Pam Martens on David Bird (Missing) and his Writing

ilene's picture

Here's an interesting article by Pam Martens about a missing David Bird, a WSJ reporter covering energy, and the US oil market he has been writing about. While there is no evidence yet suggesting a connection between his work and his disappearance, NBC reported that “the family believes that his coverage of OPEC may be related to his disappearance.” 

Martens wonders about his continual reporting on an imbalance in oil supply in the US market caused by overproduction of shale oil in the face of slacking demand.



David Bird, Wall Street Journal Reporter, Goes Missing After Reporting for Three Months on Oil Glut in U.S.

By Pam Martens: January 20, 2014

David Bird, Missing Wall Street Journal Reporter, Enjoyed Walking and Running.

David Bird, a reporter who covers energy markets for the Wall Street Journal, has been missing for nine days. Bird, who has worked for the parent of the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, for more than 20 years, left his Long Hill, New Jersey home on the afternoon of Saturday, January 11, telling his wife he was going for a walk. Despite a continuous search by hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials, Bird has not been located.

Bird is 55 years old, approximately 6’1, and was last seen wearing a red jacket with yellow zippers according to officials. He and his wife, Nancy, have two children, ages 12 and 15. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Long Hill Police at (908) 647-1800.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Bird is a liver-transplant recipient and is required to take medication twice a day. He did not take his medication with him when he left for the walk.

NBC reported that sources close to the family said one of his credit cards was used in Mexico last Wednesday. Other media outlets have been unable to confirm that report. In the same news story, NBC reported that “the family believes that his coverage of OPEC may be related to his disappearance.”

However, a careful review by Wall Street On Parade of the articles Bird has written for the Wall Street Journal since last October, shows that what he was regularly reporting on was a supply imbalance caused by overproduction of shale oil in the U.S. in the face of slacking demand.

On October 21, Bird wrote that “U.S. crude-oil futures Monday settled 1.6% lower, dropping to less than $100 a barrel for the first time since July on rising inventories and weak refiner demand. Prices dropped as the Energy Information Administration [EIA] reported U.S. crude-oil stocks rose for a fourth straight week, to the highest level since late June…The sluggish demand from refiners allows crude stocks to climb four-million barrels in the week ended Oct. 11, the EIA said in a report that was delayed from last week due to the government shutdown. That is the latest piece of a four-week build of 18.9 million barrels in stocks that has put pressure on prices, as refiners have lowered crude-oil processing runs by 1.26 million barrels a day since mid September…”

Read the whole article here. 

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Gringo Viejo's picture

I think it far more likely Juan Pendejo cut his throat and took his credit cards back to Mexico for a shopping spree.
Don't leave home without it baby! The Glock, I mean.

JohnFrodo's picture

Who does not love a conspiracy theory. What is with Sweden and GMO foods. You can try and stop Monsanto if you dare!

dunce's picture

Killing the messenger? Nonsense.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

My guess is it was wrong place/wrong time.  When anyone disappears, the police always think the family had something to do with it. 

TuesdayBen's picture

I hope they'll keep up the local search, as I'd bet this man is lying in the woods where he went for a walk.  Reminds me of the Chandra Levy disappearance here in DC around 12 years ago.  She went for a jog in Rock Creek Park here in DC, and disappeared.  Turns out, she was sleeping with a US Congressman (a creep named Condit), so all manner of conspiracy theory arose.  A year later, some guy is out in the park with his dog searching for turtles, and finds her remains just lying in the leaves not far off the trail.

Oracle of Kypseli's picture

She was actually killed by a Mexican illegal alien who was cought many months later. Sorry! Undocumented I meant.

kchrisc's picture

"a US Congressman (a creep named Condit),"

Isn't calling a Congressman a 'creep' a bit redundant?!


"546 heads in DC, 546 heads in DC, cut one off, 545 heads in DC..."

Four chan's picture

ask the bushes, they are related in deed to the saudi terrorists.

Vint Slugs's picture

Not commenting about the subject content above but about the style:

The first 2 sentences of the lead-in paragraph are completely ungrammatical.  Is this the new ZH - written by robots?

