This isn’t just important for Americans guarding their paperbacks. Price hikes are also being scrutinized by investors and economists who are dying to know: is this a passing phenomenon when the country emerges from a one-off economic shock, or a more lingering trend reminiscent of the 1970s?
The answer to this question will have enormous consequences for the financial markets. If the Federal Reserve begins to believe that there is a real problem with inflation, it could boost interest rates or cut its bond purchases earlier than expected. That would trigger a dramatic sell-off in high-growth assets, the rise of which set the tone for investing in the pandemic-era.
But wait: the Federal Reserve has made it very clear that it believes inflation will be temporary.
“An episode of one-off price increases as the economy reopens is not the same as continued higher inflation in the future compared to last year,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters late last month. “Indeed, it is up to the Fed to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Most economists agree with this view, even though they admit that we are in an unprecedented territory. In an article published Friday, top economists including Laurence Ball of Johns Hopkins University and Gita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, said they anticipate “a modest and temporary spike in inflation” and that government spending under the Biden administration does not seem to be a threat.
“Overall, we see little risk that current temporary government spending on pandemic aid will cause an inflationary spiral,” they wrote.
Additional spending proposals for infrastructure, jobs and health care, say economists, should be monitored. But because the expenses “are likely to be spread over a longer period of time [and] partially offset by fiscal measures “which could” limit overheating concerns “.
Private equity targets sports. Fans are pushing back
Rugby is not just a sport in New Zealand. It is a national obsession, a great cultural force, and a great source of pride.
The news that Silver Lake, a California-based private equity firm, plans to generate 12.5% of the sales of the All Blacks, the fearsome national team that has dominated global sport for decades, sparked heated debate in the country 5 Millions.
“This is really awful,” tweeted New Zealand actor Sam Neill, known for his role on the Jurassic Park franchise, earlier this week. “The [All Blacks] are in danger of becoming just another bloody company. “
Last week, the provincial unions regulating the sport in New Zealand unanimously approved the deal in which Silver Lake would invest the much-needed $ 279 million. However, the top players who have raised concerns about the handover of minority control have yet to opt out.
“It’s not about the money,” All Blacks veteran Dane Coles said in an interview with local media. “It’s about leaving the game in the best hands and making the future as bright as possible.”
Silver Lake, which has $ 79 billion in assets under management, declined to comment on CNN Business.
The stalemate is the latest example of fans and gamers fighting back against the big bucks pouring into the sport from billionaires, corporations and investors who some accuse of putting profit before tradition. Fans took a big win in that fight last month, rebelled against a proposed European Super League that would have enriched a small number of owners but went against the traditions of European football.
Private equity firms that buy and restructure companies in the hope of profit are at the forefront of sports investing. Targeted at teams, tournaments, and governing bodies, they promise much-needed funding and business acumen. But in some cases, they invest in the objections of cautious fans.
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