The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: June 29
That said, we certainly aren't kidding about the allegations made in Monday's Reuters report that you and your Canadian rival schemed in 2010 to avoid bidding against each other in a state auction and in at least nine prospective deals with private land owners.
And apparently your investors don't think it's a joke either since news of the potential price-fixing sent Chesapeake shares down 8.5% Monday, making the scandal-ridden company the market's worst performer. As for Chesapeake's partner in the discussions (We told you Chesapeake is a team player), Encana's stock closed down 4% on an otherwise green day for stocks.
To cut to the chase -- and good old Aubrey sure is getting chased a lot these days -- the most damning email came on June 16, 2010, when McClendon told a Chesapeake deputy that it was time "to smoke a peace pipe" with Encana "if we are bidding each other up."
Forget the peace pipe Aubrey you moron. That's a smoking gun if the government decides to initiate a collusion investigation!
Almost equally idiotic was the Chesapeake vice president who answered Aubrey by saying he had contacted Encana "to discuss how they want to handle the entities we are both working to avoid us bidding each other up in the interim."
To which his boss responded: "Thanks."
No, thank you Aubrey. Like your bosom buddies at Encana, we know we can count on you when we are in desperate need of a very dumb idea.
2. Falcone's Failure
Harbinger Capital founder Phil Falcone once had it all. Too bad he was so full of himself that he failed to spread it around.
The Securities and Exchange Commission initiated a lawsuit against the formerly high-flying hedge fund manager on Wednesday, accusing him of illegally borrowing $113 million in client money to pay personal taxes in 2009.
Falcone is also being sued by the government over a sweetheart deal that allowed Goldman Sachs (GS) (who else?) to flee his flagging flagship fund while other investors were still locked up, as well as manipulating the prices of distressed high-yield bonds by engaging in an illegal "short squeeze."
"Today's charges read like the final exam in a graduate school course in how to operate a hedge fund unlawfully," said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement.