Matt Simmons Retires As Chairman Emeritus Of Simmons & Co.

Tyler Durden's picture

Let's see: Simmons sees BP at $0 and expects nukes to be deployed to clean it up its mess; Simmons & Co. on the other hand upgrades BP to a Buy on Friday with a $52 PT. Should pretty much explain it.

From Bberg:

Matt Simmons will retire effective June 30th to devote full focus to The Ocean Energy Institute, a think-tank and venture capital fund addressing challenges of U.S. offshore renewable energy.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
ZeroPower's picture

Anyone think he was forced into it? Perhaps the Co decided his interests weren't aligned with theirs?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Truth, or even the effort to determine truth, is never rarely aligned with corporate interests.

Edited out never in the interest of "being fair", something else that's also rarely aligned with corporate interests.

MsCreant's picture

Who is the coward who junked CDiss without a response? I soooo wouldn't want to be you, you sniveling little spineless, boneless, jellyfish, passively adrift on the ocean. So you can only reach out to junk, but can't compose a note to tell us what your problem is with his comment? Could it be that your position is, in fact, indefensible and you know it, so instead of putting your ideas out there for consideration, to see if they stand up to scrutiny, you just attack, like a hurt child? Must be tough being a coward.

Sisyphus's picture

MsCreant = Kali reincarnate. Go MsCreant! Slay 'em all.

fahmahbob's picture

I get the impression that sometimes people simply junk a name, not the content. Still, junking without commenting is weak (unless it's REALLY obvious why it was done).

seventree's picture

What is that feature really for? I always assumed it was to alert ZH about totally malicious or inappropriate posts, like spam links, blatant hate mail, compromising someone's private information, or maybe the "carpet bombers" that paste the same irrelevent BS into every comment stream. But not to express disagreement or disapproval. The reply link works fine for that.

Would someone from the ZH team like to jump in here? For example, does anyone track or act on high junk counts? Or is it just a way for the less literate to blow off steam without doing any work?

ZeroPower's picture

I liked before how we had a 'like' feature on the blog.

Now its simply a junk feature. 

At 20 junks, your post gets a prize (im not kidding).

Howard_Beale's picture

Well CD writes some of the most thoughtful comments on this blog. I think there should be a junk link next to the Junk Flag to see who is doing the junking. That would certainly tame things down around here.

ZeroPower's picture

Word. (Have yet to read your Insane Asylum posts, probs over the wknd)

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Thank you for saying you will give it a try. I know I'm asking a lot of the reader when I produced such long missives. But the subject is complex and I decided either I speak clearly and completely (I actually took a lot out) or don't even try.

If you run into something you disagree with, just place it on the side and keep going. Overall, I think you'll enjoy it even if we disagree on some of the finer points.

Thank again.

Augustus's picture

Your post implies that Matt Simmons has some greater knowledge of Truth and was kicked out for revealing it.  So that the Simmons company could profit in some way in their interest.  That is simply nonsense as what Matthew Simmons has proposed is not possible.  In order to distance themselves from the falsehood, the company took action.  The company attempted to provide you with their evaluation of the TRUTH when they set a price target on the shares of $52.  believe as you wish, but your rationale and writing are flawed, but expected from a Simmons believer.

MsCreant's picture

You are an interesting bird. I do not always agree with you but you do make me think. You defend them more than I am comfortable with.

hbjork1's picture

Mistake. Clicked junk instead of reply. 

IMO, CD is completely correct. In many years of corporate work have seen management hubris do damage to the corporation and often, in the long run, to the manager attempting to overide expectations, based upon facts, that conflict with the manager's desired result.  The extent of damage done depends on level. 

The very public, textbook case was the "...smartest guys in the room."

Zero Hedge should let the source retract the bad rating.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Don't know if you're aware of it but you can unjunk someone you junked. Just go back up and click junk again. Doesn't matter to me but it's still useful to know.

MsCreant's picture

I over reacted. I apologize.

bugs_'s picture

Disclosure this morning that he was short BP.

LeBalance's picture

Thank You, Matt.

If you ever need a place to stay and good friends you have millions of them.

BlackBeard's picture

and now...time for a Depeche Mode song!

