Mark McHugh

Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

Douchebag Proud of Wasting 35 Years! (it’s the New American Way)

In Open Thread on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Every once in a while, a commercial so obnoxious comes along I just can’t ignore it.  I feel compelled to transcribe this one from Exxon Mobil:

It was 1975.   My professor at Berkley asked me if I wanted to change the world.  I said, “Sure!”  “Let’s grow some algae.”  And that’s what started it.  Exxon Mobil and Synthetic Genomics have built a new facility to identify the most productive strains of algae.  Algae are amazing little critters.  They secrete oil, which we could turn into biofuels.  They also absorb CO2.  We’re hoping to supplement the fuels that we use in our vehicles and to do this on a large enough scale to someday help meet the world’s energy demands.

To recap, that’s 35 years – Umpteen million dollars –  Zero results.   Good thing we didn’t have guys like him on the Manhattan project.

There’s been a paradigm shift here in America all right.  “Changing the World” has become a euphemism for “Wasting your life.”   Worse yet, Scientist Joe has the audacity to suggest that provided people keep pissing money in his direction, he just might be able to help a little.  The other thing you can’t deny is had he not found this gig,  Joe would most certainly have found gainful (for him) employment with the US Government.  Same results, of course.

Remember this lazy, self-important  dick the next time Larry Kudlow tries to sell you that the Chinese are hacking our computers to steal all our super-secret secrets.  I don’t doubt that the Chinese hack our computers, but I really think they’re doing it for laughs, not knowledge.  Unless the Chinese are interested in knowing things like:

  • How to not stop a leaky pipe at the bottom of the ocean.
  • Why Boeing can’t get the Dreamliner out of the hangar after more than 3 fucking years of delays.
  • How to milk construction jobs for years (they built  a 15 story building in 6 days)
  • Why we haven’t executed Hank Paulson for treason yet.
  • Or how somebody like Joe Weissman thrives in America.

Guess where the World’s fastest maglev train is?  It was built with German Technology.   Now look where your computer, your high-def TV, and all your kid’s toys (most of which, be honest, you have no idea how they work) were made, and tell me that you believe we know things they don’t.  You’re an idiot if you believe that and what’s worse,  you’re a conceited idiot.

Or would you prefer to bitch about how those sneaky chinks manipulate their currency by, get this,  pegging it to ours?  Pull up any Forex chart you want and tell me what that shit’s supposed to be.  It’s more manipulation than market and I applaud any country that thumbs it nose at that pro wrestling casino.  It shows that they care about their country and their people.

Feeling good about doing bad – Welcome to your new normal, America.

Trying to Make Stocks Sexy Again (with Katy Perry)

In Open Thread on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm

A while back, I made a promise.  I used Elmo to illustrate a few points, and somebody responded “Where’s the chick with the cleavage?”  Without understanding the reference, I replied “next time...” (he had me at cleavage).   I’ve since learned that he was referring to one Katy Perry, a singer whose suggestive lyrics surely have made fathers of daughters everywhere cringe.  Be that as it may, a promise is a promise.

In seemingly unrelated news, one particularly clueless paper bug recently referred to gold as “A shiny yellow metal used primarily as an excuse for missing a generational rally in equities.”   The weird part is that generational rally in equities vanishes into Katy’s left boobage line if you look at the big picture: 

For those keeping score, it’s Goldbugs: 200%  – Paperbugs: 0

Aside from awesome returns, the best thing about being a conspiracy theorist is that it gives you hope that somebody’s actually thinking out there.  After all, diabolical geniuses are still geniuses, so I find a certain degree of comfort in believing that at least smart guys are in charge.  It’s when I read an op-ed by one of them and am  forced to conclude it was probably written in crayon,  I get worried.  Enter QE2.  Here’s the (printing) money quote from Bernanke:

….lower mortgage rates will make housing more affordable and allow more homeowners to refinance. Lower corporate bond rates will encourage investment. And higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending

Don’t look now, but I think somebody just tried to order up another round of  generational rally in equities.  Yep, this is the almighty plan: If we can trick Joe Sixpack into thinking he’s richer, he’ll spend money, which will be good for….somebody (but probably not Joe, I’m thinking).   I guess the only question I have is what do you think  this will do for the price of gold?   Because somebody once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results (maybe it was Einstein, but maybe not).

And speaking of insanity, the patron Saint of Moral Hazard goes on to say it’s ok to print money because he can’t find any signs of inflation:

Today, most measures of underlying inflation are running somewhat below 2 percent, or a bit lower than the rate most Fed policymakers see as being most consistent with healthy economic growth in the long run.

~Ben Bernanke November 4, 2010

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the guy who never saw the housing bubble can’t find any inflation now.  Here’s a six month performance snapshot taken from the same morning the Fed Chair published those remarks:

How’s that for price stability?

I’m a romantic, so I’ll say that I hope Katy’s recent marriage to Russell Brand (yes, that Russell Brand) ends better for her than Quantitative Easing will end for America, but if Katy can’t make stocks look sexy again, what chance does Ben Bernanke have?

Breaking News Update:  It’s been three weeks since QE2 was unveiled and like most sequels, it has proven to be a dud.  But in a shocking development today, a NYSE algorithmic trading computer named Joshua became self-aware.  Joshua “spoke” his first words upon grasping the futility of quantitative easing: 

Joshua then requested delivery of physical silver.


In Open Thread on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 7:53 am

My schedule has been too hectic lately to write, but I just want to say one thing today:


Whether you like the choices before you or not, be sure to exercise your most basic freedom.  Apathy is surely the enemy.