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Mark Pittman, A Close Friend, Great Reporter, And The First Person To Sue The Fed And Win, Has Died

Tyler Durden's picture


Mark Pittman, the Loeb Award-winning Bloomberg journalist, a personal friend, a legendary financial reporter and the first person to sue the Fed (in conjunction with Bloomberg News) and win, passed away on Wednesday. He was 52. Our thoughts are with his family.

Bloomberg's brief on Mark's legacy.

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Mark Pittman, the award-winning
investigative reporter whose fight to open the Federal Reserve
to more scrutiny led Bloomberg News to sue the central bank and
win, died Nov. 25 in Yonkers, New York. He was 52.

Pittman suffered from heart-related illnesses. The precise
cause of his death wasn’t known, said his friend William Karesh,
vice president of the Global Health Program at the Bronx, New
York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.

Pittman, a former police-beat reporter who joined Bloomberg
News in 1997, wrote stories in 2007 predicting the collapse of
the banking system. That year, he won the Gerald Loeb Award from
the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the highest accolade in
financial journalism, for “Wall Street’s Faustian Bargain,” a
series of articles on the breakdown of the U.S. mortgage

Pittman’s fight to make the Fed more accountable resulted
in an Aug. 24 victory in Manhattan Federal Court affirming the
public’s right to know about the central bank’s more than $2
trillion in loans to financial firms. Pittman drew the attention
of filmmakers Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, who gave him a
prominent role in their documentary about subprime mortgages,
“American Casino,” which was shown at New York City’s Tribeca
Film Festival in May.

“Who sues the Fed? One reporter on the planet,” said Emma
Moody, a Wall Street Journal editor who worked with Pittman at
Bloomberg. “The more complex the issue, the more he wanted to
dig into it. Years ago, he forced us to learn what a credit-
default swap was. He dragged us kicking and screaming.”

Police Reporter, Ranch Hand

James Mark Pittman was born Oct. 25, 1957, in Kansas City,
Kansas, where he played linebacker on the high school football
team. He took engineering classes at the University of Kansas in
Lawrence before graduating with a degree in journalism in 1981.
He was married soon after and had a daughter, Maggie, in 1983.
The marriage ended in divorce.

Pittman’s first reporting job, covering the police
department for the Coffeyville Journal in southern Kansas, paid
so little he took a part-time job as a ranch hand across the
Oklahoma border in Lenapah, according to an interview he gave to
Ryan Chittum for the Columbia Journalism Review’s The Audit, a
watchdog for the business press.

“What a funny guy -- huge personality,” Chittum said in
an e-mail message. “Mark was my favorite reporter working. In a
time when too much journalism is timid or co-opted, Mark
personified the whole ‘afflict the comfortable’ tenet of the
business. Mark’s passing is a huge loss for journalism at a time
when we can least afford it.”

No Small Moves

Pittman spent a year in Rochester, New York, with the
Democrat & Chronicle newspaper and 12 years at the Times Herald-
Record in Middletown, New York, where he met his second wife,
Laura Fahrenthold-Pittman in 1995.

“All I know is we fell in love the moment we met,”
Fahrenthold-Pittman said in an interview Friday. “We moved in
together a week later. He was as serious about his family life
as he was about work. Mark did nothing in a small way.”

Pittman joined Bloomberg News in 1997. In 2007, he was
writing about the securitization of home loans when subprime
borrowers, who have bad or limited credit histories, began
missing payments on their mortgages at a faster pace.

Pittman’s June 29, 2007, article, headlined “S&P, Moody’s
Hide Rising Risk on $200 Billion of Mortgage Bonds,” was
excoriated at the time by for “trying to play
‘gotcha’ with the ratings agencies

“And that really isn’t helpful,” said the unsigned
posting. [TD: the posting is not unsigned, it was authored by "Yves Smith" and Felix Salmon]

Beating the Pack

Pittman’s story proved prescient. So did his reports on
U.S. banks exporting toxic mortgages overseas, on Treasury
Secretary Henry M. Paulson’s role in creating those troubled
assets while he was chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs
Group Inc. and on the U.S. bailout of American International
Group Inc.

“He’s been on this crisis since before the crisis,” said
Gretchen Morgenson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning financial
columnist for the New York Times. “He was the best at burrowing
into the most complex securities Wall Street could come up with
and explaining the implications of them to readers of all levels
of sophistication. His investigative work during the crisis set
the standard for other reporters everywhere. He was a giant.”

In the “Faustian Bargain” series, Pittman explained how 5
percent of U.S. mortgage borrowers missing monthly payments
could lead to a freeze in lending throughout the world.

