Friday, May 16, 2008

Pickens Trumps Trump On Oil Economics

Yesterday morning, while busy writing and working, I listened to what is best described as an entertainment segment on CNBC's Squawkbox morning program.

In its continuing quest to demonstrate that they can call on any CEO anywhere, thus to better position themselves against Fox's nascent Business Channel, the program had Donald Trump on an extensive telephone interview. It was one of those fawning pieces, where the co-anchors gushed about The Donald, and Trump kept blathering about whatever came into his self-absorbed mind.

On the subject of oil, Trump castigated President Bush and anyone else involved in US government regarding oil, contending that we needed a team of seasoned, hardened negotiators to just, and this isn't a quote, but a paraphrase,

'go over to the Gulf and tell them these prices won't fly. And negotiate with OPEC to just lower prices.'

I can't recall if Trump included himself in the group of people he saw doing this, but he did name a few names. He continued on declaring that the country just had to stand up to OPEC and get the price of oil down. Period.

Trump went on to declare that the US is in a recession. Nevermind economic indicators. The Donald just knows, you know?

The Squawkbox co-anchors 'oohed' and 'aahhed' at how forceful and plain-spoken The Donald was, and how effective he'd be as a President, but could never be elected.

About ten minutes later, Boone Pickens was also on a telephone interview with the program's co-anchors. Pickens has a good, perhaps special, relationship with Becky Quick, whom he has taken with, at CNBC's expense, on a recent Chinese business trip.

When asked about oil prices and Trump's remarks, Pickens responded, again, this is a paraphrase,

'Yes, I heard Donald. And let me just say, I think he should probably stick to real estate. Because he doesn't understand how the oil business works. The Arabs have the oil, so they're going to dictate prices by how much oil they produce. That's just how it is, and no amount of talking is going to change that.'

I like Pickens a lot. While I may differ with some of his economic theories, as I did in this recent post, he clearly understands how the current oil market works. And he's committed himself, as he announced yesterday on CNBC, to actually building the beginnings of the vast wind farm about which he spoke in February.

Given a choice of whom to believe on the subject of oil prices, I'll take Pickens over Trump any day.

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