Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 10, 1986
Pickens advocates the common man
By DOV COHEN
To his advocates, corporate
businessman T. Boone Pickens is the
American dream in a charcoal grey
Pickens, president of Mesa
Petroleum,'is a corporate raider. He
uses Mesa's assets to buy stock in
another company in the hopes of
taking it over.
T MESA Petroleum, with its 430 em-
ployees and $413 million in sales,
takes on the big guys. It has tried (and
failed) to take over such huge com-
panies as Gulf Oil, which reaped $28.4
billion in sales in 1984.
A man in a blue suit and red tie,
with a wad of tobacco tucked into his
left jaw, introduced Pickens . "Today
I'm going to give you an American
Jegend," he told the audience of 400 in
Hutchins Hall on Friday.
Listening to Pickens speak reveals
ivhy people call him an American
legend. He stands for much that
people love and hate about the
PICKENS advocates making
money. "You're no different here
from the people at Harvard, Stanford,
or the University of Southern Califor-
nia," said Pickens, who spoke at 87
campuses last year.
"You all look alike, think alike. The
same reason you are here listening to
me is the same reason people moved
to America. They want a good job, a
good standard of living.
"And you think I'm going to come
here and drop some hint about how to
do this quick," he said knowingly.
PICKENS says he puts his faith in
the common man and stands for the lit-
tle guy against the big corporation.
Stockholders, not company
executives, know what's best for
themselves, Pickens says. So when he
tries to take over a company, he said
he usually makes shareholders an of-
fer well above the market price.
"Whose money is at risk?" he
asked. "If the shareholders are smart
enough to make the money and buy
the stock, why aren't they smart
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enough to see if they want to be bought
out by a takeover bid? Management
always steps and says the offer is
always either inadequate or grossly
"I'M ALWAYS amazed to hear
about a hostile takeover. It's only
hostile to the chief executives, not the
stockholder," Pickens concludes.
Pickens bases his faith in the com-
mon man on personal experience. He
started in the oil business in 1955
with $2,500. His company, Mesa
Petroleum, is now worth $3 billion.
Pickens offered a few hints for
"CUT OUT the layers of
bureaucracy," he advised. "I don't
like bureaucracy. I want decision
makers on the line."
He also emphasized that excess
paper work wastes time. "Don't be a
pack rat. The paper work will kill you.
I've. found one useless item filed in
five different places."
Above all, Pickens stresses honesty.
"EVEN MY enemies never say I'm
dishonest," he said. "When you get
out in the business world, you don't
have to cheat, you don't have to
bend to win. You can stand by your
principles - you don't have to cut
corners or cheat."
"You have to shave yourself every
morning and look yourself in the
mirror. It's a lot more fun if you win
by the rules. I don't think the other is a
valid alternative," he said.
Pickens''ideas have made him a folk
hero to some people.
"HE FITS well into the idea of the
individual going out and making a dif-
ference," said Mike Born, a first year
law student. "There's something
really attractive about a self-made
man. People like the rags-to-riches
Pickens drew an audience of both
skeptics and admirers.
"Some people are really into this
guy," said one student, adding that
some showed up at 1:30 p.m. to get
good seats for the 2:30 p.m. speech.
"I'VE HEARD a lot about T. Boone.
I want to see what he's like in person.
It's a once in a lifetime opportunity,"
said Nicole Kelly, a second year
student working on her Masters of
Business Administration degree.
According to Brett Keenan, a
second year law student: "His
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... dislikes bureaucracy
knowledge is pretty straightforward .
ta.thereare certain methods for
takeover bids . .. A lot of strategies
you can get out of a book ... I'm really
here to examine him, not his ideas."
Although he fascinated his audien-
ce, not everyone approves of his
"HIS ETHICS are questionable; it
takes a guy who doesn't care what
other people think to do what he's
done," said Kelly-.
"I don't approve. But I find him
fascinating," she admitted.
According to Keenan, "If that's
your definition of life - to get rich -
then he's a hero. The guy's done it.