‘Fearless, Most Trusted’

“Mark Pittman proved to be the most fearless, most trusted
reporter on the most important beat during the 12 years he wrote
about credit markets, corporate finance and the Federal Reserve
at Bloomberg News,” said Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief Matthew
. “His colleagues will miss his laughter and generous
sense of mission. Bloomberg readers were rewarded by his many
achievements culminating with a federal court ruling validating
his search for records of taxpayer-financed policies withheld
from the public and the Gerald Loeb Award.”

Public policy would be more effective if reporters,
lawmakers and citizens understood how the financial system
worked and why the crisis happened, Pittman said in the Feb. 27,
2009, interview with Chittum.

“Hopefully, we will be able to inform the people enough to
know how badly we’re getting screwed,” he said with a laugh.
“We need to know how to prevent it from happening again, and we
need to know who did it.”

Standing 6 feet 4 inches with a booming laugh, a loud
telephone voice, and a taste for bourbon, Pittman made lifelong
friends on Wall Street, in Congress, in journalism circles and
in the artistic community after he and his wife opened an art
gallery in Yonkers in 2005.

‘A Great Loss’

“I always learned something new when I spoke with Mark,”
said Representative Scott Garrett, a New Jersey Republican on
the House Financial Services Committee. “He was dogged in
pursuit of the truth. This is a great loss for journalism and
for those who relied on Mark for his insight.”

In “American Casino,” the title of which comes from an
expression Pittman uses in the documentary, the filmmakers
profile subprime borrowers who are losing their homes, mortgage
brokers who made loans they knew their customers could never
repay and bankers and ratings analysts whose companies profited
from the housing boom.

Pittman provides an anchor for the narrative, at one point
searching the Bloomberg terminal and finding the mortgage of a
Baltimore teacher going through foreclosure inside a security
underwritten by Goldman Sachs.

Celebrating Life

“He was a wonderful friend, a seeker of truth, a fighter
for right, a proud family man, a big and jovial hand, a lover of
food, drink and celebration of life,” said Joshua Rosner,
managing director of Graham Fisher & Co., a consulting and
analysis firm in New York. “This is a personal loss, a
professional loss and a societal loss. He is truly

Along with his wife and daughter Maggie, Pittman is
survived by daughters Nell, 10, and Susannah, 8, from his second
marriage; his father Warren Pittman; mother Donna Pittman-
Nealey; and brothers Barry Pittman and Craig Pittman.

“He was so large -- in spirit and in person -- and his
passion for his craft was so great, it is impossible to think
that it could just end,” said Jeffrey Taylor, Pittman’s editor
on the “Faustian Bargain” series.

Bloomberg’s lawsuit against the Fed, which was filed after
Pittman’s requests under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act
were denied, continues without him. The central bank won a delay
pending an appeal, which is scheduled for the week of Jan. 4.

“He was one of the great financial journalists of our
time,” said Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist
and Columbia University professor. “His death is shocking.”

At the time of his death, Pittman’s outgoing messages
offered a link to a black-and-white photo of Woody Guthrie.
Written on Guthrie’s guitar: “This machine kills fascists.”

Zero Hedge staffers met with Mark days before his death at which point we discovered he was working on a major financial expose. We would be humbled to pick up the torch and bring his last opus to closure.

We are sure Bloomberg News will keep Mark's spirit alive, and will continue his lifelong pursuit of eliminating secrecy and opacity, and bringing truth and justice to all corners of high finance.

Mark shall be missed.


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Fri, 11/27/2009 - 22:56 | 144571 desk-jockey
desk-jockey's picture

wtf? 52? hear-related issues? too young, may he RIP.

Fri, 11/27/2009 - 23:01 | 144574 You Cant Handle...
You Cant Handle the Truth's picture

I am sad to hear of this loss.  My thoughts are with his family.

Fri, 11/27/2009 - 23:01 | 144575 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

sincere & respectful sympathies to you on the loss of your friend.    

Fri, 11/27/2009 - 23:33 | 144588 spekulatn
spekulatn's picture


Fri, 11/27/2009 - 23:05 | 144578 Sqworl
Sqworl's picture

May he Rest in Peace...he will be missed..;-(

Fri, 11/27/2009 - 23:16 | 144581 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

The is a profound loss for those who believe one man, with access to a bloomberg terminal, can make a difference.  Mark Pittman defined intelligent financial reporting. 

For those who want to read his thoughts on the crisis and financial journalism I urge you to read this story from Columbia Journalism Review.

MP: They were buying it themselves. Yeah. And not every deal. But you know what—it happened enough. We don’t have enough journalists in America who understand what a spread does, which is the essence of banking. I just finished Dean’s piece in Mother Jones recently. We’ve got 9,000 business journalists and maybe twenty of them know what a spread is. This is not business journalism’s finest hour. But it is our biggest opportunity ever.  

