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Best of Five Things You Need to Know: Five Questions for Father's Day, C'mon Everybody! Ford Needs Our Help!, What Would Abraham Lincoln Do?, Full Metal Ford, Great Moments in Humphrey-Hawkins Testimony History


What you need to know (and what it means)!


Editor's Note: Kevin Depew is on vacation. Minyanville's Daily Five Things You Need to Know to stay ahead of the pack on Wall Street will return on Monday.

1. Five Questions for Father's Day

When I was a wee lad, maybe 19 or 32, my da set me down for a little chat.
"Son," he said, reaching one hand into the breast pocket of the thick tweed jacket he always wore, "I have something for you." He slowly took his hand out of his jacket and produced a shiny silver pint flask. It looked very old.
"Here," he said, "take it."
"But da, I couldn't," I protested.
"No, son, I want you to have it. I'm finished with it, and now It's all yours," he said.
I took the silver flask from his hand and felt its weight in my own. It was lighter than I expected. In fact, it was much lighter than I expected. I shook it a few times. It seemed completely empty! Quickly, I twisted open the knob on the top and and turned the flask upside down. Nothing! Not a single drop! It was bone dry. Furious, I dove across the table at him, and so began one of the worst rows my da and I ever had. Imagine such a thing. A father giving his son an empty flask!

I'm not sure where we were going with all of this except that with Father's Day approaching we thought it might be a good idea to ask some very important questions to a very important father.

Minyanville's Five Important Questions for an Important Father.

I'm short S&P futures into a positive analog day. What should I do?
I spent my whole life trying not to be careless. Women and children can be careless. But not men.
Do you see a trade up to 1280 on the SPX? And do you recommend playing both sides here with the expanding volatility?
No... how a man makes his living is none of my business. But this proposition of yours is too risky. All the people in my family lived well the last ten years, I won't risk that out of greed.
The transition from low vol to higher vol has whipsawed a lot of traders. What is the best way for a trader to adapt to a changing market environment?
I never wanted this for you. I work my whole life - I don't apologize - to take care of my family, and I refused to be a fool, dancing on the string held by all those bigshots. I don't apologize - that's my life - but I thought that, that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the string.
Do you think Tattaglia's call for a bottom in the SPX is right? Or should I be more worried about Barzini's projection for a new market low by mid July?
Tattaglia's a pimp. He never could've out-fought Santino. But I didn't know until this day that it was Barzini all along.

Do you have any advice for finding the right balance between trading and life?
Do you spend time with your family?
Good. Because a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.
Thank you for your time, Godfather.
Someday - and that day may never come - I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this as a gift on my daughter's wedding day.

2. C'mon Everybody! Ford Needs Our Help!

Speaking at the Competitiveness Forum, Ford's president of the Americas Mark Fields asked the federal government for help to "level the playing field" for domestic automakers in the U.S. market.

Hey Lassie!


What is it Lassie? What's wrong?


Ford? What about Ford?


Ford fell in a well?


Oh, Timmy fell in a well. But what about Ford, Lassie? Is Ford in trouble?


What!?! Ford's gonna close 14 plants and lay off somewhere between 25,000-30,000 workers! What do we do Lassie?!


Ford wants us to level the playing field? What does that mean? Handouts? Bailouts?


Oh. Hmmm, tax credits.

Woof! Woof!

No!!! Oh Lassie, don't tell me Ford's healthcare costs have crippled the company!

Woof Woof Woof!

Ok, Lassie. You run back to Ford and tell them first thing, stop making all those useless cars. Second close all the plants, they're not going to need them. Third, get them to change their name to Ford HMO... and round up as many doctors and nurses as you can! I'll go get the taxpayers!

3. What Would Abraham Lincoln Do?

We miss Chris Black's excellent site. Now lost in cyberspace after debuting in 2000 - perhaps a victim of the cyclical bull market - it was the first and, until now, the last Web site we know of to feature the hideous jabbering head of Abraham Lincoln.

Because we are living through such a difficult, divided time in America, not unlike the Civil War during which Abraham Lincoln was President, except for all the brother-to-brother killing and slavery and whatnot, Minyanville Senior Editor Jon Schwartz (email complaints here) thought it would be an ideal time for me to sit down with President Lincoln for an interview.

Minyanville Presents an Interview With Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Presid...

Please, call me Rail Splitter, sonny.
I'm not going to call you Rail Splitter, Mr. President.
Why not?
It's too weird.

Mr. President, I'd like to get your perspective on the increasing division between Haves and Have Nots in our society, the apparent growing class divide and how it may compare to the problems you faced during your own administration.

Mr. President?

