ATP Oil And Gas Files For Bankruptcy, CEO Blames Obama

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Now that the "alternative energy" industry is in shambles following one after another solar company bankruptcy, as the realization that at current prices, alternative energy business models are still just too unsustainable, no matter how much public equity is pumped into them, more "traditional" companies have resumed circling the drain. First, it was Patriot Coal, which finally succumbed to reality a month ago. Now it is the turn of ATP Oil and Gas, which filed Chapter 11 in Texas last night. And sure enough, in a world in which nobody is to blame, and everything is someone else's fault, the CEO promptly made a case that he is blameless and it is all Obama's fault. According to Forbes: "The founder and chairman of [ATP Paul Bulmahn] wants the world to know that the Obama Administration—and its illegal ban on deepwater drilling in the wake of the BP disaster—is to blame for the implosion of his company. Not him. “It is all directly attributable to what the government did to us,” he rails. “This Administration has gone out of its way to create problems for my company, the company that I formed from scratch.”

Forbes continues:

He’s more than angry. Bulmahn, 68, has already brought suit against the U.S. government seeking damages ($68 million to start with) for the 2010 moratorium that shut down deepwater operations in the Gulf of Mexico for the better part of a year. In an earlier case brought by ATP and rig company Ensco, Federal District Judge Martin Feldman ruled in May 2011 that the feds “acted unlawfully by unreasonably delaying action” on drilling permit applications. Still, ATP has a long, winding road to any hope of recovering damages from the government (which says it’s protected from claims by sovereign immunity).

There is truth to Bahlman's allegations, although a lot of it may be attributable to sheer bad luck. After all it was just as the company had rolled out its massive expansion project: the $800 million Titan deepwater production platform, that disaster struck with the Deepwater Horizon leading to a drilling moratorium.

While hundreds of companies with operations in the gulf were affected by the government’s decision, perhaps no other was as hard hit as ATP—or as vulnerable. In 2010 the company had completed work on its $800 million deepwater production platform Titan and floated it out to the deepwater Telemark field 160 miles south of New Orleans. Bulmahn planned for Titan to complete drilling the final feet of four wells, hook them up, and let the oil—and the cash—start rolling in.

 

On April 19, 2010 ATP refinanced and rolled up $1.5 billion in debt into a new bond issue “and celebrated with champagne.” He says that at the time ATP stood a good chance of doubling its oil and gas volumes to 50,000 barrels per day within a year.

 

But the Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20. “We didn’t foresee an impact. The Titan is 80 miles farther south, and the spill is going to drift to the north,” says Bulmahn. Underwriter JPMorgan agreed, and it closed on the bond offering.

 

Soon ATP was informed by regulators that it would not be allowed to complete those Telemark wells, even though Titan was already outfitted with all the safety redun- dancies subsequently required for deepwater work. “They closed our spigot on revenues, but didn’t stop our expenses” for interest payments, rig contracts and the like. Bulmahn scrambled to spin off Titan as a subsidiary and borrowed $350 million more against it. ATP posted a net loss of $349 million in 2010.

And while the company's demise was surely not ameliorated by this administration's energy policies, there is a far more pragmatic reason why it had to file for bankruptcy: debt. $3.5 billion in debt to be precise, as that is how much it filed on its bankruptcy petition. Because had the company carried a clean balance sheet, it would have been able to mothball any temporarily non-viable project, cut costs to a minimum, and wait until the skies overhead shift. Instead, it was locked into a refinancing game to the bottom, with leverage into the stratosphere, that merely lay in wait for the spark to arrive, and set all that insurmountable debt on fire. And come it did.

Not only that, but despite the GOM setback, the company set off on an even more aggressive, and even more leveraged expansion scheme:

Instead of slashing costs and circling wagons, Bulmahn in late 2010 chose to take ATP on an international adventure. “I felt the need to find a way to keep our technically expert people occupied,” he says. That meant forging a deal with Isramco to drill an exploratory well offshore of Israel, near an area that has seen some massive natural gas discoveries. One well was finished in June; drilled to a depth of 14,000 feet it tapped as much as 800 billion cubic feet of gas. Sounds good, but it will be years before the infrastructure can be put in place to harvest it. Meanwhile ATP has $40 million in costs sunk off the coast of Israel.