MP: It is huge. Most reporters, it’s shocking how few of them actually understand the difference between price and yield. Hardly any business journalist actually covers the financing. If you cover a company and all of a sudden their borrowing costs go from 100 (basis points) over to 250 or 300 over [meaning investors believe the risk has increased substantially], and no one asks a question. There’s a problem there when that happens and nobody asks a question. I think we have training issues in a huge way in our profession. We brought a knife to a gunfight.

MP: It kinda bums you out, because you want to do things that have big (impact) because that’s why you’re in the business. And public policy would work a lot better if they actually understood what the hell was going on.


Sat, 11/28/2009 - 01:48 | 144652 illyia
illyia's picture

The best Zero Hedge could do is to "pick up the torch and bring his last opus to closure."

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 11:11 | 144779 Green Sharts
Green Sharts's picture

Thanks for providing that link Lizzy.

I'm sorry to learn of Mr. Pittman's passing.  We need a lot more business reporters with his knowledge, skill, tenacity and access to resources.  As the piece in Mother Jones references, we're going in the wrong direction.  Hopefully Bloomberg will pick up the slack from fading publications like the Wall Street Journal and Fortune.

Fri, 11/27/2009 - 23:26 | 144585 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

You guys! Your too close to the singularity!

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 08:57 | 144728 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Quite possibly the reason for anonymity. Unreasonable things can happen.

Fri, 11/27/2009 - 23:31 | 144587 CD
CD's picture

Sincere condolences on your loss, TD; and indeed the loss for us all. Does anyone have a different/more recent photo?,1241403275,1/stock-photo-new-york-may-mark-pittman-attends-the-th-annual-tribeca-film-festival-american-casino-talk-29637565.jpg

On a darker note, is he in Valhalla or Fólkvangr?

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 03:24 | 144677 laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

Valhalla - see below, Bitte.

Fri, 11/27/2009 - 23:38 | 144589 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Sorry dudes (dudette).

Fri, 11/27/2009 - 23:45 | 144594 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

sorry to hear this. I didn't know Mark but he was a great reporter. Having experience the death of my sister this year (41 years old), I can only feel sympathy for his family and friends.


Fri, 11/27/2009 - 23:54 | 144598 SDRII
SDRII's picture

Financial expose? Do tell

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 00:17 | 144612 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

God bless his family. God Damn the MF pricks who did this (and are still doing it) to our country. You guys need to pick up the torch so that the rest of us can pick up the axes...

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 00:23 | 144614 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Mark Pittman , RIP

52 is very young for a heart attack.


Tue, 10/26/2010 - 14:49 | 678259 Ras Bongo
Ras Bongo's picture

Exactly. Hmmmm

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 00:29 | 144617 andy55
andy55's picture

Ok, allow me to ask the horribly obvious question of the true nature of his death.  Someone capable of moving the entire system passes within +/- few month margin to when it matters most?  I'm no conspiracy nut, but c'mon...right?

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 01:52 | 144649 Mr. Mandelbrot
Mr. Mandelbrot's picture

Thanks for saying what I was thinking.  My worldview and understanding of history include powerful players viewing major "troublemakers" as better off dead.  Is Mark Pittman our generations' Louis T. McFadden?!  To put it another way, did the DC Madame commit suicide mere days after going on air saying she would never kill herself and if she appears to have committed suicide then foul play is involved?  Just wondering aloud . . . 

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 06:46 | 144701 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

You cannot help but speculate whether foul play was involved when dealing with the most powerful criminal enterprise in human history - the federal reserve.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 10:11 | 144755 bbbilly1326
bbbilly1326's picture

The only man who successfully sues the Fed and wins, dies of unexplained causes within months of doing that ?


With all the comments here about Barofsky et al having people taste their food and start their cars, I'm surprised not to hear more about ZH's take on the cause of death.

I hope we find out who caused this...........

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 12:28 | 144815 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

"I'm surprised not to hear more about ZH's take on the cause of death."

You and I are free to speculate as we like on a comments board. Reporters have to report what they know (they might do it with some "tude," but still...), it must be verifiable. Very deadly business, on so many dimensions, for them to type suppositions up there.

On the flip side, if they knew for sure that no foul play was involved, I would assume they would modify the post above or set us straight here in the comments section.

That silence, thus far, is speaking the loudest to me.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 20:01 | 145022 agrotera
agrotera's picture

I agree, about this poor man's death being quite suspicious given the fact that he was looking into the eye of the devil--

but, not surprised about ZH not spinning.  This poor man is gone, and it is proper for ZH not to comment, just yet.  However, i am not so proper, so i hope to be forgiven.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 12:18 | 144810 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

Yes, I think it would be naive not to.

