Mark McHugh

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Can You say ‘Fiduciary’?

In Open Thread, stocks finance, Uncategorized on Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 3:59 pm


It seems that corporate America is in need of a vocabulary lesson:

From West’s Encyclopedia of American Law via

Fiduciary (fidōō′shē-erē) n.

An individual in whom another has placed the utmost trust and confidence to manage and protect property or money. The relationship wherein one person has an obligation to act for another’s benefit……

…..A fiduciary relationship extends to every possible case in which one side places confidence in the other and such confidence is accepted; this causes dependence by the one individual and influence by the other……

I can’t link to an SEC or Finra or NYSE web page that clearly defines the CEO’s fiduciary obligations to shareholders (because I can’t find them, or they don’t exist), but I’m pretty sure that when you say your dividend is good to go, then cut it a month later you’ve breached the trust the shareholders have placed in you.

more……. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s all About Redemption Now

In Open Thread, stocks finance, Uncategorized on Monday, March 2, 2009 at 2:45 pm

No, not your immortal soul, goofy.

My prayers for a snowstorm that would paralyze the Northeast and close the markets were only partially answered (sometimes God says, “sort of…”), so I’m home today, watching the train wreck.  This is looking to me like the kind of washout that we need, and I’m not seeing any price action for the X-files today.  Could it be that the powers have finally decided to let the chips fall where they may?  Who knows.  I believe that facing reality is usually the best course of action, no matter how painful.  I must concede however, that these are not usual times.

The key to successful short-term trading is figuring out what the other guy is going to do, before he figures it out.  The economic news, especially on Friday of last week, was grim.  Changing bailout terms, GDP much worse than initially thought, more Ponzis, initial unemployment claims thundering along, GE cuts dividend,  Santelli’s a Ho?  etc, etc, etc.  I  found too myself overwhelmed to write anything coherent (at least 5 pieces hit the trash can).


Read the rest of this entry »

Friday 1/30/2009

In Uncategorized on Friday, January 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Looks like the bottomless pit is about to open again.  Dow Transports racing to retest lows (which were set on Monday).  I don’t think they bounce again.

In fact, I see nothing postive at the moment…..and no reason to get long before Monday.  This should be an interesting test of the President transparency talk, because these are the kinds of conditions that gave birth to supernatural rallies in the previous administration.

Stick a fork in GE – They’re done

In Uncategorized on Friday, January 30, 2009 at 11:48 am

Whatever you do, today, tommorow, when there is literally blood in the street – Don’t buy GE. GE is the most insolvent company in this whole mess. I’m working on a piece about them now, but here is a great article about the condition of GE by James Quinn published last November.


Thursday 1/29/2009

In Uncategorized on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 9:11 am

Futures lower this morning.  I think the story at the end of the day will be, “Stocks battled back from early losses, to close in positive territory today.”  I’ll tell you why I think that later……

2 p.m. bounce? (I think so)

Update:3:15 – Running away now.  Shithead of the day – yours truly

Erin Burnett – Shithead of the Week

In Uncategorized on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 1:13 am


 The pending reappointment of Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve is the non-story of the Century, and I find this terrifying.  Propaganda of his alleged “success” has been crammed in every orifice of the American people by the rich and shameless (yet relatively few believe it).   This is truly the time for action, unless you really enjoy Tea-partying ’til you puke.  I’m asking every American to demand that their Senators stand up and oppose the nomination.  Our future depends on it. 

 Contact your Senator

So much for that “Of the people, by the people,  for the people” crap…

Explain this to me: 21% of adult Americans favor the re-appointment  of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, yet only four Senators have had the intestinal fortitude to step up and say they oppose him.  An alarming 39% of Americans aren’t sure.  This I cannot fathom;  it’s as pathetic as being “on the fence” about slavery or child-pornography.  Let’s review the mind-boggling difference between what Bernanke did and what he was supposed to do.

Here is the Federal Reserve’s Mission Statement, presented in its entirety:

  • conducting the nation’s monetary policy by influencing the monetary and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates
  • supervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation’s banking and financial system and to protect the credit rights of consumers
  • maintaining the stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets
  • providing financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions, including playing a major role in operating the nation’s payments system.
  • These four simple sentences comprise Ben Bernanke’s job description.  There’s not anything in there about monitoring men’s underwear sales to divine economic conditions (which seriously, is what Greenspan did).  Worse yet, the Fed is trying to leverage its own criminally negligent failures into a coup to seize even more power and control.  But hey, if four sentences is too much for you, the so-called congressional mandate for the Fed can be boiled down to five words:

    Stable Prices and Maximum Employment

    The Federal Reserve failed to follow very simple instructions.  There is no other way to see it.  It wasn’t circumstances beyond their control, it was the very circumstances that they were supposed to control that caused the meltdown.  They sat on their hands while housing prices soared on easy money and created the biggest asset bubble the world has ever seen.   No money down, subprime, ARM, 125% loan-to-value, and interest-only mortgages were “all-good” with Ben and Al.  The fact that these were credit-driven, unstable, and unsustainable prices was lost on them.

     Bernanke ignored both reality and his job instructions for as long as possible.  The fallout from that failure looks like this:

    It is important to note that this is the polished-up “official” government numbers.  Anyone on this side of the rainbow already knows, the reality is much worse.  In fact the smart guys at Trim Tabs assert that the BLS missed the November jobs report by over 200,000. 