Finally, the fact that ATP was just very badly run was hardly among the pressing issues the CEO felt like blaming his bankruptcy on:

Ravi Kamath, high-yield analyst with Global Hunter Securities, has been bearish on ATP for years and had a sell rating on ATP debt since early 2011, when it was trading at 104 cents on the dollar. It’s fallen to 29 cents now. Kamath says ATP’s problems reach far beyond the moratorium. He keeps a spreadsheet with 105 instances from the past decade where he says ATP has overpromised and then underdelivered. “Bulmahn has said lots of stuff that never happened,” says Kamath. “They have 11 years of bad forecasts.”

The irony is that in the end, it is the administration's fault, but not for the reason noted.

What Obama, in conjunction with Wall Street, and the Fed are guilty of, is encouraging people like Bulmahn, and everyone else, to lever up to the hilt on cheap, cheap debt. The more debt the better: just ask America's student and the record $1 trillion in debt they currently hold, more than all credit card debt combined, and the next credit bubble to pop. Just ask the second coming of the housing bubble as Wall Street investors, eager to build out rental empires are engaging in a wild borrowing spree to be among those participating in the REO-to-rental program, which too will soon implode. Also, blame the administration for allowing companies with atrocious balance sheets (if quality assets) such as Chesapeake to remain in existence, as despite an untenable leverage profile, ZIRP forces investors to plough ever more money into unsustainable businesses such as CHK. Why? It provides just a few more bps of yield, which in the past three years has become the mantra among the fixed income community.

ATP is just the first: massively levered company, with a balance sheet priced to perfection, ignorant of the risk borne by a massive debt load. Yes: interest rates may be at record lows, but soaring debt still has to be serviced. When the money inflows end, for one reason or another, and the debt interest can no longer be paid, it is game over.

This is what Obama is guilty of: forcing everyone in America to increasingly rely on debt as the only source of capital, leading to a world where even the tiniest gust of wind in an unexpected direction, or any other unpredictable development, can lead to immediate insolvency. Unless one is Too Big To Fail of course, and can afford to hold the world, and the US economy hostage.

And finally, since there is no such thing as a free lunch, as that the current administration is doing in allowing record low interest rates, is onboard the balance sheet risk to the tune of $1+ trillion in sovereign US debt added to the tally of current and future generations of Americans. Why not: after all rates are low, and the USD is the reserve currency. What can possibly go wrong.

In a word everything: as the last 3 weeks showed, a year's worth of gains in the bond market can go poof in the span of days, if not hours. 

As for the reserve currency argument, well, there is always our favorite graphic.

Finally, as to what lies in store for ATP next, simple: the carcass will be picked clean as more debt is added, however this time to a fresh start company. In the process all the existing debt and quity will be wiped out. Just like what should have happened with America's just as insolvent financial system in the fall of 2008.

So what happens to ATP from here? They have already secured $600 million in debtor-in-possession financing, but after first-lien holders like Michael Dell’s MSD Capital are paid off, that won’t get it very far. Analysts say investors holding common shares, preferreds, convertible bonds and unsecured debt will get wiped out. Buyout bids are welcome.

In a few years time, the US itself, leveraged far, far more than ATP ever possibly could, may be seeking buyout bids for itself. And China will be delighted to oblige. At pennies on the then devalued dollar of course.

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Sat, 08/18/2012 - 10:56 | 2716472 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

Sorry Paul Bulmahn.

 

You either weren't donating to the right campaigns or not donating enough.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:10 | 2716505 max2205
max2205's picture

Hope GS or Jpm loaned them $$$

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:26 | 2716535 malikai
malikai's picture

That would mean that *you* loaned them $$$.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:36 | 2716558 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

filed Chapter 11 in Texas last night

 

So just move the base of operations to Brazil.....problem solved.

 

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 13:14 | 2716710 franzpick
franzpick's picture

"You didn't build this bankruptcy case by yourself: some government agencies helped you".

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 13:26 | 2716734 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Obama: 'You didn't blame that(on me)!'

Biden: 'We didn't chain that(company's hands)!'

 

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 13:02 | 2718202 mkkby
mkkby's picture

The article mentions alt energy companies failing.  They'll never have a chance until oil is much higher and stays that way. 

