The anger had been bubbling beneath the surface after the initial plunge of oil prices in 2014. But with another price drop in 2020, oil and gas executives had finally had enough. Though there was plenty of blame to pass around, like a demand drop from Coronavirus or a supply increase from OPEC+, executives instead chose instead to focus this anger on their own employees.
First came layoffs and a cut in salaries. However, production of oil stubbornly persisted as employees adjusted to this normal and performed their jobs.
To make matters worse, Harold Hamm appeared perplexed in an interview with Jim Cramer, providing more instability to the already beaten down sector.
“We thought by really reducing their compensation they would be much less motivated and we would see a sharper reduction in supply,” Hamm stated. However, they just kept plugging away for fear of losing their jobs. Eventually, we just had to instruct them to shut in the wells since they wouldn’t do it on their own.”
When these actions did not work as expected, irate C-Suite Executives and the Boards banded together to protest employees’ insistence on doing their jobs. However, when organized into a group, the anger exploded and the protests turned into violence.
CEO’s could be seen lighting homes on fire, while Treasurer’s and CFO’s were left to plunder jewelry and other valuables from the employees. Dissenters, as long as they were sufficiently healthy so as to avoid an increase in insurance premiums, were beaten in their front yards.
Media members and celebrities came together to celebrate their actions, arguing that these poor executives had been through enough and that their anger justified any actions up to and including murder.
Stocks and bonds in these companies rallied on the news, as the G&A savings could be passed on directly to the bottom-line. Jerome Powell was particularly pleased, as his decision to purchase the bonds of non-investment grade, debt-laden zombies Chesapeake and Whiting turned out to be a home-run.