Thursday, July 31, 2008

Inside The Semgroup Bust

From Forbes:

Six days after Tulsa, Okla.-based Semgroup's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, details of its wrong-way oil trades remain in short supply. Neither the company nor its creditors are talking.

Saturday, in his first public statement since the bankruptcy, former Chief Executive Thomas Kivisto said he wanted to reassure Semgroup's 2,000 employees; but he gave them no reasons to feel hopeful. With the Securities & Exchange Commission investigating, a class-action suit in the works and a grand jury demanding trading records, the truth will soon emerge. And it won't be pretty.

What is known for sure, gleaned largely from an affidavit written by Interim Chief Executive Terence Ronan is that Semgroup buckled under margin calls against losses of $2.4 billion in the company's trading accounts on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Incredibly, $290 million of those losses are owed the company by Kivisto for losses from personal trades using capital fronted him by Semgroup....MORE