As commentators whine on about the increasingly gloomy financial prospects and the ever worsening credit crunch at least one sector of the economy is announcing record profits. The oil companies are raking it in and as they charge higher prices to consumers their profits continue to soar to obscene levels.
BP unveiled profits of $10 billion for the last quarter, a new record which represents a rise of 148%. The government was quick to condemn them amidst reasonable claims of profiteering but of course they stop short of taking any action. We wouldn´t want to curtail the lavish lifestyles of investors now would we? As is usually the case when the price of oil rose the companies were quick to pass that along to consumers but when prices fall they don´t.
Shell also posted obscene profits of $10.9 billion for the quarter and Exxon Mobil out did them both with profits of $14.83 billion for the quarter. This works out to $113,000 a minute for Exxon while consumers pay record prices at the petrol pumps. Exxon have also refused to acknowledge climate change and back in May investors voted against suggested green initiatives because it might impact on their profits. What a bunch of filthy greedy bastards.
You´ll be glad to know the chief executive of Shell has confirmed his company strategy remains to pay "competitive and progressive dividends." This of course means that, as usual, we get fleeced in order to make the rich even richer.
While Obama in the states and Brown here in the UK are quick to criticise they aren´t so quick to explain what they are going to do about it. You can be pretty damn sure these greedy profiteers are immune to moral arguments and they don´t give a damn about ordinary people. Governments need to take real action but I get that all too familiar feeling that they won´t do anything.