When historians tell the story of the Oil Bust of 2014, Wells Fargo & Co. analyst James Spicer will surely merit a footnote for his rewrite of Gloria Gaynor’s disco anthem “I Will Survive.”
Instead of defying a faithless lover, Spicer’s version laments falling crude prices from the point of view of a shale driller.
“At first I was afraid, I was petrified,” begins the song, which has been shared on Twitter. “When OPEC didn’t cut and oil prices began to slide/ But then I spent so many nights thinking how the Saudis did us wrong/ And I grew strong/ And I learned how to scrape along.”
Crude has tumbled 47 percent since June, dropping from well over $100 a barrel to well under $60 on the New York Exchange. The collapse has prompted shale companies such as ConocoPhillips, Apache Corp. and Continental Resources Inc. to slash drilling budgets. The cutbacks threaten a U.S. energy boom that has pushed domestic oil output to the highest in more than three decades.
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As Spicer, director of high yield energy research for Wells Fargo in Charlotte, N.C., said in his song:
“And so now I’ll frac – at a slower pace
“I keep looking at my screen hoping my stock price will retrace
“I should have hedged at ninety, I should have refinanced my bond
“If I had known for just one second how the market would respond.”
Two other Wells Fargo employees composed their own version of “Let It Go” from Disney’s movie “Frozen,” said Nathaniel Rosenbaum, a credit strategist in New York. He and George Bory, head of credit strategy, published their song in a Dec. 19 report:
“The screen glows red on the market tonight
“Not an investor to be seen
“A kingdom of isolation,
“And it looks like I’m the team.
“The buyside is howling like this swirling storm inside
“Couldn’t keep them in, heaven knows I tried!
“Don’t let them trade, don’t let them see
“Be the good market-maker you always have to be
“Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
“Well, now they know!”