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Exxon Ignoble

Posted on Jan 30, 2009
Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil has repeatedly broke profit-making records amid rising concern for the economy and the environment.

Resilient and ultimately morally bankrupt, international oil darling Exxon Mobil has managed to take the 2008 medal for most profitable American corporation, despite a 33 percent fall in fourth-quarter earnings.

The New York Times:

Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, said Friday that its fourth-quarter income fell 33 percent as oil prices declined.

But in a year where oil rose to a record before having its steepest-ever collapse, Exxon still managed to set a record as the most-profitable American corporation. The company earned $45.2 billion in 2008, up from $40.6 billion in 2007.

After riding a tide of swelling earnings in recent years, the once high-flying oil sector is beginning to scramble to adjust to a sharp downturn.

Oil prices have dropped more than 70 percent since peaking above $145 a barrel in July. After averaging $100 a barrel in 2008, oil prices are set to decline for the first time this year since 2001.

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By KDelphi, February 1, 2009 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Lets keep subsidizing the oil cos and see it they can set a NEW record next year!

A Social Democracy would allow regulation of the necessities of life. So far, oil is one of them. Charge what you will for designer shoes, and, make any profit you like. Food, clothing, shelter, health care….regualte them or Social Darwinism.

Every civilized country on earth has nationalized its energy resources. But, the uS is “exceptional” SO many ways. And, US citizens are exceptionally stupid. The bonuses, jets ,e tc, are disgusting , but red herrings. The massive profits these filthy corps. make off our “consumers ” is the joke of the planet.

As Rep. Cummings said, “Chumps”.

Yes, send everyone $500 , send the oil cos. billions in subsidies, and let them spend it on heating fuel…dont forget to send Alaska its welfare check, and, fu*k the environment! Subsidize Palen!

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By Jim Yell, January 31, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment
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Now here is a thought. As is well documented and understood the oil industry, which in my book includes the current auto industry has used the power of their money to increase the use of their product at the expense of the environment and to control the cost of said product. This has included the oil wars of which Iraq is the most current and ugly, why do these people not owe an accounting for their plundering of our wealth?

Perhaps some of these people below have given us a good reason to nationalize our energy industry, given that these energy industries illegally bankrupted California and many other places in the country and have not adequately paid for the use of our military in adventures meant to increase their profits.

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By Trigger finger, January 31, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
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Mr CEO of Exxon Mobile.

Some day you may need a kidney transplant to save your life.  Let’s say your doctor has given you a week to live without a transplant and a worldwide search is underway to find a donor. Lo and behold they find one. The one and only match on the planet. And it’s ME. 
A doctor comes and knocks on my door and asks if I would donate a kidney, that I am the only match on earth and that it would save a life immediately?  Of course I said, I will do it to save a life, I will give my extra kidney, which I don’t need..  May I ask who is in need of this organ?  Yes, it’s the CEO of Exxon Mobile, a man worth 400 billion dollars and he would be glad to give you a fair amount of money for your extra kidney!  Oh yes I remember Exxon Mobile, he’s worth $400 billion you say?  Right, what do you think would be a fair price for your kidney? Well, with the possible future demand and all, I’ll let him have it for 56 trillion dollars!  Final offer!

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By Jim Yell, January 31, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t think anyone ever topped this comment on Exxon after the Valdez incident—“sign of the double cross”.

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CJ's avatar

By CJ, January 30, 2009 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

Absurdly, Olbermann had Tillerman as “worst person” today. As though the point of capitalist enterprise weren’t the making of “unconscionable profits.” Whatever “unconscionable” means in the context. 

Would a billion in profits doled out to shareholders be less “unconscionable” than $45 billion doled out?

ALL profits are by humanist definition “unconscionable.” Since, as Marx noted some time ago, the source of profits—at the end of the day, or rather from the start of the day—is uncompensated labor that makes goods and/or provides services. The entire point of capitalist enterprise is first and foremost to accrue profits. As much as possible.

Of course, that can only be done by providing some good or some service people either need or are driven (advertising intended to create demand where none existed before) to believe they need.

Unlike in the case of bonuses paid out of taxpayers dollars, which was theft even by inhuman capitalist standard, ExxonMobil did not engage in theft, except, of course, in theft of resources from people residing and laboring in places where oil was obtained. Though in those places, elites also profit. Theft is both of resource (oil in this case) and indigenous labor.

Certainly not of Americans willing to pay price at the pump.

Only by humanist socialist/communist/anarchist/communalist standard is ExxonMobil guilty of raking in “unconscionable profits.” But by that standard, so’s any and every business raking in profits, whether less or more.

Socialism is not ownership by state/government, whether more or less OF the people, but ownership by workers. Namely, of their own labor, no matter the enterprise.

Again, the point of capitalism is to make profits, which “just happen” to provide elite with wealth, thus power. The price of capitalism is abject poverty for the many, since wealth is relative to poverty. Any price theory that claims otherwise could only be that of econometrician who bizarrely presupposes idealistic Smithian universe that not only never existed but which never will or could exist. Smith was a crackpot, already!

Or is more evidence required? It’s not like current deal is new deal. Same old deal stretching back about 500 years.

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By Chris, January 30, 2009 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Follow the jump.  “Because of its close attention to cost reduction and efficiency, Exxon is weathering the drop in oil prices better than most rivals.” 

Not because they are killing panda bears and making oil from their fur.  Why is there this knee-jerk reaction to “profits = evil” somehow.  Profits, when come by ethically, as when companies make themselves more efficient, create jobs and growth.  I’m disappointed in this kind of groupthink coverage, to be honest.

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By dihey, January 30, 2009 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

This is simplistic shit. Do you who wrote this drivel drive a car? If you do thank Mobil and other oil companies on your knees for producing the raw material needed to make the gasoline that you put into your car. Unless you have a solution for the problem of “the seven sisters” stop your whining. We have enough big companies that fail and need to be saved with our tax money. Be thankful that Mobil is not failing.
Yes, profitable companies should no longer get largesses.
And by-the-way, Mr. Obama’s call for oil-independence is grandstanding nonsense. What the world needs is oil-interdependence. A “Bretton Woods” for crude oil.

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