The cartels Corzine them over and over, yet muppets never learn.  Push oil price to new highs, and get lots of gullible investors into alts.  Pull the rug out on prices and watch them suffer.  Rinse, repeat.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:32 | 2716547 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture
In retrospect the Volvo thing was probably a bad idea, and pretty certain thegas tanking didn't help. Largest Volvo overseas delivery car order in history

In 2006, on behalf of its employees, the company placed the largest single non-fleet order for overseas delivery in the Volvo carmaker's history. Every employee of the company was given the option to receive a new Volvo car and a trip to Sweden.[7]

This record order was a result of a challenge made by the company to its employees to reach certain corporate goals for the year. The challenge was that if the goals were met, every employee regardless of rank or job description would receive a new 2006 Volvo S60 sedan and a trip to Sweden to take delivery of the car. Paul Bulmahn, the Chairman and President of the company disqualified himself from receiving the bonus.[7]

Production goals included:[7]

  • beginning production of the deepwater Mississippi Canyon Block 711 field, also known as Gomez, *increasing the company's production of natural gas to 160 million cubic feet (4,500,000 m3) per day (nearly a triple production of the previous year),
  • obtaining a 200% reserve replacement (the goal was exceeded with a replacement rate of 1,367% rate),
  • completing six Gulf of Mexico and three North Sea projects
Sat, 08/18/2012 - 12:18 | 2716632 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

have to agree that this guy (and others) should have seen coming the Obama goal of systematically destroying whole industries in order to move "forward" his agenda's, and retooled (read greased, paid off, contributed etc.)

 

Any good businessman knows that there needs to be a line item expense for bribery on their books

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 14:30 | 2716842 Whiner
Whiner's picture

He coulda' bought a waiver by going to Dead Fishes $25K a plate dinner or bundling more through Hon. J Corzine. He can still organize a union and get Barry to screw the DIP Lender and give the reorg'd co.to the union. Squeeze them out later under Mittens. Gubmint investing, Bitchez!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:44 | 2716579 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Maybe.But...

He forgot a basic axiom that I use in business after having learnt the very hard way.

"Do not keep all your eggs in one basket".

His own short sightedness(or greed) made him vulnerable to Obummer.s actions.

Tough titty .

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 14:27 | 2716838 notadouche
notadouche's picture

You must be the southern version of Winston Churchill as the only time I've heard "tough titty" is when I spent time in the south.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 17:08 | 2717059 koncaswatch
koncaswatch's picture

A common, and not unique to the South, grade school playground phrase: "Tough titty said the kitty... but the milk 's still warm."

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 17:20 | 2717072 RichardP
RichardP's picture

I heard it all the time in the 1960s in Northern Idaho and Western Washington.  As in tough titty said the kitty, but the milk tastes good.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:32 | 2717357 jumbo maverick
jumbo maverick's picture

Tough titty said the kitty but the milks still good. I say that a lot to my clients at the rest home when I'm giving them their sponge baths.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 10:14 | 2717928 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

I picked it up as Cockney slang from a girlfriend long ago(70's).

I remember a lot of the rhyming slang,but cannot remember the meaning of that.

I'm sure that the second word must be "shitty" though.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:48 | 2716586 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

Bulmahn didnt make this bankruptcy, someone else did.(Obama)

 

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 12:08 | 2716615 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

he did'nt build it either (from scratch) I did because I bought their product /sarc  Man I am a lot smarter than I thought, building companies is hard work!  Oh, wait, no it's not.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 12:35 | 2716665 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

sho nuf...

The govewrnment built all those roads & bridges out to sea where that oil rig is... Probably the "bridge to nowhere"...

 

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:54 | 2716593 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

So now these idiots want to have it both ways!!!!!
You EITHER built this business from scratch, and it sure as shit is your fault it went bankrupt OR you didn't build it and then it would be logical that it wasn't your fucking fault!!!
But news flash asshole, you don't get to have it both ways!!!!!

I do own my own business, that I DID build over the last 15 years into what it is today, I dont give a shit what some politician says one way or the other, but guess what............ If it goes bankrupt, it's MY god damn fault too, not some politician!!!!!