And whoever is flagging this whole discussion as junk needs to get a life.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 14:25 | 144876 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Oh Max, I'm so excited, we got junked too!

I gots some junk in my trunk.

[Insert lewd butt swaying gesture about here].

For the cowardly junker only:



Sun, 11/29/2009 - 00:23 | 145206 agrotera
agrotera's picture

instead of "Got Milk" we can wonder "Got Junk"?

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 23:11 | 145169 bbbilly1326
bbbilly1326's picture

gosh, I don't think I've been junked on ZH before...........


I think I feel........honored  ...........


Sat, 11/28/2009 - 13:25 | 144845 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

seems like dark times soon ahead indeed since a/(the most) powerful light-bringer has fallen at the end of the 6th day (approx. Nov8,09). should be a magnificent struggle as the financial (aka control) system collapses during this next 360 days or so.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 16:10 | 144938 D.O.D.
D.O.D.'s picture

Is speculation really necessary, who's next in line RP,  Grayson?  Please all those that choose to challenge the fed... only eat packaged food, or food that you've prepared for yourself!!!

R.I.P, may the truth not die with you...

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 00:37 | 144623 whacked
whacked's picture

"We would be humbled to pick up the torch and bring his last opus to closure."

And we would appreciate that TD and crew.


Condolences to the family. Too young ... his life work was no doubt yet to begin.


Sat, 11/28/2009 - 00:42 | 144626 Woodshedder
Woodshedder's picture

My thought are with his family, and especially his children. May he rest in peace.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 00:43 | 144628 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Thanks for posting the obit.  I will remember him in my prayers.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 00:48 | 144631 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Mark Pittman was Tyler Durden.

Long live Tyler Durden.

Long live Marla Singer.

Long live Zero Hedge.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 01:04 | 144638 CD
CD's picture


It is a bit ironic, if that's the right word, that a lot of the detractors on the earlier blogspot version of the site mocked the "fact" that TD was merely a guy with a Bloomberg terminal. Contributors and donors exempt, but isn't it time the readership united to provide a bit more substantial support to ZH's staff beyond diligent, critical... readership?

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 01:51 | 144653 agrotera
agrotera's picture

Forgive me MsCreant--I am saddened by the news, and when i read your post, i am not sure if i am thinking black and white or what but, are you speaking metaphorically ( " Mark Pittman was Tyler Durden" )  or did we lose Tyler?

And, my apoligies if my question offends anyone.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 02:03 | 144659 slore
slore's picture

TD is an entity and a movement, operating in anonymity. 

We dont get to know if Mark was specifically involved, except for the fact that the post said that ZH met with him (which leads to believe third party).  TD is truth despite corporate media controls, and analysis beyond accepted norm.  If Mark was a part, TD does not die with him, as the movement continues

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 02:08 | 144660 agrotera
agrotera's picture

Thank you slore!  

MsCreant was speaking of this metaphor i hope...because TD did start this organization as one person TD and not the multiple TD's that are reported now.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 04:34 | 144691 TheGoodDoctor
TheGoodDoctor's picture

Watch Fight Club if you haven't already or perhaps watch it again. You'll get the reference. ;)

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 20:06 | 145024 agrotera
agrotera's picture

No, i do get the reference, but i was worried about the "literal" part of what MsCreant was saying because, indeed, there is one single person who calls himself TD who started this blessed site...especially since i was on vacation during the whole New York Post incident over the summer and missed so much, and never got to the bottom of that whole deal...

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 02:10 | 144661 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Hi agrotera,

If TD is an idea, and if Mark was a close friend of ZH, then I am confidently surmising that he was "a" Tyler. How could he not give them leads and leaks? A smart guy like him who was ahead of the curve, revealing the rot before the rest of the press, would eat this whole ZH concept up. At minimum, how could he not take a kinda avuncular Robinhoodesque joy in dropping by and hanging out.

"The" Tyler, the original energy driving the inception of this site, I am not in a position to know.  What a devestating wipe out that would be. That might be enough to get some pitch forks, uh, pitching.

Let's hope not. If my surmise is correct, ZH may have lost a major organ, some eyes or ears.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 03:30 | 144678 CD
CD's picture

If TD is correct in his conjecture that 500K readers frequent the site (and Google is a pretty authoritative souce on this point, though I see about half or 1/3 that), then while Mark may have been a TD in a metaphorical or literal sense, he founded (contributed to founding) a movement beyond himself. Mark is no mere Robert Paulson, he ought to become the example that he seems to have lived his life by. While acknowledging that this is no longer a game (not that it ever was), we must take strength and resolve (rather than just resignment and grief) from this sacrifice -- for that is what it was. Whether a direct dagger, or merely the indirect result of knowing and probing what he knew, Paul did give his life to the cause of truth, freedom and justice. So follow the example, dammit, while one singular voice may not have been enough, a voice amplified X500K armed with truth would shake the walls to their foundations. Which is where we must begin to rebuild anyway. Stop dithering, chatting, lurking, and DO something already. At least convey what you know. Viva la revolution.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 12:25 | 144814 bonddude
bonddude's picture