He's not my hero. But he's an in-
"He's my hero," said Eddie
Mehrfor, an LSA sophomore. "I've
watched him for a year - he deserves
all the credit he's gotten. He stands
for the stockholders against
management. He stands for the little
guy against the big corporation," he
said. "I firmly believe in everything
he spoke about.
Some people regard Pickens as a
rugged individual, others see him as a
(Continued from Page1)
say will protect Meunchow, who is
running for assembly president, if the
BPC is found at fault.
Meunchow said last week that he is
not biased against liberal groups and
that the BPC is "clean."
MSA PRESIDENT Paul Josephson,
who is running for LSA representative
on Meunchow's ticket, initially moved
yesterday to call off the investigation
because he did not think the BPC has
a major problem.
Josephson said his motion was not
meant to cover up BPC activitites, but
that an investigation would be a waste
of MSA's time. He added that he
thought the investigation was
politically motivated, and that
revealing the results of the in-
vestigation prematurely could sway
Meunchow would not comment ex-
cept to agree with Josephson that the
investigation is "politically
THE BPC is accused of not
following its guidelines in funding
some groups and fabricating
guidelines in order to avoid funding
Steering Committee members who
encouraged the investigation cited the
BPC's refusal to allocate in full the
funds requested by the Freedom
Charter Coalition, a liberal student
The BPC recommended that the
coalition be granted less than one-
fourth of the funds it requested
"because it would be inappropriate
for MSA to fund 75 percent of the cost
- it would then be an MSA project."
BPC GUIDELINES contain no
stipulations regarding what percen-
tage of a project's cost the committee
can fund. The BPC is responsible for
allocating about $20,000 - one-fifth of
MSA funds - to student organizations
The coalition, which consists of
several liberal campus organizations,
renueted fund tn nhish a cha rtr
COMPILED FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS AND
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL REPORTS
Zimbabwe leaders join forces
BULAWAYU, Zimbabwe - Joshua Nkoma said yesterday that he and
his old foe, Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, have buried most of their dif-
ferences and intend to merge their political parties as a prelude to a one-
party socialist state.
Nkomo, who fought alongside Mugabe for years in a bush war for Zim-
babwe's independence, charged previously that his followers have been
persecuted and that thousands of civilians in his tribal stronghold of
Matabeleland have been tortured and slain by Mugabe's government.
But Nkomo urged about 30,000 supporters, crowded yesterday into
Bulawayo's soccer stadium, to forget the past.
He said five months of unity talks had brought agreement with Mugabe
on all points except the division among their followers of Cabinet posts
and Parliament seats.
"What happened to the people of Matabeleland is a tragic story," he
said in his first pubic address in almost a year. "A number of relatives
were killed, some were detained. But let's forget that. It is history now."
Oil price drop may cost jobs
LANSING-Falling oil prices on the world market may cost nearly
21,000 oil and gas workers in Michigan their jobs, an executive of a
Michigan-based oil and gas company said Sunday.
Frank Mortl, executive vice president of the Michigan Oil and Gas
Association told The Detroit News that the jobs are in jeopardy along with
revenues that the state receives for royalties on gas and oil production on
While it's much too early to tell how much the state will be affected by
the falling oil prices, state officials said they may have an indication of
the future of Michigan's oil and gas industry in April as many oil and gas
firms file for drilling permits.
A major concern for state officials is the possible loss of royalties. Last
year, Michigan received $136 million in royalties for drillings on state-
owned lands like the Pigeon River State Forest.
Philadelphia mayor responds
to MOVE panel criticisms
PHILADELPHIA - Mayor Wilson Goode expressed deep sorrow last
night for the six adult MOVE members and five children who died in a
fiery police assault last spring, calling it "the most tragic day in my life."
"Each day I live with its memories," Goode said in remarks prepared
for a 15-minute televised address. "I think often of the five children and
six adults who lost their lives" in the police bombing of the MOVE com-
pound on May 13.
"I wish May 13 had never happened," the mayor said. "But it did, and I
am sorry for that ... For me, personally, May 13 was the most tragic day
in my life."
