Prominent Songwriter/Oil Magnate Makes Cool Three-Quarters-Of-A-Billion Shorting Oil

In Russia, oil magnates short oil...and make hundreds of millions.
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The Mikhail Gutseriev  of England. By Yancho Sabev (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The Mikhail Gutseriev of England. By Yancho Sabev (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Collapsing oil prices haven’t been great for Russia, but they’ve been music to the head of the country’s seventh-largest oil company’s ears.

That’s because Mikhail Gutseriev did some prescient hedging and, voila! Seven hundred million new dollars. All the oil tycoon had to do was...short oil. Now he's richer than ever and about to take his company, OAO NK Russneft, public.

Unsurprisingly, Gutseriev is in a celebratory mood.

The celebration was a flashback to Moscow’s boom years: Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Gutseriev presided over a wedding party for his son that featured Jennifer Lopez, Sting and a six-and-a-half-foot tall cake.

And why shouldn’t he? Not only did he have the extra rubles lying around, but he’s also got a lot in common with his high-profile foreign guests.

The flamboyant tycoon, a prolific songwriter for some of Russia’s most famous pop stars, has been expanding his oil, real estate and banking empire despite Russia’s downturn….

In his spare time, Mr. Gutseriev has written over 100 songs with names like “Crazy Love” and “Moscow: Business Lunch.” His personal website, which describes him as an “exceptional, versatile, and talented man with a unique poetic talent.” features videos of actors, typically dressed in vaguely 19th century costume, reciting Mr. Gutseriev’s poetry, sometimes for over an hour at a stretch, while staring meaningfully into the distance.

If anybody has video of J-Lo reading a sonnet about shorting your own oil empire and somehow getting richer, we'd love to see it.

Russian Oil Boss Looks to Parlay Hedge Into an Empire [WSJ]

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