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"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore"

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Expressions of Yankees legend applicable in today's economy.
Yogi Berra's illogical catchphrases make perfect sense in today's economy.

The late Yogi Berra was arguably one of the best players to ever step on the baseball diamond. The New York Yankees won 10 World Series championships with Berra behind the plate. A three-time MVP and 15-time All Star, Berra still holds multiple MLB records. In my mind, his most impressive statistic comes from the 1950 season where he struck out only 12 times in nearly 600 at bats. 

Even before his storied baseball career began, Berra earned recognition as a hero of World War II. On June 6, 1944 — the D-Day invasion — Berra and five crewmates provided cover fire on the shores of Normandy to soften German defenses. He was wounded by incoming fire and later received a Purple Heart Medal. 

But for all his significant accomplishments on the battlefield and the ballfield, Berra may be most remembered as one of the most quoted athletes of all time. He had his own way with words — uttering phrases that were either completely illogical or incredibly perceptive, and maybe a bit of both. Countless memorable expressions have been attributed to Berra. Although, as he best put it, “I never said most of the things I said.” A few of my favorite Yogi-isms: 

  • “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.” 
  • “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” 
  • “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” 
  • “The future ain’t what it used to be.” 

If you’ve looked at your 401(k) lately, that last statement probably makes perfect sense. With inflation at a four-decade high, stocks falling and interest rates rising, forecasting an optimistic economic outlook has become extremely difficult.  

Most economists say we are more likely than not headed for a recession within the next 12 months. Even if we can avoid recession, there is the fear that stagflation — a period of slow economic growth coupled with high inflation — could cause pain in the years ahead. 

The future ain’t what it used to be. 

Another famous Berra remark went, “a nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” As fuel prices hover at record levels, and crop producers are spending 40-50% more this season on inputs, that statement also rings true. 

The long-lasting impact of the economic situation on farm sustainability, farm real estate values, and even the upcoming Farm Bill is unclear. Some expect the worst. But as Bryce Knorr, a contributing market analyst for Farm Futures, writes, not all economic downturns are created equally.  

“No market goes up forever. Stock market corrections don’t necessarily mean the sky is falling. While the S&P witnessed 23 bear markets since 1929, the U.S. suffered only 15 official recessions after that fateful crash nearly a century ago,” Knorr said. 

As another economist put it, when it comes to the economy, the only certainty is uncertainty. 

It sounds like another Yogi-ism. 

TAGS: Finance
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