    A Vicious Cycle continues…

    Thanks to Bernanke incompetence, price instability has reached biblical proportions.  For example, Oil has traded everywhere between $32.40 and $147 per barrel in the last 18 months.  How’s that for price stability?  I can sight so many examples of price instability that, rather than list them all, I made this nice collage:

    And if this isn’t enough to convince you how horrendous a job Bernanke has done, there’s always this:

    (Image from

    Bernanke “saved” Wall St.  with US taxpayer money who have borrowed more than $6000 for every man, woman and child in the country in the last twelve months alone.  Yet  to this day, he refuses to divulge exactly what  is on the Fed’s balance sheet.  The idea that any nation can borrow its way to prosperity is utterly insane, yet here we are, trying to drink ourselves sober, and sticking our kids with the bill.  To call the architect of such a plan a “hero” is an insult to our intelligence.  

    America should be discussing prison terms for Bernanke and his accomplices (who incidentally will be getting record bonuses this Christmas), not reappointment, and anyone who says he’s done a good job is either a liar or a fool.  He’s an arsonist masquerading as a fire fighter and there is no other way to see it.  This story should be front and center in America.  Instead it’s being treated like a non-event, a forgone conclusion.  And the few Senators who have stood up against the generational-rape of America are being labeled cranks. 


    Let your Senator know that if he doesn’t stand up right now, his punk-ass is gone!  Link to list at

    (this is the official end of the post)

    Bonus material (how I really feel):

    I am an American, first and foremost.  The principles our Country was founded on are more important to me than my own comfort, even my own life.  Anyone willing to compromise those principles is destined to be enslaved, and of no use to me.

    Change you can believe in” has been cancelled, we now return to another episode of “Crooks playing musical chairs

    Pick a Conspiracy Theory….

    Any shit-for-brains conspiracy theory you want, and you’ll find those whack-jobs have far more evidence than Bernanke supporters.  I find Bernanke supporters every bit as loathsome as Holocaust deniers.  People willing to stick their heads in their asses, so they can live with themselves. 

    I’m making a list and checking it twice…..

     It’s time to do the right thing.  I expect every American to make their voice heard loud and clear about Bernanke’s reappointment.  This goes a hundred-fold for those in the public eye (TV personalities, writers, and yes, even bloggers).  Those who fail to take a clear stand are cowards in my eyes and will be treated with the disrespect cowards deserve.


    It must be nice to be pretty and brainless. Your mind probably warps in a unique way. You start to think that you’re insightful because no one pukes when you talk.

    I guess CNBC’s Erin Burnett thinks of herself as some kind of free-market champion.  As the details of the stimulus plan were unveiled, she fixated on what she thought was an important ideological detail.   The stimulus plan specifies that all iron and steel on infrastructure projects funded by the project must be manufactured in the U.S.  Protectionism! Why we could get cheaper steel from China and save the taxpayers money!


    Interestingly, Burnett is the demon spawn of four of the biggest clusterfucks in capitalist history (GS, TWX, C & GE).  These Cathedrals of head-up your-ass pseudo-capitalism and yellow journalism managed to vaporize a combined $440B in market cap (read retirement and college funds) in the last year while unabashedly taking at least $35B in taxpayer money thusfar.  And let’s not forget those Buffet deals.  She should write a book called, How to become a taxpayer charity case (and look great doing it).  Yet, the biggest injustice she can find in the universe is buying American-made steel.

    Well Erin, if you are offering to pay for the unemployment, health care,  retraining and incarceration costs that will result from your brilliant,  saving taxpayers money plan with your bloated, taxpayer-subsidized salary, then you go, girl.  Otherwise, shut the fuck up.  Your resume tells me that you know nothing about capitalism, economics, or free markets (only rationalized thievery in their name).  The inability to calculate the simplest of consequences from actions has been the trademark of this crisis.  Is anyone expecting China to buy GE lightbulbs with their stimulus money?

    Originally, I intended to only name Erin Burnett Shithead of the day.  She was elevated to the status of Shithead of the week because people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.  GE is a company I don’t spend any time thinking about.  It’s run by crooks that are none-too-bright, and that was all I needed to know.  Until today.  After doing some digging, I now realize that GE is psychotically over-valued at 13 bucks, and CNBC dimwits like Erin are about to become my tax dollars at work.  For the record, I’d like to say that CNBC also has some truly brilliant minds at work there (but Erin’s not one of them).

    Fun, unverified stuff  about GE

    Prediction: GE common stock is going to ZERO!!!!!!!!!

    Tuesday 1/27/2008

    In Uncategorized on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 9:51 am


    Geithner – Strike one for Obama?

    In Uncategorized on Monday, January 26, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Tim Geithner was confirmed by the Senate yesterday as Treasury Secretary. I, for one, am still disconcerted by the “Geithner Bounce” that we saw back in late November last year. Geithner was announced as President-elect Obama’s pick for Treasurer at on November 21, 2008.  See if you can pinpoint the moment he was annouced:

    11-21-20082One thing is clear to me – somebody out there really, really likes Tim.  From a fresh 52-week low shortly after 11 a.m. (which is still holding for the moment), the Dow shot up over 1400 points in a week.  Wow.

    Looking at Monday

    In Uncategorized on Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    It’s generally against my nature to be optimistic.  He who expects nothing is never disappointed.  So I’ll say this, preliminary indications are that the apocalypse doesn’t happen Monday, unless Caterpillar’s earnings (before the bell) are far worse than anticipated.  A weak dollar combined with some profit taking in gold, could prove positive for stocks.

    I will also be keeping an eye on interest rates and the transports.

    First Post from

    In Uncategorized on Friday, January 23, 2009 at 4:01 am


    Well, I’ve finally decided to start my own financial blog.  That’s not necessarily a good thing either.  I think this crisis that we think is almost past, is actually just getting started…..

    It’s probably going to take me quite a while to get comfortable doing this.

    Hello world!

    In Uncategorized on Monday, January 5, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!