Problem Is's picture

I thought China used the world's available supply of Depeche Mode CDs for dry wall filler...

As they were the cheapest commodity available at the time...

Augustus's picture

Elvis is waiting for him in that ice cave under antarctica.

Turd Ferguson's picture

No shit. 

Here's the price for telling the truth: "Don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out!"

MsCreant's picture

Could have been a mutual decision for both of them.

Careless Whisper's picture

I call Bullshit on Simmons. 40% of the underwater Gulf in oil!? He's an investment banker not an engineer. Also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Seems like a hidden agenda in there somewhere.

Turd Ferguson's picture

The new estimate is 2,500,000 gallons of oil/day. For 59 days.

I dunno. Without a sliderule, I can't do complicated math but it seems plausible. If not today, then soon.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

He has consistently talked about another leak or leaks in the area, not just the "one" the camera is focused on. We don't know the entire story yet. I suspect Matt has some industry birdies chirping in his ear and the song isn't pleasant.

trillion_dollar_deficit's picture

Little birdies chirping is the most likely explanation. I believe the 120k number he's been stating will be the "official number" by July 4 weekend.

Careless Whisper's picture

@ C Diss

I agree with the theory of another leak and the damaged casing because the pressure of the well was probably mucho grande. But his other statements seem designed for shock value. I'm just weary of the carbon derivitives crowd and don't know his interest in that.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You could be correct about his other statements. But in the spirit of second derivatives, it seems reality is moving closer to Matt rather than Matt moving away from reality. Until this second derivative gets bigger (Matt wrong) rather than smaller (Matt is correct) my money is on Matt Simmons.

Mad Max's picture

I think Simmons may be losing it.  That or he's being wildly misquoted.  The "lake of oil" comment is the last straw in my view.

Running some numbers, 2.5M gals/day times 59 days would result in 1170 acres covered to a depth of one foot, approximately.  That's a little less than two square miles.  Hardly the entire gulf of mexico.  An enormous amount of oil, sure, but orders of magnitude away from covering 40% of the GOM seafloor.

The nuke idea worked for the Russians a couple times with gas wells.  I've discussed it with a geologist and the response is "are they insane" as it would greatly increase fracturing and therefore probably make the leak worse and absolutely irreparable, not better.

I just finished Twilight in the Desert and have no problems with Simmons, but his recent comments seem to be in lala land.

thesapein's picture

Yes, wildly misquoted, as you say.

Just take his estimates of the rate and amount of time then dilute it to fit the dimensions he specifies. His numbers do not seem unreasonable, given the upper estimates and amount of time the spill has been spreading.

Btw, he's not referring to a pure mass of oil. Plume is the vague word confusing us here.

scatterbrains's picture

I thought he meant the pool of oil under the earth's crust covers 40% of the geographic area of the gulf not that that much has gushed out and spread out covering 40%.

Dburn's picture

Then either there must be much more oil or your calculating it as a single mass where in fact this spew of a humongous quantity of oil is broken up. To contaminate a body of water there doesn't have to have a mass of contaminate in the entire body. Just enough that is rolls in with the tides in globs and swirls around in the middle of the gulf with the movement of the ocean. The globules break up and become smaller. They go their separate way. The end effect is that it may as well be a mass. You are speaking that this is only x square miles compared to the total square miles of the gulf. That is as wrong as it possibly can be.

As it kills the sea life is more than enough to call what's come out enough to contaminate 40% of the gulf . If tourists don't show up because of it, that's more than enough to kill the tourism business. If people won't buy fish from the gulf coast , that's more than enough to kill the businesses and the people that work at them their livelihoods. If the sea life is dying in huge quantities which we don't know since BP won't allow photos, how clean do we have to make the gulf before re-population works and how many years to make it economically feasible?

We can make some educated guesses though after seeing what a comparatively smaller spew of oil did up in Alaska. People still haven't recovered from that 20 years after it happened.

As far as a nuke working or not working you don't know it and neither do I nor do your experts. The bottom line is there is no well casing anymore. The oil field is simply emptying out in the gulf where the casing once was. Unless we want ALL the oil in that field released into the gulf then we have to close the variety of holes that no longer have casings since a simple head replacement is no longer functional. If new holes have been created because of pressure , nothing small is going to work. The notion that we can close the sea floor with a nuke is not so far off when considering what a nuke does.

