Special Report: The lavish and leveraged life of Aubrey McClendon

Comments (66)
HalinOK wrote:

Living in the OKC area I can only thank Mr. McClendon for his contributions to the community at large. He makes money in the energy industry and spends a good amount of it making my life better. Anyone that generous where you live?

Jun 07, 2012 8:22am EDT  --  Report as abuse
QuietThinker wrote:

CEO looting his company, robbing the shareholders.
This is the same story as the outrageous CEO salaries at many companies, it just differs in degree. The assets of the company belong to the shareholders not the management.

Jun 07, 2012 8:27am EDT  --  Report as abuse
WJL wrote:

He is sure bold about using shareholder’s money. If he give, ahem! contribute some to me, I will support him too HalinOK. HaHaHa!

Jun 07, 2012 8:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ThatsCrazy wrote:

It’s easy to be a philanthropist when you’re spending public shareholders money.

Jun 07, 2012 9:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
WeWereWallSt wrote:

Another day, another Reuters story about poor old McClendon. One of these days, it’s going to feel like you’re piling on.

But not yet! Keep digging. Like QuietThinker says, it ain’t his money.

PS — see if you can find out who does his hair. He ought to be fired for that alone.

Jun 07, 2012 10:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ChazinPA wrote:

Towers of cards can’t stand up to even a light breeze

Jun 07, 2012 10:34am EDT  --  Report as abuse
55usaidwhat wrote:

If only Reuters spent its time investigating economic corruption that mattered to real people. I think the US government might be a great place to start! You should find plenty of stories about misuse of tax payers dollars by so called public servants many of whom are not elected but appointed. But, I guess that would not be appropriate because Reuters is probably more interested in tearing down the private sector than the public one. It’s like investigating a scratch while somebody is having a heart attack.

Jun 07, 2012 11:05am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JoeOvercoat wrote:

To answer HalinOK’s question, “Anyone that generous where you live?” Yes – gangsters. No, I am not kidding.

Jun 07, 2012 11:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse

Another answer to HalinOK:

John Gotti was quite generous to his neighbors in Queens. That didn’t exactly make him a great guy.

Jun 07, 2012 11:31am EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

HalinOK writes: “Living in the OKC area I can only thank Mr. McClendon for his contributions to the community at large.”

That’s awesome. Being generous with other peoples’ money. Take ten billion shareholder dollars, buy some jewelry and jets and a few islands for yourself, give the other half to the okie neighbors to shut them up…. everyone’s happy. Except the shareholders. Maybe that’s why they’re suing. Good times.

Jun 07, 2012 11:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
mynamehear2 wrote:

Heck yeah- I just love that Mister McClendon too! If he can bring me and me poor kinfolk a nice pretty buildin’ and sum goodin’ baskaball players- he can stink up my drinkin’ water all he wants! Hell yeah, I just been pumpin’ it into ol’ Bessy Lou to get me to the market- she sputters a bit now, but just wait- soon ‘nough she’ll be runnin’ on High Octane Frackin well water- YEEEEHAW!

Oh and if that Mister McClendon can keep on sendin’ me stuff- he can keep on doin whatever he a wants to- I don’t mind and neither should you Reuters- you sum leftist commie rag anyhow! Why don’t you and your leftist commie types go tell people about that leftist commie muslim president- whas his name- oh yeay, Osama Hussein Abama YEEHAW!

Jun 07, 2012 11:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
amibovvered wrote:

Sounds like a company town of yore. Keep this grand theft in the news, Reuters!

Jun 07, 2012 11:53am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

AlkalineState, I didn’t realize you had such an objection to people being generous with other people’s money. You make Mr. McClendon sound like a tax and spend Democrat and then find fault?

Jun 07, 2012 12:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

I was just thinking about HalinOK’s comment a little more. Isn’t it just a symptom of a greater problem in our culture. Too many of us can’t think beyond there own noses. As long as some wealthy person takes care of ME, it’s OK (pardon the pun) to look the other way. For way too many people the greater good doesn’t matter any longer.

Jun 07, 2012 12:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GLK wrote:

If what he’s doing was illegal he’d be in jail by now. Unethical? Perhaps. Have to look at the entire scope of the big picture to be certain. One thing that is certain, there isn’t a single person responding to this article that wouldn’t be living a similar life if they were in his shoes. McClendon’s biggest problem is that he’s living in a jealous time whereby the flames of class warefare have been fanned to new heights by America’s welfare President.

