Its hard to imagine now that Relational was able to sell millions of shares of MHR stock nearly 10X where they are trading right now.
I lost a good amount of money on MHR early this year 2015 but was lucky enough to cut my losses. Initially my instinct was to stay away and that we had another ATPG type scenario here with hyped assets and too much debt. Folks laughed me off the boards or said this is completely different.
Bottom line is whenever you use leverage; its great until it stops working and can not last forever. To service large debt, preferreds, etc. you need big cash flows. Any underlying asset regardless of whether its oil, gas, stocks, land, buildings, etc. has a proper time to be sold. If you just keep holding on and get caught up in the wrong cycle, leverage just falls like a house of cards as your equity is sucked into oblivion.
Gary has/had some great assets but just held onto everything. There was a time when they could have sold off the land, etc. and equity holders would have made a ton of money. Timing is everything in this game. What a true shame this played out like it did.