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Here's a question for all you geniuses out there...

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posted on Aug, 4 2008 @ 07:30 PM
I will say this and you can believe me or not. My ex father in law is director of accounts for the western hemisphere for an oil company. He travels from Canada to South America monthly. He lived in Venezuela for over 2 years in 2000-2002. He told me that there is no reason oil should be trading for more than 60 dollars a barrel at any time. He said that even 60 was stretching the cost of it. So w/ that info he kindly gave the family during Christmas a couple short years ago I believe that is the reason for such a huge profit. I may be wrong, but I know this man has no reason to lie and he is making a very nice salary. You pay 4 bucks a gallon and 140 bucks a barrel. You get extreme profit.

posted on Aug, 4 2008 @ 08:33 PM

posted on Aug, 4 2008 @ 08:33 PM

posted on Aug, 4 2008 @ 09:30 PM

Originally posted by Krieger
There is Apple, or Linux as a substitute. And there are generic knock offs for meds. There are no generic knockoffs for oil.

No, but there are alternatives. Solar, Wind, Bio fuels.

It took a while for Linux to take off.

posted on Aug, 4 2008 @ 11:08 PM
I think the mistake many are making here is you aren't account for inflation. The oil companies are one of the quickest to adjust to the rising costs of inflation. When you compare the price of oil in terms of gold and other things of sound value, the pricing has stayed in line with that.

For example. Lets assume for a minute that Americans spend 20% of their income in oil. Lets then assume there is 100 billion dollars total to make it easy. Basically you have Americans spending 20 billion per year on oil. Inflate the money supply by another 100 billion while Americans are still spending 20% of their income in oil and you have them spending 40 billion per year on oil. And that isn't because the price of oil went up directly, but because the value of the dollar went down so much. If oil were to stay at the same prices it would just be a sign of the oil companies not adjusting for inflation.

The price of gold has tripled from 300 an oz to 900 and oz. The price of oil has also tripled. We were paying about $1.50 to $2.00 per gallon a few years ago. Now we pay $4.50 to $5.00 a gallon. The prices on all commodities are going up, food is another example.

You can thank GWB and the neo-cons for this. You didn't think the war in Iraq was free did you? When you spend billions of dollars every day there, it's gonna be taken from somewhere. Everytime they print up more money, it devalues our current dollars. The rich who get this new money don't suffer, nor are things we are dependent on such as oil going to suffer because they are smart enough to adjust the price for it. It's the poor on fixed income who lose large amounts of purchasing power that suffer the most.

I dislike the oil companies, but this is 1 problem they are being blamed for that isn't exactly their fault. But obviously they have room to help people out in these times other than their stockholders. But good luck finding any company that does such without getting a massive PR bonus.

posted on Aug, 4 2008 @ 11:29 PM
reply to post by Voxel

OK Voxel, sorry to burst your little bubble, but do you think they were handed those properties? Exxon purchased Mobil, but it was called a merger of equals. When Exxon made that acquisition they might have gained properties, but they paid for those properties. So when you sell those properties you only profit on the gain between the purchase price and the sale price. Now, this was not a aggressive acquisition and Mobil was allowed to determine the price they were purchased at. They, at the time, were not stupid and inflated the value of those properties to gain the best price for shareholders, exactly what a Company is supposed to do. A company exists for 2 reasons....profit and the shareholders. So for every $5 million sale, how much of that was profit???? They are an ENERGY company, not a real estate company.

If you ever want to read about a real estate company, check out what Eddie Alpert did when he bought K-mart out of bankruptcy. What that man did to the share holder value of the old K-mart should have landed him in jail. Instead, he took those profits and bought Sears. Then he ruined 2 great American companies. Watch tout...he will ruin Autozone next.

Just a note about capping profits. THATS STUPID. Companies exist to profit. What Obama is talking about is even dumber. Taxing excess profits is a ridiculous statement. Just what is excess profits? How do you base the term excess? Profit per employee? Profit as a percentage of sales? Profit as defined by what? And, if you allow them to "only" do this to the oil companies, just how long before they are doing it to all industries?

Absolutely disgusting. A complete disgrace that any red blooded american would even think of such things.

posted on Aug, 5 2008 @ 08:43 AM
...meanwhile the rich get richer! The poor get poorer! and the middle class erodes into the poorer class.

We can't even manufacture stuff in the USA anymore...lets send manufacturing to China....We'll be able to buy SOME cheap stuff for awhile but as the chinese economy grows and they start to sell to their own emerging markets... the prices will rise in America. So now we're just poor and can't afford chinese crap.

We are all just hostages.

A little off the subject but I feel better now...

[edit on 8/5/2008 by markophonic]

posted on Aug, 5 2008 @ 09:55 AM

Originally posted by fbipeeperjr

As to the OP:
We're not in a recession. We have yet to see a single quarter of negative growth in the USA, much less the 2 in a row needed for "recession". Roll your eyes all you want and claim we are cuz you FEEL that way, but it's simply not fact.