Jun 07, 2012 12:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JLWR wrote:

From my limited experience as a corporate paralegal, many CEOs and upper executives and Board members think of themselves as elites. The corporation exists to servce their avarice appetite for luxury often at the expense of shareholders and always at the expense of the employees. Corporations need to return to the basic reasons of why they exist and must be forced to live by those rules. Shareholders must insist that this abuse not be tolerated any longer. Board members should not serve on more than one board at a time and must be held accountable for every penny they spend, and be subject to a higher scrutiny espcially for the pay they receive. Same for the CEO and uuper executive management. Also their pay and options are in the stratosphere and needs to come back down to earth.

Jun 07, 2012 12:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
krimsonpage wrote:

@HalinOK You are a perfect example. Now wipe that brown stuff off of your nose.

Jun 07, 2012 12:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
IntoTheTardis wrote:

And I’ll bet that AKM, like so many of his class, feel put upon by the government. The real wonder of it all is how so many blue collar, working class, conservative white males who barely make ends meet are so quick to defend men like this. It truly is a mystery to me.

Jun 07, 2012 12:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
amibovvered wrote:

Just to be clear, Reuters has established that the current CEO has used the shareholder equity, mortgaged property, and leveraged loans to basically run the company into the ground. This is what Liu is on about.

Jun 07, 2012 12:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Billdexter, what makes you think I have an objection to McClendon’s robinhood practices? The guy is fantastic. Take money from Wall Street shareholders, give some to the Tammy Faye wife, some to the beverly hillbillies in OKC, tip the waitress $5,000 and then have a secret kid with her. Live it up.

If every Oil and Gas CEO was willing to do what McClendon does, we wouldn’t have to worry about global warming or listen to all the lame-ass complaints about fracking any more. No oil or gas wells would ever get drilled because the venture money would all go to private jets and basketball arenas. Good times. For the record, I think the Chesapeake shareholders are just being thin-skinned in these latest efforts to defame McClendon. As the above writer suggested, the shareholders are just ‘jealous of his success.’

Jun 07, 2012 12:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bert2 wrote:

If any of us were to do what he did, we would be a) fired, b) audited by State and Federal IRS and c) probably sent to jail. He should not be above the law no matter how “religious” or philantropic he is (with other people’s money). Throw the book at him.

Jun 07, 2012 12:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheUSofA wrote:

Amazing reading these comments.

People on here actually defending corruption and the likes of McClendon.

Picking and choosing what’s right and wrong. Welcome to America.

You’re pathetic if you have the nerve to defend all this corruption. You should be ashamed. What do you teach your children?

Jun 07, 2012 1:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Crash866 wrote:

and the like…Jealousy is ugly!! Just like Wisconsin!! It’s amazing how people really hate successful people.

Jun 07, 2012 1:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheUSofA wrote:

“On one trip, the clan took flights to Amsterdam and Paris that cost $108,000; McClendon counted the trip as a business expense. In another case, Chesapeake logs show, nine female friends of McClendon’s wife flew to Bermuda in 2010 without any McClendons aboard. The cost: $23,000.”

It’s shameful that any American or Oklahoma citizen would find this to be ok. Amazing how over-leveraged he is.

Take a look in the mirror, you’re a good reason for the dysfunction in in this country. Like politicians, you yourself have been bought off. You can’t pick and choose right and wrong.

Ask for accountability from all you hypocrites.

Jun 07, 2012 1:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:

What a nice guy!

If a person helps some people that they know and are surrounded by at the expense of hurting others that they don’t maybe know and will likely never meet, what the motive behind their generousity?

Jun 07, 2012 1:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GA_Chris wrote:

Guys, just remember he’s a job creator so deserves to pay less taxes than you and can live above the law

Jun 07, 2012 1:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Crash, where’s the hate? McClendon is robinhood. I like the guy. Kind of like Madoff. When you consider who he stole from, it’s actually very funny.

Jun 07, 2012 1:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

I don’t know what over-leveraged means.

Jun 07, 2012 1:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
xit007 wrote:

This is private cronyism – this is not public. Sure there is plenty enough money to go around because they are profitable. If this was a government operation – it would be broke. I agree this guy has blurred the line and once he goes public in the private sector – he no longer should be able to operate with impunity. Shareholders are finally wising up but I still applaud his ability to create wealth – and I disdain the whiners who don’t use the free economy to make their wealth – they just look to complain…. If someone was smart they would create a corporate shareholder performance service and offer these services to every corporation to audit and recommend changes that would improve share performance. The government is too lazy and political to do anything – unless someone will stuff cash in their campaigns.