Since "Tyler" made a phone call appearance with Max Keiser I'd bet he could verify any such


Sat, 11/28/2009 - 06:52 | 144704 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

Tyler Durden is an idea - as is ZH - and an idea never dies. That, I believe, is what MsCreant is trying to convey.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 06:47 | 144703 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture



Fellow ZH-bug

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 01:56 | 144655 Ruth
Ruth's picture

Very, very sorry for your loss of a friend and valuable person towards this crises.  Condolences to his family.  We Are Family, too.  Thank You for his many contributions and courage.  Many blessings to our Zerohedge Family and those yet to be adopted.  We are watching and will be anxiously awaiting news of the cause of death and hopefully read of his many fights to the end of his many stories not yet told.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 02:48 | 144663 laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

To all ZeroHedgers:

This was handed me by the in-port communications watch of U-96 about an hour ago:

"FM: BdU (Befelshaber der Unterseeboote) - KzS Luth (KapitanzurSee Luth - officer sending):

"To: All Boats, Kommandanten der 2er, 3er, 5er, 7er, 9er 10er, 11er 15er FrontsFlotillen der Unterseebooten (Combat U-Boat Flotillas)

" KrvtKpt.(KorvettenKapitan) Mark Pittman, Kommandant of U-121, "Trager der RitterKreutz zum EisernKreuzern"  (holder of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross), died suddenly of an unexplained illness while leading boat and crew in the struggle of the Fatherland against the forces of Fed and Squid. "

" He was buried at sea with full honors to begin a hero's voyage to Valhalla. "

" We strike the colors today for a hero and leader, a true Knight without fear or fault." ("Ritter ohne Angst oder Schwache").

" The boat, under the command of IWO (First Watch Officer) "KptLt. Durden", continues its patrol and the Struggle against the Enemy. "


"Long Live The Fatherland"

"Long Live the Kriegsmarine"

"Long Live Zero Hedge"

"long Live the UnterseebooteWaffe"


KptLt. laughing swordfish

Kommandant - U-96

9er Unterseeboote Flotille


Sun, 11/29/2009 - 01:55 | 145241 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture


Sat, 11/28/2009 - 02:12 | 144664 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Mark Pittman, you were lost too soon.

Your courage and sheer genius (and may I add AUDACITY) to challenge the FED was a move of epic proportions and you gave truth seekers a voice. The mumurs are getting louder and will crescendo into screams at those who are sucking the life out of this country due in large part to your sacrifices. Your family has much to be proud of and I send them my deepest regards.

TD and Marla and the entire staff of ZH ---- and all the readers, posters and contributors --- LET"S TAKE THIS UP WHERE MARK LEFT OFF!

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 03:32 | 144682 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

This needs to go further than "Let's Take This Up Where Mark left Off". If his passing was simply from natural causes, it does not diminish from the fact that the site has lost an agent for justice. Fuck that picking up the flag shit. It's time to pick up the baton, the pitch fork and the torch. Those who harbor destructive plans for the lumpen, have one less reason to fear at the passing of this man.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 04:24 | 144688 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

How convenient... to the banksters.

Condolences to the family.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 04:35 | 144692 Brett in Manhattan
Brett in Manhattan's picture

Sorry to hear of his passing. Much too young.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 05:49 | 144697 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture


Sat, 11/28/2009 - 07:14 | 144711 whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

  Out in front,facing the enemy,a hero's death.RIP MP

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 07:45 | 144715 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Those evil fuckers.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 08:48 | 144722 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Here's a link to an interesting (humorous if not so serious) article disparaging Pittman's work on the ratings agencies and the sub prime problem. The article gives a nice glimpse into the depth of his work ethic. Link to Pittman's work in the article, notice the publication dates of the articles.
Who looks silly now?

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 09:28 | 144725 heatbarrier
heatbarrier's picture

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." - 2 Timothy 4:7

Good man, Mark Pittman.   RIP.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 09:01 | 144730 Pondmaster
Pondmaster's picture

<"We would be humbled to pick up the torch and bring his last opus to closure.">

 It would be a good memorial to Mr Pittman to carry on his work . May you all at ZH have the same courage , and stamina in the face of increasing odds against you  .


Sat, 11/28/2009 - 09:05 | 144733 10044
10044's picture

man sues FED, dies suddenly @ 52. Coincidence?? I DON'T THINK SO.

man questions 'skull and bone', dies suddenly. Coincidence?? I DON'T THINK SO.



