Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I've had bad days... but they weren't that bad.

I've said to a few ex-shipmates that I've wondered how the former president of the company I used to work for has been feeling after he ran the company into bankruptcy. AHL Shipping Co. was always a make-and-break operation- the fact that it cratered is less remarkable than the fact that it lasted as long as it did, given that they were handed reemie shit show ships from the builder from day one, ultimately failing after attempting to reinvent the wheel by making their own ships when Korean-designed kit ships were available elsewhere. At the end of the day, RH, the former president of AHL, made hay while the sun shined, and kept a bunch of us employed using ships held together with duct tape and baling wire; something of an achievement to be proud of, regardless of how the company went tits-up at the end.
      Several other oil shipping players made sure to kick AHL on our way down- OSG America, among them. When AHL struggled to repay federally-guaranteed shipbuilding loans, OSG was there to ensure that the loans couldn't be renegotiated, but rather, the ships were repossessed and scrapped, thereby ensuring that their largest competitor and the 400 mariners who worked for them, would be sure to be on the breadline, and the US Government lost about $100 million, instead of losing, say, $0 through negotiated repayments. This was 2008, of course, when it was still fashionable to fuck the taxpayers whenever no one was looking.

 At any rate, I enjoyed the word from Moody's and the NYSE recently when OSG was singled out for losing value at near-record pace the past two quarters, going from $45 a share to less than $10. Considering that they're still the largest oil transshipment company in the US, this is hilarious, in that other companies are doing just fine. OSG made the news in that the division heads in their US division just received $1.1 million dollar bonuses, which, in my opinion, is some badly-disguised fuck-you money for some not-ready-to-retire- aged dead men walking.

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