Jun 07, 2012 1:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheUSofA wrote:

“Crash866 wrote:

and the like…Jealousy is ugly!! Just like Wisconsin!! It’s amazing how people really hate successful people.”

This is the best you can come up with? Hate successful people? You must enjoy corruption. You can’t even look at it in the face.

While I dislike both parties it’s the Republican party’s propaganda that’s been most effective. They tend to be very hypocritical and manage to get even average to lower income voters to look away from their own corruption with slogans like, “they hate successful people”.
You sir are quite gullible. You pick and choose what’s right and wrong based on the cheer-leading outfit you’re wearing.

Jun 07, 2012 1:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:

Wow. Pointing out that one’s demagoguery is premised on a person’s hatred of successful people falls as a lame and ineffectual, yet we are to be proven wrong and put in our lowly place by “you must enjoy corruption”. I’m so ashamed.

Jun 07, 2012 2:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
fred5407 wrote:

Hey, the guy is having fun using OPM (Other Peoples Money). Pretty much like Barak Obama, Pentegon Generals, and lots of Senators and Congressmen. Is that not what we in the United States expect. Steal from the poor and give to the rich. Kind of a Robin Hood in reverse. I guess we have gotten to the destination that Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, and Obama have been heading towards.

Jun 07, 2012 2:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
puzzled wrote:

Absolutely no difference between this guy and Bernie Ebbers at Worldcom. Only thing waiting to happen is a discovery that he was frying the books. This guy ius a thief straight up – generous? Ha, Sure I can spend other peoples money anyday but that would be considered a crime. To the person said this is unethical, but not illegal…..Sorry, when you start to comingle your personal interests with the welfare of your shareholders and your company, setting your inetersts first, that is a crime.

Jun 07, 2012 2:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JLWR wrote:

For those of you who think others are just jealous of this CEO’s wealth – I’m not jealous of his wealth (I don’t seek to be that wealthy) but I sure do condemn the way he got his wealth (stealing it from the shareholders). Lots of people create jobs – you and I create jobs every time we buy something – we create demand and enough demand turns into someone being hired. Creating a job does not make you a god or something to be idolized or give you the right to steal fromthe shareholders to live a life of excess. Only greedy small egotistical insecure people think like that.

Jun 07, 2012 3:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
therese25 wrote:

Aubrey appears to be a very driven person…he has great ideas but his ethics & those of his wife appear to be somewhat skewed….he is not the first & won’t be the last to feel they are above the plebs. That is why he needs to be bridled.

Jun 07, 2012 3:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Crash866 wrote:

AlkalineState & TheUSofA
Are there any charges pending against this guy? So the poor investors are getting screwed…Anyone put a gun to their head? Guess he’s as bad as Zuckeberg too huh? By the way TheUSofA “You pick and choose what’s right and wrong based on the cheer-leading outfit you’re wearing.” I have voted both Rep & Dem so I guess I wear both outfits based on who is the best man or woman for the job. Let me know when they lock this guy up for all the terrible things he done. Does anyone find it odd that this article was posted the day after his team won the Western Conference Finals. If they lost would it have made the light of day? One more thing any publicity is good publicity…bet that drives you haters nuts eh?

Jun 07, 2012 3:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Crash, don’t get all defensive on us. Who said anything about locking him up? I actually hope he keeps doing what he’s doing. I don’t have any money in this stupid company so it’s kind of fun to watch. Kind of like Madoff. When you consider who he stole from, it’s all the funnier.

Jun 07, 2012 3:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
cwwswift wrote:

what else would you expect from a tracking megalomaniac?

Jun 07, 2012 3:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
J1simple wrote:

At least it’s not taxpayers, just the stupid investors, I guess that’s why Icahn sees some opportunity there.

I hope reuters will do a follow up on the lavish lifestyles of the nonprofit executives…most definitely part of the 1%, like United Way, Teamsters executives… etc.

Jun 07, 2012 3:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Crash866 wrote:

Not getting defensive just asking questions that should be asked. Everyone else here today seems to be vilifying this guy. One more thing…you know what the best revenge is…living well…have a nice day!!

Jun 07, 2012 4:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

xit007 extolls: “I still applaud his ability to create wealth.”

While I love McClendon and Robinhood stories as much as the next guy…. ‘create wealth?’