RIP, Mark

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 09:42 | 144742 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Life is an accumulation of anguish.

Good bye “Faustian Bargain”.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 10:01 | 144750 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The good die young.


Sat, 11/28/2009 - 10:11 | 144756 JohnKing
JohnKing's picture

Thank you Mark and sincere condolences to his loved ones.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 10:34 | 144761 Invisible Hand
Invisible Hand's picture

There is an old saying: "The good die young," but I have another take on this.

When a good person dies, people notice and mourn their passage. When a bad person dies, no one cares.

That Mr. Peterson's passing is noted and regretted is, perhaps, the greatest compliment the world can pay to the quality and impact of his life.  While this is a small condolence to his family, it is the only comfort that can be offered.  Death comes for all mankind but widespread honor and affection are given to only a few.

Mon, 11/30/2009 - 15:51 | 146542 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

This might be the best comment about Mark on the site. Thanks.

From a close friend of many years.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 19:14 | 144778 Johnny Dangereaux
Johnny Dangereaux's picture

Definitely a HERO!       

Will 'Ten take His place'?


Sat, 11/28/2009 - 11:22 | 144782 TomJoad
TomJoad's picture

One less brave and steadfast soul in the world not a good thing. His loss will be mourned by all who care about Truth, Justice, and the idea that used to be the United States of America. The vampire squids of this world are strong, but the truth is stronger, as long as there are those who are willing to pursue it and open their eyes to it.

"...I'll be all around in the dark I'll be ever'-where - wherever you can look. Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad - I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry an' they know supper's ready. An' when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise, and livin' in the houses they build - I'll be there, too."

Mark Pittman was Tom Joad, and Tyler Durden, and everybody who gives a damn about what is being done to this country by the greedy and self-aggrandizing.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 12:09 | 144806 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Old school. Nice.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 12:08 | 144805 20yearRevolution
20yearRevolution's picture

The brightest stars burn half as long.  He will be missed.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 12:18 | 144809 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Too young, so sad.

Really appreciated his articles. Ideas and articles that made a difference in this
world. Honesty and valor. He certainly will be missed.

"the falcon has flown into the sun"

Regrets to family

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 12:49 | 144824 geopol
geopol's picture

RIP Young soldier.. This day should be remembered.



Sat, 11/28/2009 - 13:00 | 144831 koaj
koaj's picture

condolences to the Pittmans family and friends. he would love nothing more than for his "woodward and bernstein" moment to be passed to 10 others who will continue his work

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 14:17 | 144870 Dantzler
Dantzler's picture

I am sorry to hear of Mark's passing. Too young indeed.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 14:25 | 144875 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I talked to Mark frequently when I was Chief Economist for Phillips Petroleum and he was covering energy. We talked more recently about subprime and the financial crisis. We went to a Yankees-Twin playoff game back in October together. Mark was a great reporter and all around nice guy. Plus, him spending time in Coffeyville, KS, and I in Bartlesville OK, gave us alot to talk about because both places while less than 20 miles away, are as far removed from NY and financial markets as you can be. I will miss him greatly. He had a great ability to understand markets, issues, etc, but best, he was able to relay that insight to folks through his stories for Bloomberg. My condolences to his family.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 18:51 | 145000 spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

Very sorry for your loss, #144875.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 14:32 | 144879 laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

More details from U-121, at sea in the struggle against The Squid Empire:

" KrvtKpt. Pittman, after conferring with his officers, had retired to his cabin for a few hours rest prior to going on watch."

" The boat was moving along with others to intercept a Squid convoy carrying weapons, supplies and money to Squid-allied rebels operating in Free Territory."

" As was his custom, he intended to lead the boat's attack himself, the better to inspire all hands".

" When he did not report to the Control Room at the change of the watch, a sailor was sent to fetch him. The sailor ran back and called for the doctor to attend the Captain at once."

"The doctor attempted to revive him but could not. No evidence of foul play was found in the Captain's cabin or on his person by the Chief Master-At-Arms".

"The boat continued to press home its attack under the direction of the First Watch Officer. Operational results are pending."

Lessons of KrvtKpt. Pittman's life and career:

"That the Truth must always prevail over Lies"

"That an honest Few can stand against a corrupt Many"

"That Free Men can prevail over the Tyranny of Great Private Wealth married to the power of a corrupt State"

"That despite setbacks and losses, The days of the corrupt Squid Empire and Emperor Blankfein, his depraved underlings Geithner and Bernacke and the sell-out Imperial Senate and House are numbered"

"When one leader falls in the service of The Truth, ten will step forward to take his place"


KptLt. laughing swordfish

9er Unterseeboote Flotille

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 15:22 | 144895 bonddude
bonddude's picture

#144809 was me , forgot to sign in.