"if inflation is taken into account, the GDP growth was negative for the past two quarters, making it a technical recession.[10] In a May 9, 2008 report, the chief North American economist for investment bank Merrill Lynch wrote that despite the GDP growth reported for the first quarter of 2008, "it is still reasonable to believe that the recession started some time between September and January", on the grounds that the National Bureau of Economic Research's four recession indicators all peaked during that period."

you and that other high and mighty fellow should relax and rather than spout off as if your opinion is the word of god, simply recognize that there are often times (this being one of them) when opposing viewpoints may be equally valid.

My behind is just fine

have you really looked lately?

You said "shouldn't we do something about it?" Ok.. don't buy gas. That simple. Do you mean take their money? Take over their property? Laws and regulations? You do realize that these are real people, that's their property, and they don't even have to sell it to us if they don't want. You should be sending them a TY letter. You wanna make a law that they HAVE to sell it to us at I'm sure the price YOU want them too... Ok, I want a law that you HAVE to buy it at a price THEY want. That's just as silly and tyrannical.

Please take note of where your closing quotation marks for my statement are. They're right after "it?" That's what I said. Everything after that is what YOU said. There's a difference. You're awfully pumped up for a person reacting to his own suppositions. Maybe instead of venting your pent up feelings at me, you should address them with yourself and save us the time reading 2nd hand information about your issues.

As for the law you requested ("...HAVE to buy... THEY want."), in effect, it already exists. Didn't you then call it silly and tyrannical... hmmm...

You want to know why they make so much money? Instead of taking profit and putting it back to use with exploration, new rigs, new pipes... they already know where the oil is, and they are not allowed to expand. You want to see those profits go poof, all you have to do is let them expand. You'll see most of that profit disappear into new equipment, new jobs for people, new supplies. It's what companies do.

maybe I'm just simple minded, but regardless of whether or Exxon is being oppressed, I'd say that whatever company (minus the gov't of course) is setting all-time profit records has expanded quite enough. I'm not saying they necessarily should be stopped (and maybe they should, I wouldn't know) I'm just saying whatever it is they're involved in should get a second look cause they're settin these records at a time when most people and companies are havin kind of a tough time - as opposed to setting world profit records that is.

BTW - heres how stifled Exxon's expansion is:

ExxonMobil maintains the largest portfolio of development and exploration opportunities among the international oil companies, which enable the selectivity required to optimize total profitability and mitigate overall political and technical risks.

That's from's company profile for ExxonMobil.

And, if you really hate the fact that a company is making money.. then buy it! You can! Exxon is owned by anyone who wants it. All it will take is a call to your stock broker, and you're now an evil oil overlord! Even with the record profit, the stock is massively underrated and very affordable. This is mainly due to the fact that most people are afraid in investing in oil companies because of people like you. People who think it's just fine to take over people's property, or steal their money because you "feel" it's unfair somehow. Hey, Exxon is mainly owned by people of the USA... shouldn't we cheer their accomplishments? That is... unless you're an american hating commie.

Gee buddy, I don't remember saying a word even simlar to hate?

Well, if you consider $76 a share affordable then cool for you. Over here, I'm havin a tough time sackin away that kind of investment capital.
You also say, "most people are afraid of investing in oil companies." really? is it this fear that tripled their stock price in the last four years?
Why did you put, "feel" in quotation marks. For example, I did so because I was referring to the word itself rather than it's meaning. And you?
Judging by the pin point accuracy of your statements thus far, I'd like to see a reference as to the nationalities of ExxonMobil share holders before I'm comfortable believing it's "mainly owned by people of the USA".

Kudos to exxon for doing such a great job for the tens of thousands of USA share holders, even though the government and fools are out to get them.

I also thank them, for only taking 1/4 of the profit from a gallon of gas, as the government takes. Yes yes, no one wants to bring that up, but for every penny that exxon makes on a gallon of gas, the government makes 4 pennies for doing absolutely NOTHING. I think we need to be doing something about the government's 44 billion......

Again, if you're gonna speak with authority, please be one: Exxon takes roughly 1/4 of their profits - which translates to 1/3 as much as the government takes - the gov't taking 3/4 of the profits. Thus for every penny Exxon takes, the gov't takes three. geesh.

... oh yeah, and for all the 8% margin people out there, it's actually closer to 10%. look it up.

Last I checked I didn't see one person in support of the gov'ts treatment of Oil companies. Heck for the gov't in general. I don't know why you ... "feel" ... (is that right?) so connected to Exxon as to take on their persecution personally and lay it on the ATS posters, but please, relax. Just because someone questions the profits of an oil company doesn't mean their in support of the gov't. In fact, it probably means just the opposite.

