Knuckleballing Policy

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.

Never Die Easy

Episode 34 is dedicated is to an athlete Jim Brown called “the epitome of greatness” – Walter Payton. In this Far Middle episode, Nick connects the explosive running of “Sweetness” to the hot-running stock market. Nick urges caution as anything and everything seems to cause a market rally these days. Meanwhile a key spread continues to be ignored – the difference between inflation and treasury bond yields. Are the Fed’s massive interventions to blame? Nick transitions from government rigging the bond and equity markets to government rigging pandemic science in this week’s “Fauci Focus.” Next, the latest geopolitical dynamics between Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and the central role energy is playing is examined. Nick closes this episode’s set with a review of his ten greatest rock guitarists.

Theater and Optics

Episode 33 is dedicated to NBA superstar Larry Bird, aka “Larry Legend.” Nick notes the hardworking shooter’s many accomplishments, and also pays tribute to Bird’s contemporary Magic Johnson (who was boxed out by Jim Brown for Far Middle episode 32’s dedication). Continuing the Far Middle’s connections theme, Nick transitions from Larry Bird to the factors involved in wine purchasing—Nick argues that optics are the primary determinant when it comes to deciding which bottle of vino individuals buy. Next, Nick reflects on a recent holiday party and reminds us that time truly does fly. In commenting on U.S. population moves, Nick asks if we’re going through our own version of the Berlin Wall? Episode 33 concludes with two special segments on “mask mania” and a “Fauci Focus,” and wraps with a note on Superman’s new motto.

Connections: From Jim Brown to Build Back Better

Episode 32 is dedicated to the awesome Jim Brown, while no saint, Nick describes him as “the purest of athletes.” There’s a lot of competition for the greatest to wear number 32, but Nick outlines why Brown’s athletic prowess makes him the clear choice. Nick transitions from Brown to the experience of going to an NFL game today (with an e-ticket) versus watching from the comfort of home. While also on the topic of the NFL, Nick comments on their new Covid testing protocols. Next, Nick examines the scientific community’s audible on their view of the efficacy of lockdowns and quarantine before and after Covid’s arrival in the U.S. This episode also includes the latest example of academia’s non-accountability culture, the would-be disaster of the Left and President Biden’s Build Back Better proposal, and much more.

Risk/Reward Math Demoted for Political Science and Ideology

Episode 31 is dedicated to former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Donnie Shell. Nick discusses the Hall of Famer’s NFL career and his unique path to joining the Steelers, aided by the great Bill Nunn, Sr. “The risk/reward math you see with safeties in football, it’s the same type of important skill when it comes to pension and fund managers…we want our money managers really astute at risk/reward wizardry…unfortunately that’s not happening today in too many instances, in particular with pensions,” says Nick. He demonstrates how political science and ideology are supplanting fund managers’ fiduciary responsibility. Nick next explains how this same dynamic is occurring outside the investment world, followed by a discussion on the manipulation of statistics. And be sure to listen to the full episode to catch Nick’s top three Christmas albums.