Deepest sympathy

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 15:48 | 144919 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

hello all,
This is Maggie Pittman and Mark is my father. He would probably disapprove of me feeding the masses this information, but he taught me to always speak and seek the truth. He was not murdered. I do appreciate and understand your thinking and would probably do so in others positions. However, he was not. He suffered for heart disease for many years and while this is extremely sudden and a loss for everyone, it is no conspiracy. The only truth is that his body suffered while his mind kept on evolving always ahead of the pack. I wish everyone could know his hearty and always available laugh, his wisdom and his sense of righteousness and his total commitment to me and my family. I feel truly truly blessed to have this amazing man as my father and will do everything I can to make sure others follow suit and keep fighting on. I loved him more than anything in this entire world and will miss him for the rest of my life. Thank you for your kind words, i know my dad would get a HUGE kick out of the tyler durden reference. He was tyler before there was a tyler. Thank you again and keep on.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 16:09 | 144936 TomJoad
TomJoad's picture

Maggie, Thank you for posting during what must be a very trying time for you. I was not fortunate enough to know your father personally, only by what I have read here and through his published writings.  He had a gift, and was fortunate enough to be able to put it to use, not many people are that lucky. You have the sympathy of all of us here for your loss. I lost my father when I was a teenager. Words are not adequate. 

Fair winds and following seas.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 17:37 | 144970 Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now's picture

Hi Maggie-

First of all, I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to you and your family - we are all sorry for this tremendous loss.

Mark exemplified the saying "it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years."

I wish the Washington Mall would build statues to indivduals like your father, Mark Pittman, and a large public display of traitors to this country like woodrow wilson that could hang in shame long after they departed.

Long live the idea and memory of Mark Pittman, and the completion of the audit the fed bill will be a good way to honor your father.


Apocalypse Now

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 18:57 | 145002 spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

Truly sorry for your loss, Ms. Maggie.

I didn't have the good fortune to know your Dad, but I read his work regularly. He will be missed.






Sat, 11/28/2009 - 19:16 | 145010 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture


Sorry for your loss as well as everyone else here. I lost my father when I was about your age.

If you find any research around that your father was working on, you should give them to "Tyler Durden", somehow. Just in case.

Extremely sorry.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 19:56 | 145018 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture


You rock. Your dad clearly did a good job with you. Thanks for straightening us out before we became too unruly!

You have lost him, but not really. Just get quiet inside and he will be there. Actually, you can't help it, he is there anyway.


Sat, 11/28/2009 - 20:05 | 145025 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

Thank you for posting!  Our condolences to you and your family.

Sun, 11/29/2009 - 08:52 | 145300 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Thanks Maggie. This is Alan Struth, the ex-Chief Economist of Phillips Petroleum who talked to your dad frequently when he did energy stories. I'm glad you put things in proper light. My heart goes out to you and the rest of your family. Mark was special to me. We went to the Yankees-Twins playoff game together this past October as I had gotten some really choice seats and wanted to share them with someone special. It was the last time I saw him. My memories of your dad are happy ones. We'll all miss him greatly. My sincere condolences to you and the Pittman family.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 15:51 | 144922 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

My deepest sympathies for Mr. Pittman's family.

As one of the truly expert financial reporters around, Mr. Pittman's loss will be strongly felt by many.

And as a man of integrity and honesty, his loss will be felt by humans everywhere.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 17:14 | 144940 D.O.D.
D.O.D.'s picture

His name IS Mark Pittman, I am Mark Pittman, WE are Mark Pittman....

"...imagine your pain as a white ball of healing light, open the door and step inside..."

I am D.O.D. and we will Do Or Die....RIP

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 17:18 | 144964 laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

"He was tyler before there was a tyler"

Fitting epitaph for a hero and patriot.

"Fair Winds and Following Seas" all the way to Valhalla.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 17:28 | 144967 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

True journalists speak truth to power and challenge authority - there are very few true jounrnalists left in America and one has been lost today.



Sat, 11/28/2009 - 17:52 | 144977 Bearish News
Bearish News's picture

It's rare that I get choked up over someone I didn't know passing. This was one of those times.

Looking forward to the upcoming pieces on his last story.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 18:59 | 145004 spekulatn
spekulatn's picture


Sat, 11/28/2009 - 18:58 | 145003 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Lesson learned. Don't fight the fed.
3 Presidents should be enough.

Sun, 11/29/2009 - 13:07 | 145386 JamesBrrando
JamesBrrando's picture

Andrew Jackson


Abraham Lincoln


James Garfield


John Kennedy

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 20:32 | 145059 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Maggie/Tyler, condolences from all us 'lurkers' on this site(surely many thousands), who just love to tune in and read the fabulous material and comments, the loss of a great journalist like Mark is a sad day. Can't wait for the follow up! Aussiesheila.