MrPalladium's picture

The simple phrase "there is an" can be assumed and thus supply the missing verb. The first sentence can be read as a simple description as you might find on a sign announcing the content that follows. The second is simply missing the word "there" before "is" which is instantly supplied by the mind of a quick reader.

ilene's picture

Thank you! Missed a few words. (Is it okay to assume an "I" as subject?). I was in a hurry to post this--quick or not at all. Sorry. :-) 

Proofreder's picture

No one proofs anymore.

Is it Pam Martens ?

or Pam Martins ?

All depends on which paragraph you happen to be reading.

Another Bot Fail !

GeezerGeek's picture

I hate to make light of a potentially tragic situation, but...

He lived in New Jersey, right? When do we hear some Democrat Mayor tell of a clandestine meeting in an unidentified parking lot with a Christie subordinate warning him that people can be made to disappear?

Christie's Fault! (Go Hitlary!)

QQQBall's picture

I know just how he felt - I was married once too.

Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Credit to you for not having made the same mistake twice.                  Yet...

teslaberry's picture

if gold prices are manipulated downwards, then the price of blackgold is manipulated upwards. 



DeadFred's picture

Why would anyone think that reporting on a mere few billion dollars of energy price imbalances would put your life in danger? Bunch of paranoid delusionalists.

ebworthen's picture

One of his credit cards was used in Mexico?

He's dead.

Probably normal thuggery; he went walking on a wooded trail at dusk - and if he wasn't aremd he would be easy pickin's for a drug runner.

Sad story.

seek's picture

It's not unusuale for abnormal thuggery to use normal thuggery as a cover.

Freddie's picture

Mexico?  Well the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has been pro open borders and pro amnesty for decades.   Some cartel member freelancing for the oil boys.  Maybe WSJ may want to rethink their editorials on how wonderful open borders are.  F WSJ, TV, Hollywood and the rest of the media.

WillyGroper's picture

Chris Christy could've eaten him.

Was the CC used at a donut shop?

disabledvet's picture

a falling price of a couple of bucks doesn't constitute a "glut" in my view. it's when the price drops 40 a day...then you're talking "glut." it's not like it was my idea to taper...i was perfectly happy with "QEternity."

and now some guy reporting on lower prices "goes missing" thus meaning "the report of lower prices gets reported on."

ironic indeed.

0b1knob's picture

Saw the movie Jack Ryan: Shadow Recriut last weekend.   Its dumber than a box of rock in most ways but the plot is partly about a pipeline in the middle east and the Russian attempts to stop it.   There's a quote at one point goes something like:

This is economic wafare.    If oil drops below $79 per barrel then Russia is instantly bankrupt.   

Its not just the Saudis who are sweating.

Freddie's picture

You do know that the See EYe AL A Qeada has been involved in TV and Hollywood since at least the 1950s?  These plots don't just happen.  This is all propaganda and conditioning of idiots who watch TV and movies.

Russia + Putin = bad guys. Jack Ryan and his cronies with the Saudis Al Qeada killing Christians in Syria for McCain, Obama, Schumer and AIPAC = good guys.

jeff montanye's picture

and on a related note, eric prince, founder of blackwater, thinks the u.s. national security state has gone "too far".

TuesdayBen's picture

Sweating Saudis?  Yuck.

QQQBall's picture

That Jack Ryan movie totally sucked ass. Almost unwatchable.  Not even worth a $1.30 from redbox. The director was so good a Wallander too. 

Arthur's picture

“the family believes that his coverage of OPEC may be related to his disappearance.” 




Sorry the man is missing, epspecially with kids but I am not seeing an especially controversial story that he was working on nor one where he would be up setting some axis of evil producers. If so, do tell.

Shale is/will produce winners and losers, writing about it will not change the outcome.

Plus, I would argue that the real story is not of over production but one of inadequate (for now) infrastructure to distribute the oil.  Market forces will eventually correct.


imbtween's picture

The deflationary aspect of the oil glut, and how oil has not kept pace in decline with the other commodities is supposed to be a harbinger, and a story that the economic establishment doesn't want pouring water on the fire because the loss of confidence in the Fed and QE and such could be contagious and then it's game over. And I won't have done it, Hub. You will.

Triggernometry's picture

His house is actually right around the corner from my ex-gf; I bet she had something to do with it...

Muppetrage's picture

Yeah, they went to Mexico together.