I'm getting sick and tired of these so called CEO's and business leaders who want to have it both ways!!!! TBTF wasn't any ones fault, MF Global, Standard Charter in Briatain, Lehman, GM, Knight Capital, Countrywide, and the fucking list could go on for days!!!!!! Excuses, excuses, excuses, the free market use to bury these worthless POS executives and someone smarter and stronger and more ambitious, would get their assets for cheap and build something better. Instead now, we protect these pussies, we feel sorry for them, we blame the government, we bail them out, and we say keep trying, better luck next time!!!

It's pathetic, it's NO different then continue to send a welfare check to a crack mother, and expecting her to get a job and clean up!!!!!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, this Country is messed up!!! Keep making excuses for these failures, because they have convinced you they have money and started businesses, etc!! This guy failed, he's broke, he should be broke, his business and all it's assets should be auctioned off, and fuck him!!
That's called free market, survival of the fittest, capitalism!! Which on a business level, is the greatest thing, if you don't like it, your part of the problem!!!!!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 12:43 | 2716679 illyia
illyia's picture

Renew - nice rant! Completely agree.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 13:17 | 2716722 Obadiah
Obadiah's picture

WORD

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 13:46 | 2716753 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

So I suppose if a business 4 doors down from you burned down and the city council/mayor/WH ordered your front and back doors chained shut to 'protect the public' so you could only move your widgets out a bathroom window, you'd be OK with that?

"I don't give a shit what some politician says one way or the other..." but apparently you wouldn't have a choice would you? Or buck the WH and see how fast your ass ends up in Club Fed.

Your rant is stupid. If it was a Free Market, then BP would have been on the hook for it's cleanup and it's competitors could have taken advantage of the hole in the market to fill. Instead the Fed steps in and declares a moratorium leaving everyone hanging at the whim of the WH while the 3-ring cleanup circus commenced.

The guy may not have had the best business model and may have compounded mistakes on a bad situation but until you're in the same boat you can hardly judge.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 15:52 | 2716965 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

Ahhh man, it's obvious you've never owned a business!!!!

I CAN judge this fool and I will, that's the jungle brother, it isn't fair, it isn't pretty, it's war for survival everyday!!! You see that's the problem with people who claim to love capitalism and "animal spirits" and all that other shit that sounds sexy at the wall street dinner parties and Political fundraisers, but when they have to live in that world, work in it, survive in it, unfettered and uncontrolled.........they start crying about TBTF and systematic risk, and fairness, and how we shouldn't judge this poor guy, and bailout that guy!!!

Let me clue you in brother to how SUCCESSFUL business people think, you know, the ones who don't borrow more money then they can pay back under any circumstances, the ones who understand they need to think 5 steps ahead of the competition, the ones who don't make excuses when skit happens and blame others, the ones who save money every chance they get, ya those business people, the ones that built this Country!!!! They don't give a shit what government is doing day to day, their too busy building a business, crushing their competition, employing people, and delivering above and beyond for their clients!!!

What, do you think government and taxes didn't exist in business until Obama got elected, that regulation wasn't always around, whether it was gov or your competition imposing it, Jesus get real man!! I've never got up once in 15 years of running and owning multiple businesses and asked, "gee what's the WH doing today?" My account told me when I was 25, don't think about money as "yours" and what to do with it, until you pay your overhead, labor, and taxes, then be wise with the rest!!! Best advice I ever got!!!!!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:51 | 2717382 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

One of the better rants on zh.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 08:50 | 2717762 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Oh look, another blustering psychic poster running amok with !!!!!'s everywhere and cheerleading himself. Pat yourself on the back much? You fail to address the fact as stated in the article and the point I made regarding your rant and you do it on the premise that I've never owned a business while knowing nothing about me or my background.  I know what it takes to make and run a business so your advice is not needed nor wanted.  Your dispensing so-called 'advice' while piling on useless sophmoric cheering is laughable. So, to get back to the point, what would you do if .Gov threw the switch on your business and left you holding the bag with no recourse to change the position of said switch? And stop with the drivel about government and taxes and regulation; those are all knowns and can be calculated in any business. The action of a bureaucrat who wantonly shuts the lid on your business because he's too incompetent to come up with a better solution and has to do something/anything in order to pander to public opinion is NOT known. It's a total unknown. This guy put close to a $1B dollars on the line(and I'm pretty sure you don't handle any amounts even close to that) and when the dealer threw him a jack and an ace the House suddenly announces that Blackjack is 19 and then closes the table.  So that's a Free Market to you? Oh wait, that's the 'jungle'. You're pretty good at sounding like a blowhard but I'd hazard that you've never been dealt the hand that this guy was and even if you actually own/run a business it doesn't automatically put you in the same class as this guy any more than a hot dog vendor railing against a Sam Walton. I mean how much free time can you have to run a business while making your own bio-diesel and buying solar cells off Ebay to cut your electric bill? I'm in awe. And please, 'jungle', 'brother'; what are you 12? Ah, judging by your spelling, !!!!!!!!!!!'s, and blossoming Ebay career I'd have to say yes. 

