: From Football to the Economy
Episode 36 is dedicated to “The Bus.” Nick reflects on Jerome Bettis’ prowess on the football field. However, the most impressive force from number 36 is what he’s done off the field—supporting underprivileged youth and communities through the Bus Stops Here Foundation. Nick discusses Jerome’s understanding of the equation mass times acceleration, and connects it to another equation, MV=PY, as he examines the Federal Reserve and its attempts to curb inflation. “I fear that rates can’t be raised by the Federal Reserve even if they wanted to,” says Nick, highlighting the ramifications of higher interest rates on the federal debt. Next, Nick discusses the scary “whole of government” approach to “tackling climate change,” and the government restricting banks’ ability to lend to the fossil fuel industry. Additional topics in this episode include the 2020 election, geopolitics, and a reflection on Sidney Poitier.
Episode 35 of The Far Middle is dedicated to Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro. Nick describes the five-time All-Star knuckleballer as, “proof positive the unconventional and different is a way to make a mark in chosen field.” This Far Middle installment centers around the twisting, turning, and volatility of managing the pandemic. “Our current leaders’ management of pandemic in this nation is now getting as shaky and fluttery as a Niekro knuckleball,” says Nick. Also included in this episode are new “Mask Mania” and “Fauci Focus” segments, as well as a discussion of three industries that the pandemic’s damage will have long-lasting effects on. Nick concludes by wishing a happy birthday to Alexander Hamilton—a well-deserved icon to continue to be the face of our $10 bill.