Goode had asked local television stations for 15 minutes of air time to
formally respond to harsh criticism leveled at him last week by a panel
he had appointed to investigate the city's handling of the MOVE confron-
Congressional agency drafts
deficit cutting tax proposals
WASHINGTON - The Congressional Budget office has drafted a long
list of tax options to help erase the federal deficit from limiting the deduc-
tion for "three-martini" business lunches to taking away soldiers' tax-
exempt housing allowances.
Several items will be considered this week by the Senate Budget Com-
mittee as it writes a 1987 budget. The chairman and senior Democrat on
the panel agree the budget will need some new revenue.
Some of the money raisers on the CBO list already have been passed by
the House as part of a major overhaul of the income tax and will be
weighed by the Senate Finance Committee when it writes its.version of
The CBO does not recommend that any of the tax changes be enacted to
reduce the deficit; the agency is barred from recommending anything.
And it seems unlikely that any major tax increases for deficit reduction
will be approved so long as President Reagan is so adamantly opposed.
Nevertheless, the CBO report says Congress would have an easier time
reducing the deficit to mandated levels if it used a combination of higher
taxes and spending cuts, rather than relying solely on spending reduc-
Satellite damaged by comet
MOSCOW - Clouds of comet dust chipped away at instruments aboard
the Soviet satellite Vega 2 as the space probe streaked across the path of
Halley's comet yesterday in the closest encounter ever with the celestial
Despite the loss of 40 percent of its power from damage to the probe's
solar panels, American scientist Carl Sagan praised the Soviet Institute
for Space Research for the "brilliant success" of the mission.
Three instruments on board were also knocked out by the micro-meteors
that surround the comet, hazards that have officials at the European
Space Agency in West Germany worried.
High-tech tracking equipment in Darmstadt, West Germany, will give
the world the closest pictures yet of Halley's comet.
If all goes as planned, the European Space Agency control center will
begin receiving radio signals of the first pictures Thursday at about 2
p.m. EST as Giotto approaches the famed comet.
Four hours later, the satellite will move to within 310 miles of what is
believed to be the core of Halley's comet, operations center spokeswoman
Ria Weiland said.
Vol. XCVI - No. 107
The Michigan Daily (ISSN 0745-967 X) is published Monday through
Friday during the fall.and winter terms. Subscription rates: September
through April-$18 in Ann Arbor; $35 outside the city. One term-$10 in
town; $20 outside the city.
The Michigan Daily is a member of The Associated Press and subscribes
to United Press International, Pacific News Service, Los Angeles Times
Syndicate, and College Press Service.
3 rd AnnualPy
The Pryor Foundation will present this award for the best prepared,
most innovative Business Plan submitted, detailing the startup for
a new enterprise which could be pursued by the contestants.
Open to any individual or group of undergraduate or graduate students who-
are officially registered at The University of Michigan during the 1985/86
Your idea may center on 'a consumer or an industrial product or service, or
on a real estate project. The idea will remain your property, and The
University of Michigan will make all reasonable effort to protect that
Editor in Chief.............. ERIC MATTSON
Managing Editor ......... RACHEL GOTTLIEB
News Editor ............... JERRY MARKON
Features Editor............ CHRISTY RIEDEL
NEWS STAFF: Eve Becker, Melissa Birks, Laura
Bischoff, Rebecca Blumenstein, Marc Carrel, Dov
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OPINION PAGE STAFF: Gayle Kirshenbaum,
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Arts Editor................NOELLE BROWER
Associate Arts Editor...........BETH FERTIG
Sports Editor............... BARB McQUADE
Associate Sports Editors ...... DAVE ARETHA,
MARK BOROWSKY, RICK KAPLAN,
ADAM MARTIN, PHIL NUSSEL
SPORTS STAFF: Emily Bridgham. Debbie
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The written business plan should describe
-a n - i iw w- r.. i e - - -nr a -s -l r .vr l in i
the new product or service,
rr -..n1 ir: r . - ni:-: .r- 2..a:in -