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 21:11 | 2719335 Rick Masters
Rick Masters's picture

The dude does use too many exclamation points but those points are right on: most of people act like there was no gov't before Obama, that a McCain WH would have done something different in the face of the Deep Water disatster. The blame Obama thing is as tiresome as the Blame Bush thing. Did Obama make Deepwater go BOOOOM. No he didn't. But construction and shoody work by haliburton did by most accounts. Why not Blame Dick Cheney since without the BP spill ATP wouldn't be in such deepwater with out a fucking snorkel. He played, shit happened, he lost. Fuck him and his crying ass. That's what 20 year olds do: blame others. Man the fuck up. Ohh, Obama made a regulation waaah wahh, yeah he did. But so did every Pres before him and somehow businesses managed to thrive. FDR passed a lot of regs as did Clinton and yet business thrived. This guy just can't navigate the tough waters we are in so he drowned. END OF STORY. No more bailouts for anyone ecept the ones who deerve it: the taxper and the people who have worked most of the adult lives. What about them? Oh yeah, they are just drug addicted lazy fucks since 2009...it was a mgaicla thing how all these hardworking people turned into lazy, crack smoking people overnight!

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 21:28 | 2719366 Rick Masters
Rick Masters's picture

The dude does use too many exclamation points but those points are right on: most of ZH's new residents act like there was no gov't before Obama, that a McCain WH would have done something different in the face of the Deep Water disaster. The blame Obama thing is as tiresome as the Blame Bush thing. Did Obama make Deepwater go BOOOOM. No he didn't. But construction and shoddy work by Halliburton did by most accounts. Why not Blame Dick Cheney since without the BP spill ATP wouldn't be in such deepwater with out a fucking snorkel. He played, shit happened, he lost. Fuck him and his crying ass. That's what 20 year olds do: blame others. Man the fuck up. Ohh, Obama made a regulation waaah wahh, yeah he did. But so did every Pres before him and somehow businesses managed to thrive. FDR passed a lot of regs as did Clinton and yet business thrived. This guy just can't navigate the tough waters we are in so he drowned. END OF STORY. No more bailouts for anyone except the ones who deserve it: the taxpayer and the people who have worked most of the adult lives. What about them? Oh yeah, they are just drug addicted lazy fucks since 2009...it was a magaical thing how all these hardworking people turned into lazy, crackheads overnight! I'm sure some did from the stress, but if they worked 80-90 percent of their adult lives we should help them as the banks did this to us and the gov't -- both Rs and Ds--bailed htem out and said fuck you to everyone else. Of course, those banks did have a gun to our heads. The banks robbed us. How ironic? But the point is a good businessman would anticipate what a new president will do and react accordingly. That's capitalism. This whole utopian free markets in the pre-Obama period are illusions. Nothing really has changed. Just a lot more paperwork for healthcare billers. I'm only 30 and I figured this out. Most people on this board I figure are 45 and over, so you should know better. Dude is right.

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 23:57 | 2722721 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

Every deep water driller in the fucking gulf got affected the same! (notice one exclamation point:) Your argument would carry some water if they all had filed BK in the last 2 years! But they didn't, did they, that's just my point, this guy bet wrong, had bad timing, made bad calls, whatever it was, he played, he lost, that's the game! If you think he should be bailed or treated with some sympathy, your no different then Obama with GM, or Paulson with every fucking investment bank on wall street!

I said you must have never owned a business, because people who truly risk their ass everyday in business and do the work themselves, and actually DO build this shit from the ground up, understand that risk and lose is a normal part of this game! If I was a hot dog vender and Walmart moved in next door, you would say "tough shit boy, that's the jungle, that's competition, but this oil drilller fuck up, you think we should "not judge him, he got a raw deal, he should get a do over", right?? Because why, government exists and BP dumps a trillion gallons of oil in the gulf with their fuck up???

