Oklahoma CEOs urge approval of bailout plan

Wednesday, October 1st 2008, 1:03 pm
By: News 9

Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma's top executives called on the state's Congressional delegation to "act responsibly and decisively" to protect the nation's economy.

There are 16 names attached to the statement, including Devon CEO Larry Nichols, University of Oklahoma President David Boren and Continental Resources Chairman Harold Hamm.

The seven-paragraph statement was the idea of Sonic Chairman and CEO Cliff Hudson.

Hudson said the fact that so many leaders with such diverse views and interests united in this statement is historic.

"We're confronting a financial crisis that does not, for our lifetimes, have historical precedence," Hudson said.

The statement read:

"As it now stands, businesses of all types and sizes will be severely impacted because short-term and long-term credit has and will continue to evaporate."

Hudson said, after the banks and Wall Street, consumers will feel the pain, as prices will go up and employment will go down.

The statement continues:

"While we embrace limited government intervention into markets, we recognize this is an extraordinary situation requiring extraordinary action to resolve."

Hudson went on to say they understand there's a different feel here in Oklahoma, where the economy remains stout.

"The idea that we would remain unaffected by this, were our financial underpinnings to start coming apart, that idea that we could remain independent of that is a fantasy," Hudson said. "It's not possible."

The statement concludes:

"Leadership matters and it is time to lead...we respectfully request that Representatives Fallin, Lucas and Sullivan reconsider their opposition to the plan."

"We know this is a difficult decision, we know there's a lot of folks pushing them on one side versus the other, and the issue, our view in this care, the issue is one of leadership, that you just have to step forward and do what's best for the long run," Hudson said.

Hudson acknowledged changes made to the bill in last few days may have made it better, but he said businesses and financial institutions really don't have the luxury of time. He and the other 15 say Congress needs to do something now.

The 16 Oklahoma CEOs and leaders include:

- Clay Bennett, Chairman of the Oklahoma City (NBA) Thunder
- David Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma
- Bill Cameron, CEO of American Fidelity Assurance Company
- Pete Delaney, Chairman, President and CEO of OG&E Energy Corp.
- John Gibson, CEO of ONEOK and Chairman and CEO of ONEOK Partners
- Burns Hargis, President of Oklahoma State University
- Harold Hamm, Chairman and CEO of Continental Resources, Inc.
- Cliff Hudson, Chairman and CEO of Sonic Corp.
- George Kaiser, Chairman of BOK Financial Corporation
- Robert E. Lorton III, Publisher, Tulsa World
- Aubrey McClendon, Chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation
- Larry Nichols, Chairman and CEO of Devon Energy Corporation
- Gene Rainbolt, Chairman of BancFirst Corporation
- George Records Sr., Chairman of Midland Financial Co.
- Stacy Schusterman, Chairman and CEO of Samson
- Tom Ward, Chairman and CEO of SandRidge Energy

List courtesy of The Gooden Group, Inc