"Both teams have great and seasoned coaches, and I've long been a fan of (Chiefs head coach) Andy Reid," he said. "I think the 49ers have more talent on both sides of the ball, but (Chiefs quarterback Patrick) Mahomes has proven to be a very special athlete. (49ers quarterback) Brock Purdy has never been in this situation, but he surprised a lot of fans with his second-half performance in the NFC championship game."
As such, Tarpening thinks the game has the potential to be a high-scoring toss-up similar to his 2024 economic outlook.
"There is overwhelming historical data that points to an economic contraction, like the (leading economic indicators) that have declined every month since April 2022, or the ongoing Treasury yield curve inversion," he noted. "That said, I don't believe most investors have adequately adjusted their economic or monetary expectations to the fact that we're in unprecedented times with 15 years of never-before-seen monetary policy, coupled with two global black swan events (the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic)."
The outcomes for the 2024 Super Bowl and capital markets are anybody's guess, but Tarpening is betting against the consensus — when it comes to the Fed.
"Go 49ers and no rate cuts until GDP breaks below the 2%-plus (annualized) trend and/or core (personal consumption expenditures) gets below (annualized) 2.5%," he added.
But not everyone thinks the favorite will end its 30-year championship drought.
Skyler Weinand, chief investment officer at Dallas-based Regan Capital, with $1.2 billion in assets, thinks the Chiefs will win the title again.
"What mattered more this year and what will win the Super Bowl and the markets will be adaptability," he said. "The reigning champion Chiefs met with adversity through the year and were at one point questioning their chances to even make the playoffs. Patrick Mahomes had to win his first ever road playoff games this year against his rival Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills and potential MVP Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens."
While the 49ers have looked impressive and chameleon-like themselves, Weinand noted, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has "picked apart defensive schemes all year with his play-calling, Mahomes and the Chiefs have maneuvered through this season and the playoffs with tremendous skill and adaptability."
Similarly, he added, being on the right or wrong side of the Magnificent Seven stocks has created winners and losers over the past year as well. "Getting it right for 2024 will take adaptability to new information," he said.
Sal Naro, chief investment officer of Coherence Credit Strategies within Corvid Peak Capital Management, cautioned that "with just a few minutes to play, the Fed looks to have surprised everyone and achieved its soft-landing. Yet rather than relax and lower rates, it looks as if the central bank will keep to its playbook by keeping rates higher for longer than some investors anticipated."
The same is true for the Chiefs, Naro observed, who after a rough regular season have asserted themselves in the playoffs. "Look for them to stick to what got them here and come out of Vegas with another championship," he added.
Corvid Peak is a credit oriented, special situations asset manager with over $1.2 billion of AUM.
Christopher D. Long, chairman, CEO and portfolio manager at Palmer Square Capital Management, a $27 billion AUM asset manager focused on fixed income and credit investments, predicts the Chiefs will win 27-14.
"With the Chiefs being in the Super Bowl once again, Kansas City has undoubtedly been in the spotlight," he said. "There is no question the massive amount of media attention we are receiving is super positive for the City's brand and economic well-being. The more people see what Kansas City is all about, the more people want to live and invest in our community."
Based in Mission Woods, Kan. — just 15 minutes from downtown Kansas City, Mo.— Long is also a co-owner of the Kansas City Current club of the National Women's Soccer League with none other than Patrick Mahomes and his wife Brittany.
Blake Moore, president and CEO of $26.7 billion asset manager Touchstone Investments, has a unique perspective on the Super Bowl. Moore himself was an offensive lineman in the NFL in the early 1980s, playing for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Green Bay Packers — and he also played in a Super Bowl.
"Inflation anyone?" he said. "When I played in Super Bowl XVI 42 years ago with the Bengals, losing to the 49ers — and yes, that still hurts — you could get a ticket for less than $100, a half-minute (TV) ad cost about $350,000, and 85 million people watched the game."
Fast forward to this week, he said, you will spend thousands for a ticket, $7 million for that half minute TV ad and over 110 million people are expected to watch the game.
"Over the several decades I've been following this event, I am struck by the economic and social impact that it has, not just for the teams and host city, but across the entire country," he said.