That’s like eating at a restaurant, ditching the bill and saying you just ‘created food.’ We’ll take it though. McClendon appreciates your support. It’s what makes all this possible :)

Jun 07, 2012 4:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ConstFundie wrote:

@HalinOK, Aubrey ..”spends a good amount of it making my life better.”

Very noble of you to be loyal to someone that spends their greedy dishonorable money for you to have a better life.

Jun 07, 2012 4:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
krimsonpage wrote:

@Crash866 You havea a lot of assumption to swallow. How do you know we are jealous? Can you see into our hearts? Would that we all admired a successfull thief, and be damned for our jealousy? This guy pigged out. And then, from outta the Twighlight Zone of hillbillie politics, you tells us there’s a media connection between this story’s release, and the fact that his NBA team is doing very well now (Go Durant!). Now that is the kind of shallow perception that makes me embarrased to be a member of this species. Good day, sir!

Jun 07, 2012 4:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JL4 wrote:

To you who defend him for his ability to “create wealth” let me ask you this:

If you were one of the shareholders, trying to create YOUR wealth but was being cheated by McClendon, would you still defend him?

The guy is cheating his shareholders out of their opportunity to create their own wealth. Is that okay with you? You admire that? Get back to me when it happens to you.

Jun 07, 2012 4:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
LACarlson wrote:

The first word that comes to mind is greed, the second is arrogance and the last phrase is
waiting for the fall. There is always a price for this kind of behavior.

Jun 07, 2012 4:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

LACarlson warns: “There is always a price for this kind of behavior.”

There does not have to be. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for McClendon and the perennial pool party down in Oklahoma. May gravity be exposed for the liberal scam that it is!

Jun 07, 2012 5:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

LACarlson warns: “There is always a price for this kind of behavior.”

There does not have to be. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for McClendon and the perennial pool party down in Oklahoma. May gravity be exposed for the liberal scam that it is!

Jun 07, 2012 5:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JLWR wrote:

Some of the rightwing commentors obviously love and applaud evil and those who cheat the system. They enjoy displaying this love for vain greed in hopes they shock the rest of us. Then they have the audacity (or ignorance)to call anyone who disagrees with their avarice views, libs. I’m not shocked, but it is most disgusting and juvenile. This country is going to the dogs.

Jun 07, 2012 5:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Butch_from_PA wrote:

There is no law within a corporation. As long as appropriate perks are given to the board members who support the CEOs – any and all funny spending money is appropriate.

Kind of like boiling frogs. We are all getting warmer but too stupid to jump out of the pot of circumstance we live in.

One day you wake up retired, broke and bitter or too senile or tired to care.

Hmmm wonder if you did something radical if you children and kin would be proud of you. Become a living legend – make a difference.

Make sure you do lots of careful planning first. There will be many living legends who will set the example for a better world.

Jun 07, 2012 9:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Crash866 wrote:

As the above writer suggested, the shareholders are just ‘jealous of his success.’

Jun 07, 2012 11:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
libertadormg wrote:

Doesn’t McClendon make you just want to throw up? McClendon screws every landowner with below market oil and gas leases and then sucks the company dry with his Founder’s Well Program at NO RISK to him whatsoever. What an absoulte imperial AH.

Jun 07, 2012 11:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
libertadormg wrote:

Doesn’t McClendon make you just want to throw up? McClendon screws every landowner with below market oil and gas leases and then sucks the company dry with his Founder’s Well Program at NO RISK to him whatsoever. What an absoulte imperial AH.

Jun 07, 2012 11:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
fromthecenter wrote:

Maybe if we could could have just lowered his tax rates further this poor job creator would have never stooped to these illegal activities.

Jun 07, 2012 12:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse

To Crash866 and other commenters questioning the timing of the article: the Chesapeake annual shareholders’ meeting is tomorrow, Friday, 6/8. The Thunder winning the Western Conference basketball finals is probably just a coincidence.

Jun 08, 2012 1:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Irfan8 wrote:


Jun 08, 2012 4:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Skellygirl wrote:

Oh and don’t forget the Total Environment Landscaping Company and service he uses and bills CHK for; inclusive of massive holiday decoration. Any bldg aubrey buys the grass isn’t even good enough and he scrapes it clean and then comes in plants new everything… again billing CHK. All bldgs aubrey buys is turned into natural gas… another cost to CHK. What about the huge power plant and all the new buildings on campus that are going up? Oh, and he is a car dealer too… employees have the opportunity to buy a CNG Honda, Chevy truck or Tahoe as employee incentive. Oh… and I am a shareholder. Only shareholder who got an invitation are allowed to attend the shareholder meeting today on CHK campus.

