If Only Your 401(k) Was in the NFL

Trillions of dollars of nominal global wealth have been wiped out in the current bear market for stocks and bonds. But, as this Bloomberg item notes, there’s at least one major exception to the asset-price declines: pro sports franchises. For reasons Gerry Smith describes here–and others such as Mike Ozanian and his crew at Forbes have long chronicled–the valuations of even poorly performing (and managed) clubs continue to escalate. In an age when inequalities are immediately suspect, this ought to raise hackles, because owning a team is definitely a rich guy thing. Yet as many (including myself) have been noting for years, municipal and state governments often fall over themselves to extend more inducements (subsidies) to these same sports barons to locate their wares in those sponsoring jurisdictions. At its root, this is a bread-and-circuses syndrome very much implicating the local populations but also the chorus of marketers (including supposedly neutral news media) that lend themselves to the endless promotion. Maybe, as redistribution (not to mention reparations) becomes an everyday talking point among the political class, a certain sector of rank and privilege might attract attention that, for once, it doesn’t seek.

Published by timwferguson

Longtime writer-editor, focusing on topics of business and policy, global and local.

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