Saturday, February 02, 2008


So ExxonMobil has now broken its previous record, which was the all-time high for any company in history in quarterly profits:

By any measure, Exxon Mobil’s performance last year was a blowout.

The company reported Friday that it beat its own record for the highest profits ever recorded by any company, with net income rising 3 percent to $40.6 billion, thanks to surging oil prices. The company’s sales, more than $404 billion, exceeded the gross domestic product of 120 countries.

Exxon Mobil earned more than $1,287 of profit for every second of 2007.

The company also had its most profitable quarter ever. It said net income rose 14 percent, to $11.7 billion, or $2.13 a share, in the last three months of the year. The company handily beat analysts’ expectations of $1.95 a share, after missing targets in the last two quarters.

Like most oil companies, Exxon benefited from a near doubling of oil prices, as well as higher demand for gasoline last year. Crude oil prices rose from a low of around $50 a barrel in early 2007 to almost $100 by the end of the year — the biggest jump in oil prices in any one year.

It's simple, really. They made more because they charged us more for something we have to have. They didn't make the gas any better, they didn't serve us any better or anything. They just charged us more.

Why are we upset about this? I'll tell you why...

At the Hattiesburg American forum, a poster asked "Why are we upset that the big oil company makes record profits?" Here's my reply:

"Why are we upset that the big oil company makes record profits?"

1. We're upset because they charged us more for the same exact product and the same exact service.

2. We're upset because gas is something we must have.

3. We're upset because higher gas prices mean higher prices for everything. ("Diesel price rise has ripple effect on goods," LA Times)

4 We're upset because the value of the dollar keeps dropping while prices keep rising.

5. We're upset because of record credit card debt, negative savings, and declining wages. (An earlier post about all that can be found here)

6. We're upset because of record debts and unnecessary wars that threaten to collapse our economy.

7. We're upset because we're about to borrow from ourselves (or the Chinese) to "help" ourselves buy some more over-priced gas or goods made in China, which only fuels (no pun intended) #6 (and #5).

8. We're upset because we know the world is nowhere near to running out of oil--the supply is being suppressed while demand only increases, jacking up the price.

9. We're upset because the president makes out with oil-rich dictators who won't cut us a break on oil prices, so we agree to sell a dictatorial regime that maintains a state of war with Israel a bunch of weapons because we love democracy so much (which only fattens the bottom line of defense contractors who then have that much more money to lobby with, allowing the whole sick cycle to continue ad infinitum).

10. We're upset because we have very few alternatives to get us out of this mess--even if we buy hybrids, we still have to pay inflated prices for all the goods that are trucked to market because of high gas/oil prices.

11. We're upset because the "free market" has allowed many industries, including the oil industry, to consolidate in fewer and fewer hands (now only 6 "supermajor" oil companies), whiich reduces competition and the incentive to fix any of the problems mentioned above.

12. We're upset that none of the American oil companies, including ExxonMobil, would help out with discounted home heating oil for Americans. Luckily, Venezuela's Citgo stepped up to the plate to help out.

If I left anything out--and I'm sure I did--please add your reason we're upset to the list.

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