The penalty will be what happens with the radiation. On the other hand, letting the entire field empty with added Chemical dispersant that are a poisonous multiplier that was used apparently for the PR effect, and are as lethal as the oil itself, will easily finish the gulf off well before the oil has time to make its way out in dribs and drabs for 100% contamination . That's before a Hurricane comes to the same area that is famous for the ferocity and frequency of them.

We really won't ever know the size of that oil field that is spewing into the gulf nor will we know the BBD count once the casing around the drill holes are gone. We will know that there will be a enough ecological and economic damage just in that area that it could take several lifetimes and inventions to bring it under control and that's before oil and the dispersant/chemicals they used are disbursed to the Atlantic or east coast side should a large disturbance come like a hurricane. We can also guess that when storms small or large come, it will pick up some of the globules of oil and other chemicals from the gulf and distribute it far inland. If the oil make it into rivers and streams they could go right up the country's ass and start contaminating water tables used for drinking

So who should I believe? An expert or some anonymous guy who claims he talked to a few other anonymous guys and did some calculations. I don't even know shit about the subject but I do know enough you didn't put any time in thinking through that post or don't have what it takes to view it through the right lens.

This isn't just a short term money making opportunity. This has all the makings of a very long nightmare for the entire country ecologically and economically.

Then of course there are the intangibles like making entire species of ocean life extinct that may have many benefits to the eco-system that could cost us in both dollars and lives. The list is really endless. That's why the entire world is worried.

Why aren't you?

Mad Max's picture

Wow, did you even read my post?  You've made so many leaps to conclusions that you must be hoppier than the Easter Bunny.

I am quite concerned.  It's a terrible disaster any way you look at it.  And I'm well aware that a large part of the GOM is contaminated with oil to an extent that kills sea life and is generally destructive.  But that's vastly different from the quoted assertion of Simmons that there is a literal lake of oil covering 40% of the GOM floor.

And am I the only one who can do basic math?  Anyone who cares to verify or refute my comparison of the estimated oil leakage to the area that such oil would cover, please feel free to do so.

Dburn's picture

Of course I read it. Please read Simmon's thoughts and see what he meant when he said a "virtual lake" that you translated into a mass.  You may not have meant it, but it sounded to me like you were calculating it as a singular mass. That 40% of the gulf couldn't possibly be affected. That is what you meant right? A spill, not a spew of oil and not that big. Kind of like the BP exec said this was a tiny spill in a ocean that was great big.

The post I wrote were not conclusions as I qualified my statement by saying I had no knowledge of this area but implied a little common sense was in order. The statements that you took as conclusions are simply possibilities that are far closer to reality based on multiple sources than a mere tiny mass of oil that your post implied.

Further, As soon as someone says that a acknowledged expert is "losing it" , simply because he's not toeing the company line, that's when I get very alert. Marginalizing knowledgeable people or even whistle blowers has been raised to a fine art these days by negative PR people in this day of blogs and email and Youtube video. It's a modern day version of kill the messenger, forget the message . In order it to discredit them, pull math out that has no application to this spew of oil and say the man is losing it.

Maybe that's why his firm is parting company since they have a financial interest in BP and he seems old enough not to care where his next fortune might come from but is more interested in truth that no one else has considered, at least anyone with a mic, until of course estimates start getting closer to the old crazy guy and farther away from the bullshitters. Bullshitters being people who say "He's losing it" when he is being proven right with every passing day

Marginalization is the art of muddying the water until some other bigger news story comes along , the client is out of the limelight, so no one interviews Simmon's anymore until the news slows down and by this time more scientific experts have weighed in and Simmons is long gone, reputation ruined, even though he was right all along. It happens with almost every disaster we have encountered in the last decade. You are not qualified , regardless of profession , to assess whether or not someone is "losing it" by watching them on video, or doing back of the napkin math any more than Dr. Frist was qualified to do a video diagnosis in a week-end session of congress.