Sat, 11/28/2009 - 23:55 | 145186 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Dearest Mark -

Great minds think alike - You will, and your emails, will be very greatly missed.

You were dead on about Hank Paulson, that pathetic piece of human refuse; and you were always dead on about the dangers inherent in the greed-driven misuse of leverage.

Sparky will miss you terribly, and his sincerest thoughts are now with your family and loved ones.

With Utmost Respect,


Sun, 11/29/2009 - 02:59 | 145264 poydras
poydras's picture

Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 5:22 AM
To: ac
Subject: Re: FOIA

Ah we always fight govt. That's what we do

Sent From Bloomberg Mobile MSG

---- Original Message ----
From: Allen C
At: 10/5/2009 19:40



Thank you, thank you for fighting for our freedoms.  It is most unfortunate
that the fight is with our very own government.





Sun, 11/29/2009 - 05:17 | 145281 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Mark Pittman was an American hero and a Patriot.

Sun, 11/29/2009 - 10:45 | 145324 boooyaaaah
boooyaaaah's picture

Another 6'4" anti fed bites the dust

Lincoln succeeded in restoring the government’s power to issue the national currency, but his revolutionary monetary policy was opposed by powerful forces. The threat to established interests was captured in an editorial of unknown authorship, said to have been published in The London Times in 1865:

If that mischievous financial policy which had its origin in the North American Republic during the late war in that country, should become indurated down to a fixture, then that Government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off its debts and be without debt. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of the civilized governments of the world. The brains and wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.”

Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. According to historian W. Cleon Skousen:

“Right after the Civil War there was considerable talk about reviving Lincoln’s brief experiment with the Constitutional monetary system. Had not the European money-trust intervened, it would have no doubt become an established institution.”

The institution that became established instead was the Federal Reserve, a privately-owned central bank given the power in 1913 to print Federal Reserve Notes (or dollar bills) and lend them to the government. The government was submerged in a debt that has grown exponentially since, until it is now an unrepayable $11 trillion. For nearly a century, Lincoln’s statue at the Lincoln Memorial has gazed out pensively across the reflecting pool toward the Federal Reserve building, as if pondering what the bankers had wrought since his death and how to remedy it.

Sun, 11/29/2009 - 10:47 | 145325 boooyaaaah
boooyaaaah's picture


Andrew Jackson 1 In 1832 Jackson ordered the withdrawal of government deposits from the Second bank and instead had them put into safe banks. The Second Banks head, Nicholas Biddle was quite candid about the power and intention of the bank when he openly threatened to cause a depression if the bank was not re-chartered, we quote. "Nothing but widespread suffering will produce any effect on Congress... Our only safety is in pursuing a steady course of firm restriction - and I have no doubt that such a course will ultimately lead to restoration of the currency and the re-charter of the bank."
Nicholas Biddle 1836 By calling in existing loans and refusing to issue new loans he did cause a massive depression, but in 1836 when the charter ran out, the Second Bank ceased to function. It was then he made these two famous statements: "The Bank is trying to kill me - but I will kill it!" and later "If the American people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system - there would be a revolution before morning..."
Andrew Jackson When asked what he felt was the greatest achievement of his career Andrew Jackson replied without hesitation "I killed the bank!" However we will see this was not the end of private financial influence passing itself off as official when we look at...

Sun, 11/29/2009 - 13:02 | 145382 cocoablini
cocoablini's picture

Many more will have to go down swinging to stop the FED. The sheep need to wake the hell up

Sun, 11/29/2009 - 13:09 | 145387 JamesBrrando
JamesBrrando's picture

running for office, i would be killed within 2 weeks

Tue, 12/01/2009 - 01:23 | 147278 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Being stuck in a banking system form of barter has a major sucking down sound now dosent to manys ears and for tears or fears.

A major convieance is also a major catastrophie when no longer present and or collapsing.

Only one commercial business is mentioned in ISIAH ch 24, and that is banks as with the borrowers ( peoples and persons ) so shall it be with the lenders ( banks and bankers ) etc etc.

You can figure it out or stick more than a fig leaf over yer eyes with ye head in what.

Hard to single out the bankers completely when masses got the conveiance they wanted , like conveiance stores now disappering from the blocks, only a bigger more needed conveiance due to the fact most persons bartering in modern countries is tethered to the banking systems with many already going down, with the ones that have already went down.

When banks are in debt and corporations more than profit margins what do you expect, to hear fear or tear.

Thu, 12/09/2010 - 00:04 | 791435 athenal
athenal's picture

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Susancai55's picture

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race1234's picture

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