LeBron James, the National Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player the past two seasons, should sign a short-term contract and plow his wealth into gold and silver to protect himself against hyperinflation, according to the National Inflation Institute.
James, 25, who became a free agent July 1, will end months of speculation tonight, revealing in a live television special where he’ll play next season. The Fort Lee, New Jersey-based institute, which is “dedicated to preparing Americans for hyperinflation,” according to the organization’s website, suggests James be weary.
“If LeBron wants his money to be worth anything he should sign a short-term contract, because the economic picture five years out looks pretty bleak,” says Gerard Adams, the founder and director of the group, in a telephone interview. “LeBron James has said he wants to become a billionaire, but that will only happen if he takes his current wealth and invests it into gold and silver, in order to protect himself from hyperinflation.”
He recommends James ink a three-year contract, rather than the expected five- to six-year deal.
Adams, who says his organization has a membership of “tens of thousands,” but declines to give an exact number, estimated the real rate of U.S. inflation to be five to six percent. Further, he expects “double-digit” inflation within the next two years, the organization says in a statement today, even as the gap between yields on Treasuries and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities due in 10 years, a measure of the outlook for consumer prices called the breakeven rate, has fallen to 1.72 percentage points.
The 6-foot-8 James has spent his first seven NBA seasons in Cleveland and the Cavaliers can offer him about $30 million more than other teams on a maximum-length contract. He will reveal his decision tonight on a program, called “The Decision,” scheduled to air at 9 p.m. New York time on Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN network. His advisers met with the Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Clippers during the past week.
James has plenty of people weighing in on where he should go with everyone from U.S. President Barack Obama to filmmaker Spike Lee offering advice. Adams, a New York Knicks fan, says he cares more about what James does with his money.
“Everyone is so wrapped up in the LeBron story that they don’t see hyperinflation coming,” Adams says. “I hope LeBron is smarter.”