Why is it , that we have gotten to where interests are so short term that real experts are scared to speak out because they know they will be ruined by people who specialize in it only for short term gains that sometimes can be measured in minutes? I've reached my limit with it.

MsCreant's picture

Hubbert's reputation was ruined. He too was considered an old quack. Could be this goes with the territory. I would really want to see an in depth plan to agree with the nuke thing. What I know is that things are cracked, fragile, and combustible down there. Nuke seems like a way to open up the gates of hell itself. Right now, hell is just leaking, a whole lot.

Mad Max's picture

Well I must be doing something right if I'm getting junked by a single person!

Dburn, I'm trying to stay on topic but it really seems like you are finding my posts to be some sort of lightning rod to go off on lengthy diatribes about things that really don't necessarily follow from my actual statements.  I don't care what rants you may want to make (after all, ranting is a major purpose of the comment feature on ZH), but please don't try to connect them to my comments when they don't fit.

hbjork1's picture

TF, Roundoff works pretty well; my three or four (I gave one or two away) slide rules are buried in the basement somewhere now. Old schoolboy engineer's trick on problems with many steps under time pressure: round off three digets to two and let the standard normal distribution take care of the error.

mcguire's picture

i agree... but cant figure out the angle.  what is certain is that in this case, he was the first to mention what is now coming to be true about the cracks in the seabed floor, and he has been right about government underestimation of the spill. 

Augustus's picture

You know that a crack is about to come true?

But that would mean that there is no crack now.  Simmons' claim is that the crack is the main leak source from day one.

The estimation of the spill has been made by the government, as you not, and not BP.  The leak rate has likely increased.  Which day's estimate should anyone listen to?

Sespian's picture

6/13/10 video taken by the Viking ROV of the Gulf sea floor leaking oil.

The total area of the sea floor that is leaking oil is impossible to determine until unimpeded access is granted to independent researchers.  This video alone is evidence to support Simmon's statement of more grave concers than the leak at the oil well are in play here.

Noah Vail's picture

Why not express the leakage in ounces instead of gallons, that way you get a really big number. BTW, I live 120 miles from the epicenter of that spill and I'm still waiting to see oil on my beach. So far, not a drop.


Like they say, never let a good crisis got to waste; its the ideal time to get your agenda out.

Josey Wales's picture

I'm sorry, are you suggesting this is being exagerated?  Because you haven't seen oil on your beach?  If you live upstream of a polluting powerplant, does that mean that the people living downstream are exagerating or pursuing an agenda just because you aren't affected?  Or nuclear fall out followin prevailing wind patterns mean those that are in the way of the fall out are just pursuing an anti-nuclear agenda by freaking out? What agenda is worth a plummet in Obama/democrat polling, loss of british pensions, and moratoriums on deep drilling?  Seems like every party has something harming them.  In your opinion, who benefits?

perchprism's picture


He said he was ashamed of Simmons & Co.  So of course they cut the last tie.

pragmatic hobo's picture

more than likely the "0" estimate will come to fruition. However before that who knows how high this thing will get pumped? Perhaps we'll hit both $52 and $0. I can only hope that Obama isn't crazy enough to opt for nuclear option ...

anonymous_user_000001's picture

There is no way he would take that risk...maybe (BIG maybe) the MOAB, but no way he'd use a nuke.  Then it really would be his mess.

Augustus's picture

His pronouncements have been on the outerbounds of bizarre.  The real leak is seven miles away from there we are seeing the BOP leaking?

There is going to be a lot of damage from this, that is certain.  It is the Simmons explanation that just makes no sense.  They had to get him off of the list of officers, even if was only a non functional position.

tempo's picture

Until the relief well is successful, the risk of multiple high pressure uncontrolled leaks remains.   If the partial casing string was blown out the bottom on the gas kick, Matt is probably right that a high pressure sandy slurry is creating erosion channels outside the casing toward multiple underwater locations.   The BP video only shows about 100 square feet of area.    How do you explain BP's rush to contain and burn up to 80,000 bbls/d of oil.   They know any downward pressure on the BOP/riser will likely create direct uncontrolled flows directly to the surface.   The risk is very real until a successful relief well is producing.   I am going to cash until then.