Ok, fine. Rail Splitter, I'd like...
There you go! That's the spirit!
Fine. I'd like to get your perspective on the increasing division between Haves and Have Nots in our society, the apparent growing class divide and how it may compare to the problems you faced during your own administration.
Good Lord, son. Because you people got a few folks that can't afford a freaking plasma TV you think you got a damn Civil War on your hands!? I had whole states forming their own country for crying out loud! Whole states! That's a Civil War.
Well, with all due respect Mr. Pre... Rail Splitter... I think the divide between Haves and Have Nots in our society is a little deeper than who can own a plasma TV.
Ha! Have you seen those things?! They're crystal clear! Crystal Clear! You watch a football game and it's like totally being there.
Well sure, they're nice, but that's completely beside the point.
Poppycock, m
an! Poppycock! I would've given my right arm for a plasma TV back in my day. Imagine it, the ability to watch theater-quality entertainment in the privacy of your own home! But no, I'm stuck going to Ford's Theater and watching Our American Cousin. What a drag.
Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
I'll tell you what's a good idea... home DVD rentals. That's a good idea.
Right. I don't think I have anything else then.
Yessir, DVD rentals. Hold on a minutte, sonny, let's look at the pros and the cons of going to the theater versus DVD rentals. Let's see, the theater has... assassins! That's a pretty big con. You go to the theater... and you get shot! That's another pretty big con in my book. DVD rentals, on the other hand, come without assassins and they don't freakin' shoot you!
Hmmm, late fees? Bring 'em on! Where do I sign?
I have to go now.
Don't be so squeamish.
Seriously, I have to go.
Call me?

4. Ford Metal Jacket?

According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford insiders are floating the possibility that the company might go private. While a move to take the company private might seem to be a panacea for the beleaguered auto behemoth's woes, we're not so sure. Below we take a look at one possible scenario of what could happen if Ford decides to "go private."

"I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be sir. Do you maggots understand that?"

"Sir, yes sir!"

"Do you think I'm cute Private Ford; do you think I'm funny?"

"Sir, no sir."

"Then wipe that disgusting grin off your face."

"Sir, yes sir!"

"Well any time sweetheart!"

"Sir, I'm trying, sir."

"Private Ford I'm gonna give you three seconds; exactly three-freaking seconds to wipe that stupid looking grin off your face or I will gouge out your eyeballs!"

"Sir, I can't help it, sir."

"Pontius Pilate on a Popsicle Stick! What is that? WHAT IS THAT PRIVATE FORD?"

"Sir, a jelly doughnut, sir!"

"A jelly doughnut?!"

"Sir, yes sir!"

"What is your major malfunction Private Ford?"

"Disastrous healthcare legacy costs and a deflationary automotive sales environment, sir!"

"Private Ford has dishonored himself and dishonored his platoon. I have tried to help Private Ford. I have failed. I have failed because YOU have not given Private Ford the proper motivation! So, from now on, whenever Private Ford messes up, I will not punish him! I will punish all of YOU! And the way I see it, ladies, you owe me for ONE JELLY DOUGHNUT! NOW, GET DOWN ON YOUR FACES!"

Yeesh. Maybe being a public company isn't so bad after all!

The new 2008 Ford Excursion?

5. Great Moments in Humphrey-Hawkins Testimony History

This morning at 10 a.m. EST, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will deliver Humphrey-Hawkins testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.

  • The twice annual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony was created by the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978.
  • Senator Hubert Humphrey and Representative Augustus Hawkins (hence, Humphrey-Hawkins) created the act specifically to address four primary goals:
    - full employment
    - production growth
    - price stability
    - budget balancing and trade balancing
  • The twice annual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony has a long, storied history in American politics and finance.
  • Because it is so closely watched for clues to Federal Reserve monetary policy, events surrounding the testimony have produced many great moments. See below other great moments in Humphrey-Hawkins Testimony.

  • 1778: Federal Reserve Chairman Duncan Stringfellow-Lattimore-Cooper praises colonial "break from the realm," suggests to Continental Militia General Thomas Higgenbotham that the Continental Militia guard the new federal reserves. General Hiigenbotham agrees, then shoots Stringfellow-Lattimore-Cooper in the eye and orders militia to steal the reserves.
  • 1834: Federal Reserve Chairman Whitimore Hackett announces 25,000 beaver pelt hike in government-issued foldin' money; orders cavalry to raid and burn as many Native American Indian villages as it takes to seize 25,000 beaver pelts.
  • 1861: Federal Reserve Chairman Benjamin Rutherford Mills suggests unfair US trade surplus with Native American Indian tribes may pressure the coinage, or possibly result in Native American Indian arrow attack. Mills killed by stray arrow when Humphrey-Hawkins testimony interrupted by Native American Indian arrow attack.
  • 1865: Federal Reserve Chairman "Wild" Bill "Whiskey" Rutledge warns of runaway whiskey inflation, possible whiskey shortage and excessively high government taxes on whiskey; drinks bottle of whiskey during testimony, accidentally shoots and kills Senate Banking Committee chairman Edward Longfellow while removing pants.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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