Jun 08, 2012 9:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Skellygirl wrote:

oh… and he also is buying a chunk of Lake property in SE Oklahoma

Jun 08, 2012 9:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Steiny wrote:

Everyone is so fast to criticize someone who has built something from nothing, probably because of thieir failure to do so, or worse yet, not even trying. We need to remember that there are two sides to EVERY story, including this one. I am a proud supporter of Mr. McClendon, and am forever grateful for his contributions to Oklahoma, the energy industry and our ecology. After all, natural gas is the prince of hydrocarbons; clean coal is an oxymoron.

Jun 08, 2012 10:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Steiny wrote:

Oh, and yes, I am not only a supporter of McClendon but a shareholder too.

Jun 08, 2012 11:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Steiny, you can stop kissing McClendon’s arse now. You know that natural gas development moves forward with or without McClendon, right? They’re called competitors. And they’re now winning. McClendon blew the E&P money on goodies for himself and a basketball court for his okie neighbors. Competitors. BP, Shell, Encana. Good to have them when an idiot like McClendon can’t keep his own boat floating.

Jun 08, 2012 11:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gtgirl wrote:

Funny how the wealthy and super wealthy are reporting a steady increase in profits and wealth under President Obama but they still label him unfriendly and hostile to business. Guess that they want blood out of a turnip.

Jun 08, 2012 1:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
XQ2012 wrote:

The comment about thanking McClendon “for his contributions to the community at large” cracked me up. That one and several others clearly show that too many people have no concept of what a public company is or how it should be operated. I’d hazard a guess that there are a few SEC and Sarbanes-Oxley violations here. Certainly McClendon doesn’t care about accounting standards or GAAP, based on his comment about accounting. As to the creation of wealth, I’d guess a lot of Chesapeake’s isn’t real. And start delayering, and McClendon’s personal net wealth may be a net negative. But as long as OKC and some of the businesses and individuals there are getting their “piece,” I guess many don’t care how the business is operated.

Jun 08, 2012 6:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

The company is 10 billion dollars in the hole. If that’s the same thing as “creating wealth,” then…. keep sending McClendon your money. Apparently, there’s an Okie shareholder born every day.

“But the new basketball arena is so purdy.” Good times.

Jun 11, 2012 1:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
eclements wrote:

This article tries hard to paint a picture of wrongdoing. The “Wrong” is that current market conditions are being compared to the compensation and actions of prior years. Hindsight is always perfect, however I would like to see even one of Chesapeaks’s critics who can prove they predicted current market conditions back in 2006 – 2008 – when Natural Gas spiked to levels well above $12 – twice. Today business and consumers enjoy much lower energy costs – a benefit to our national economy.

Chesapeake set out to identify and develop new (and vast) sources of Natural Gas within our borders. And they succeeded. Now they company is suffering as supplies are vastly higher while demand remains constrained by infrastructure and weather. Infrastructure, however, is evolving. New Natural Gas powered electric plants come on line every month. Natural gas is expanding as a surface fuel. The ability to export LNG will soon be a reality. As these factors continue to impact the market the supply imbalance will rapidly clear up. At that point Chesapeake’s scale will be an asset instead of a liability.

As for executive perks and compensation, much has been disclosed in 10Ks and Proxies. Do investors simply not like to read these critical documents. If you invest, know what you are buying. Of course, if CHK was trading around $60 and Natural Gas of $6 then these conversations wouldn’t be taking place today. The article does a great job of blurring reimbursements made by Aubrey for personal services and benefits.

Chesapeake has been a model corporate citizen. Virtually every person in Central Oklahoma has a friend, family membor or neighbor employed by Chesapeake. Countless non-profit organizations – and those they serve – have benefitted from Chesapeak’s generosity. Imagining a future for Oklahoma City without Chesapeake is not a pleasant task.

Jun 11, 2012 1:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Steiny wrote:

I am laughing at all you folks who are so fast to judgment with so little facts! I’m guessing all of you are perfect and have never done anything questionable in your lives, right?

Jun 13, 2012 2:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Steiny wrote:

By the way, Alkaline State, WHO is winning with 2/mcf gas!?

Jun 13, 2012 2:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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