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left-handed.” “Andrews County was so dry the jackrabbits carried their lunch.” Two partners in an oil-drilling deal were “a real pair to draw to.” “I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night.” In a variation of this, Pickens once told a Wall Street Journal reporter who was doubting that he was assured of financing: “Well, we didn’t come to town on a load of watermelons.” Furthermore, “church isn’t out until the fat lady sings.” Still, “I hate to fail, but when it’s time to take a bath, I get in the tub.” Big oilmen playing poor during the 1970s’ “energy crisis” were “crying with a ham on their shoulder.” Giving these guys excess cash flow was “like handing a rabbit a head of lettuce for safekeeping.” Pickens, watching an impassive and taciturn adversary in a showdown meeting, thought to himself, “This guy must piss ice water.” Then there was the chief executive of a targeted oil company “He wouldn’t pay a dime to see a pissant eat a bale of hay.” In Pickens’s memoir people get pissed off, they need to “get their ass out of the crack” Sachs, of Goldman, Sachs, jumped out of his chair as if someone had stuck him in the ass with a hot poker.” Speaking of his little Mesa’s attempt to take over giant Gulf Oil, Pickens says, “Maybe this was one time the fireplug would piss on the dog.” Evidently Freud was right that money, psychologically, is excretory. Pickens says the cattle feedyards he once owned “generated profits almost as easily as mounds of manure,” but one night during a party which he was attending the prevailing wind swept the stink from the yards into Amarillo and “a half-drunk fellow came up to me and said that our feedyard smelled like shit. ‘It may smell like shit to you,’ I replied, ‘but it smells like money to me.’ Now; fond readers, if you have been enjoying all this, prepare yourself for ‘real pleasure: the cursings of big business uttered by this certified Republican tycoon. “If you are a stockholder,” he says, “the chances are . . . most corporations are misappropriating your money. . . . Every day this respectable crime is perpetrated. . . . A relatively small collection of corporate executives .. . would use the engine of American commerce for their own narrow ends.” Most of the good old boys running some oil companies “were bureaucrats, caretakers. They had learned to move through the bureaucracy with a minimum of personal risk.” “Corporate America’s executives lost their credibility a long time ago.” Yet “not one out of 50 [corporate] boards will stand up to a CEO.” The fellow who puts his name to the paragraph to follow is not a shaggy-haired malcontent, neither is he a closet socialist, rather he is one of the most successful corporate critics in the country, T. Boone himself. “The many devices managements, have come up with to protect themselves border On grand theft, pure and simple. And they get away with it. Some poor guy who steals food to feed his family can be put in jail for FILE PHOTO T. Boone Pickens, Jr. “Some poor guy who steals food to feed his family can be put in jail for years, but these corporate leaders can give themselves millions of dollars at the expense of the stockholders.” years, but these corporate leaders-can literally give themselves millions of dollars at the expense of the stockholders and they don’t even send a thank-you note. The ownership of public corporations is so fragmented that nobody blows the whistle and managements know they’re safe.” Continues T. Boone: “In a big company, a lot of mistakes can be buried.” “It’s unusual to find a large corporation that’s efficient. . . . Inertia has replaced innovation in corporate America.” “Gulf was a bloated bureaucracy in a declining industry.” Big Oil tries to protect its “wasteful ways” with “bullying tactics.” Gulf, for instance, “behaved about how you would expect Big Oil to act arrogant and very slow.” The mangement of Phillips Petroleum, in fighting off an attack from Pickens, “didn’t give a damn about the stockholders.” As for Unocal, “it is incredible that managements can turn their headquarters into phone banks directed against their largest stockholders.” Pickens’s contempt for the profiteering of the majors during the so-called oil crisis of the 1970s almost makes even the work of Robert Sherrill seem like gentlemanly criticism of the Seven Sisters. There was no “oil shortage,” Pickens writes the oil was simply being withheld from the market. For oilmen the 1970s were “quite a ride from $3 to $40 a barrel.” “Almost all the oil companies were swimming in money.” When the Saudis finally lowered the price from $40 to $35, “Aramco, the Big Oil consortium that bought the Saudis’ oil, was so greedy that instead of passing on the savings to the consumer, it just kept on reporting bigger earnings. The Aramco partners took the Saudis to the cleaners by buying their oil cheap, selling gasoline high.” Pickens’s takover bids require extensive financing, but in his memoir he permits himself a few stiff jabs at bankers. Lehman Brothers and First Boston protect entrenched managements. “Investment bankers are like a good bird dog; they will hunt with anybody who has a gun.” Furthermore, “it’s never smart to trust a roomful of bankers.” Little wonder, then, that when Pickens took on Gulf “the New York banks -with one exception -wouldn’t touch us.” \(The exception was Corporate executives use stockholders’ money to buy or lease hunting lodges, yachts, and planes for the executives. Pickens reports for us that one executive killed himself when his board started investigating where the company plane had been; the wife of another executive used a company plane to take her dog to the veterinarian. Pickens says that one oil company CEO “insisted that I come aboard his company’s new jet so that he could show off a bathroom so spacious it had a changing closet.” During Pickens’s attack on Gulf and Unocal, he says, the CEOs of the two target companies flew to Spain in their company planes, at a cost of about $30,000 per plane, to shoot red-legged partridges together. As you may have begun to sense, Pickens “goes after” not only targeted corporations but also targeted persons. In his memoir we learn that one of his named adversaries, the head of National Distillers, “was overweight, red-faced, and very arrogant,” and when he spoke, “he barked.” During T. Boone’s contretemps with Marathon Oil, “the Marathon executives began filing in. Each was a portly five foot ten inches or so and weighed about 225 pounds. They all wore golf shirts with a pocket full of ‘freebie’ cigars.” Pickens was irritated when he could not see Bill Douce, the CEO of Phillips Petroleum: “He was shooting quail in Georgia and wouldn’t be back at the lodge until evening. Bill Douce was an avid hunter. I knew he would get in to the lodge at about six o’clock, have a Scotch and water, talk about the kill for half an hour, take a shower, and have another drink;, maybe then he would be ready to talk.” A Gulf executive, Harold Hammer, was “abrasive and foul-mouthed . . . one of the most disliked men in corporate America.” When Pickens 20 JANUARY 15, 1988