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 00:06 | 2722738 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

And as far as the solar panels and biodiesel go, it's my hobby brother, some guys like to golf, buy expensive cars, blow their money on women and coke, go to Vegas, etc etc. I like to head to my shop and invent shit, experiment with shit, I like to test things out for myself, instead of believing what ever dip shit on TV and talk radio says about the world I live in!

I like hobbys that free my life and family from the systematic chains of our society. If I'm not legit in your book, because of that, so be it, you do what you want, I'll do my thing!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 14:00 | 2716778 candyman
candyman's picture

Had to log in just to give you a up arrow. Right on!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 15:56 | 2716975 tmosley
tmosley's picture

So your competitor does something stupid, then you are shut down for the better part of a year, despite a stirling safety record, then it is still your fault?

Stop blaming the victim.  Government doesn't build, but IT DOES DESTROY.  That is the only thing it knows how to do, and with the expectation that they do "something", they do what they know.

You can't have a free market when the government can and does come and shut you down for something someone else did.  STOP CONFLATING FASCISM AND CAPITALISM.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 16:17 | 2717000 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

As a serious entrepreneur, do you think I would have not insured myself in multiple ways, from being bankrupt if something happened that was beyond my control, YES, his business model was flawed, he didn't have insurance against a shut down, he didn't diversify his assets and have the savings he needed to wheather the storm, but NOW he's a victim!!!!

Ahhhhh my god, you people don't deserve to live in a capitalistic society, the top end tax rate in 1950 was 90%, we are so far gone at this point, people who call themselves "pro businesss conservatives" don't even know what business is and how it should be handled!!!!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 16:54 | 2717049 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

Fascism......come on man!! Another dinner party and fundraiser buzz word! What I am talking about IS CAPITALISM!!!!!!
Every single deep water driller in the fucking gulf was shut down equally during that moratorium, but has every single deep water drilling company that was affected equally, file for bankruptcy yet??
Maybe before screaming fascism and making more excuses for another failed businessman, you should start by answering that question!!!

The jungle is the jungle, it always will be! No excuses, no mercy, no matter what!! If your smarter, faster, stronger, bigger, you will have a better chance to survive, if not, your food for the other guys!! That's what the animal spirit thing is all about!!!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 19:14 | 2717208 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

You don't talk like any business owner I 've ever talked with. What exactly is your business? I work in a heavily regulated industry and I assure you the government can put you out of business over night. It doesn't usually happen that way. It's a thousand pin pricks or knife wounds. You try to adapt and suck it up but what happens is what you see now. Companies start moving things out, from north to south or even offshore. They stay in business but all the stupid little collectivists find themselves unemployed, underemployed, low wages, outsourced, etc.

My bottom line is that the market, not government should be the one that makes winners and losers. Bulman should not even be able to say that the government broke his company with any credibility, but as you see, he can.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 21:10 | 2717321 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

I own two different businesses, one is in a very regulated, labor union heavy environment and the other is in a very unregulated area of business, I hope you'll forgive me if I don't drop web addresses and personnel info on a public blog, but I assure you I've been in business for over 15 years, started my first business out of an apartment with less then $5000 capital, turned it into a million dollar a year venture, and I'm not 40 yet!!

I'm sorry I don't "sound" like any of your buddies at the chamber of commerce or the Country Club, but I'm too busy kicking those guys asses, to have drinks with them!!! The last $100,000 bid I put in, no one bid against us, you know why?.......... They can't compete with our labor costs, because I work my ass off MYSELF, I dont ask any employee or freelancer who works for me, to do anything I can't do myself as good or better!!! I'm not politicking all over town in the Country Club, the Rotary Club, and the Chamber, or playing golf while my employees are working!!! So they can't compete and boy do they ever cry and bitch and whine, just like most of these people who have down arrowed this conversation!!

That's what entrepreneurs do, thats how real capitalist killers think, you think Michael Jordan ever gave a shit that the poor boys who played against him, didn't get the same glory, the rings, the money, he did?? Fuck no, he reveled in their defeat, their defeats made him more hungry for blood, not less!! Maybe we should have given Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley a "bailout ring" for trying hard!!! I mean, it's not fair, it's not good for the game right, we should spread it out a little!!

There's rules of the game that everyone plays by, within each industry, if you can't figure out how to make money, deal with the government, and profit, you shouldn't be in business, you should be an employee somewhere, I'm sorry that "sounds" harsh, but who ever said you where promised success in this jungle, most can't hang in the jungle!! Government regulation, taxes, competition, and failure are all part of this jungle, either get your ass working harder and complaining and crying less, or your dead!!

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 19:52 | 2719149 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

Looks like this oilman had a gameplan for making profit when the govt changed the rules in the middle of the game. He had a lot riding on the big platform coming online, but was not allowed to complete production.      Sure hope something like this doesn't happen to Renewable Life. Who would he blame? 

Mon, 08/20/2012 - 23:42 | 2722684 Renewable Life
Renewable Life's picture

I think that's my point in this admittedly too long rant, I wouldnt blame anyone but myself, that's what capitalism is brother, ruthless, unpredictable, risky business, in which no one should be promised or guaranteed anything! TPTB have always been in the game going back to Rome and before! if you can swim in shark infected waters, jump in, if not stay on the beach and talk politics all day!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 13:59 | 2716739 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Re: the USA

I can see the Craigslist entry now.

For sale: one empire, gently used.

Twenty Tril / OBO

... it will be easy to re-home the military, since it's mostly mercenaries ...

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 13:49 | 2716761 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Bulmahn needs to read more. You call Goldman Sachs, Timmy Geithner and tell him large donations are on the way. You spin off windmills and solar panels equal to the money you need. You get a government loan and do some photo ops with the Prez. Then your open the doors, close them three months later, file for bankruptcy, misplace a billion dollars or so and walk away. Holder will amazingly refuse to prosecute. The NY Times will back his play. 

Then you get an expensive Manhattan apartment next door to John Corzine and laugh about how you actually produced nothing at all. Laugh as you sip Dom and nibble beluga and admire your signed photo of the Kenyan.

Anyone else agree?

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:30 | 2717611 milbank
milbank's picture

Mr. Bulmahn should chill out.  I suggest he go down to New Orleans and eat all the Gulf Shrimp he can eat for a few days.  I hear the shrimp have three eyes now and a unique new taste. Yummy!

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:01 | 2716481 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Yeah just ask Schumer- He will save u if you just donate to the mother fucker.

 

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:01 | 2716482 I am Jobe
Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:02 | 2716487 notadouche
notadouche's picture

A wise man once said "you didn't build that, someone else did" so I could certainly see the wisdom in then "you didn't destroy that company, someone else did"  Makes perfect sense to me.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 11:36 | 2716557 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

notadouche

Define "build"?

It isn't like he personally joined every nut and line on a rig.

 

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 12:21 | 2716642 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

every nut and line on a rig would barely equal the intangible risk an entreprenuer (sp) takes, let alone the financial risk, without them you would not have a nut, line, or rig

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 12:29 | 2716653 diogeneslaertius
diogeneslaertius's picture

BINGO

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 19:27 | 2717217 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Hey Spaz! I agree. As I read and think through this whole free market system, I have moved the entrepreneurs to the top of the esteem ladder. Without them not a damned thing happens. There is money, labor, land, etc available but the entrepreneur is the guy or gal that has some expertise, insight, guts and vision to put all this stuff together and make it work. The rest of society benefits as we all learn trades and skills that pay off over time. There would be no auto mechanics if Mercedes did not invent the automobile. A guy like Henry Ford figures out how to mass produce them. How many machinists, metal workers, and even accountants and janitors work because of the insight and ability of these kinds of people to make something people want? And the products get better over the years!

If any real entrepreneurs read ZH, I say with all sincerity, "God bless you!" thanks for giving the rest of us a better life through your products, services and productive work.

As for you weasel collectivists-statistic....

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:44 | 2717630 milbank
milbank's picture

You ain't kidding.  Just ask all the fishermen, charter boat and restaurant people who were put out of business by BP and all those deep water drilling related companies.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 00:57 | 2717642 milbank
milbank's picture

You ain't kidding.  Just ask all the fishermen, charter boat and restaurant people who were put out of business by BP and all those deep water drilling related companies.

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