And he’s also a shitty investor and philanthropist.
So, T. Boone Pickens donated $165 million to Oklahoma State. It seemed a little poor in taste to donate solely to the athletic department, but regardless, it was his money and he made a large donation to a cause he believed in. What was strange is the structure of the donation. He said it had to be invested in his hedge fund, BP Capital Management. He also made sure he and newly appointed athletic director, Mike Holder (whom he essentially chose), had total authority over how the funds were to be invested. It seemed like a pretty good deal when the investment grew to over $300 million in 2007. Then, as the board of regents began insisting that some of the funds be cashed out, he resisted and instead allowed the investment to be used as collateral to secure a greater than $100 million loan. The purpose of the loan was to renovate and expand the football stadium named, “Boone Pickens Stadium”.
Unfortunately, now is when the story turns sour. It turns out that Mr. Oil Man went short on an investment when oil first hit $100 (ouch) then he went long when oil hit the upper $140s (double ouch). Now it looks like he has lost a huge portion of the investment. Rumors say that essentially the entire amount has been lost. This was part of more than $1 billion that his hedge fund has lost this year. Let’s see, where does this leave Oklahoma State University. Well, now they are stuck with over $100 million in debt with interest payments of approximately $13 million per year. They have also had to stop construction on their new Boone Pickens athletic village. I guess it will be up to the taxpayers of Oklahoma to pick up the mess. Nice job, asshole.
Here is the rumor that has been circulating but doesn’t seem like it has hit the major news stories yet.