Thanks for your flame.

[edit on 8/5/2008 by verbal kint]

posted on Aug, 5 2008 @ 10:08 AM

Originally posted by Quazga

Originally posted by Krieger
There is Apple, or Linux as a substitute. And there are generic knock offs for meds. There are no generic knockoffs for oil.

No, but there are alternatives. Solar, Wind, Bio fuels.

It took a while for Linux to take off.

Ah but can you go to a store and go "I don't want a gasoline car I want a wind car."? No. Again I can go to say, Meijer and go "I don't want to spend 20 on this medication when I can ge a generic knockoff for 4dollars." But gas? Nope, there is only one source. Why it, like power and water, should be regulated.

posted on Aug, 5 2008 @ 02:53 PM

Originally posted by WarBow
With all due respect... Please somone show me where it is against the law to make money.

It's not against the law to make money but it is against the law to break the law. There are very few of these corporations that have not been convicted of one crime or another so it stands to reason that they are not to be trusted.

[quote[ Do I think the oil companies are squeezing us, yes, but since when do we have a right to say a company can only make so much money?

Since the resource they sell to us in fact belongs to us, the people of the world, and not the 'stockholders'? Do you realise what profits we could make if we could have our money spent on bringing oil to the market instead of say buildings aircraft carriers and airplanes?

The last I checked this was still a mostly free rebublic.

Free from what? Free from exercising the will of the people?

What should really make us mad is the federal (read: taxpayer) bailout of Freddie and Fannie. I read an astoundingly simple explanation of what is happening.

The taxpayers have bailed out just about every major corporation in the Western world somewhere in their lifetimes. Basically 5-10% of them has made it on their own thus far and that's not considering who's resources their exploiting.

We are going to be receiving a tax bill for this bailout of two very large companies. So, why were we never receiving any of profits?

Sure and what's new about that? We have to bail out these profit taking thieves ever so often so why not just nationalize ( take back) what we already paid for so many times over? We build up the companies with our money only for them to strip them of assets thus requiring more public funds to put the wheels back on? It's a very nice racket and the only people who are experiencing true 'capitalism' is the mom and pop operation that does not very often get bailed out when the 'market' does what it pleases.

Something ludicrous and dangerous is happening right under our noses and we're all worried about the oil companies. Gee wiz.

It is , in my opinion, the same problem viewed from different perspectives.

Worry more about this mostly free rebublic becoming a mostly publicly funded socialist experiment.

The hilarious not so often discussed fact is that your average corporation have for a long time been dependent on the common tax payer for security safe in the knowledge that there will always be more cows to slaughter for cash in times of corporate 'need'.

Imperialist/capitalist LOVE socialism and are doing their absolute best to get yet more socialism for themselves while keeping you from sharing in the wealth created trough your taxes.

It's socialism for those with power and capitalism for everyone they can enforce it on.


posted on Aug, 5 2008 @ 03:07 PM
I'll just skip what makes enough sense to agree with and move to something i dont...

Originally posted by traderonwallst
Just a note about capping profits. THATS STUPID.

For the small minority that is making that vast profit, maybe....

Companies exist to profit.

And lions exists to eat things and make more lions that will eat more things. You can understand why the food would object if it had both big enough brains to understand the nature of the predicament and tools to fight back? Why should we sit around when that profit comes of our backs and trough the exploitation of our resources?

What Obama is talking about is even dumber. Taxing excess profits is a ridiculous statement. Just what is excess profits? How do you base the term excess? Profit per employee? Profit as a percentage of sales? Profit as defined by what?

I have no idea but as long as he is operating from a public mandate and has support enough that's something he can and should do. If you don't want democracy i understand ( those who already have power obviously hate it) but ideally democracy should not only result in a new president with a new name but also have actual democratically inspired changes.

And, if you allow them to "only" do this to the oil companies, just how long before they are doing it to all industries?

It's called protectionism and it's what allows countries to thrive without disruptive/destructive speculative attacks. The reason why there is still so many protectionist measures in place is because both the voters and the industries in fact wants it. Where the mandate for the type of globalization we seen comes from may not be any one's guess but we sure know that 'we the people' never asked for it.

Absolutely disgusting. A complete disgrace that any red blooded american would even think of such things.

Red blooded Americans have been fighting capitalist excess for centuries and have become relatively wealthy trough the hard won victories over industrialist, imperialist and those who preach capitalism while they ask for tax payer bailouts. It's just surprising that there are so many people who believe that American citizens want capitalism when they keep voting with their feet, pens and speech for anything but!


posted on Aug, 6 2008 @ 04:18 AM
Wow... a lot of lovers of Big Oil out there. Here is my beef with Big Oil Profit:

1) This isn't capitalism. It is not simple supply and demand. Oil prices are higher than they should be, but as a society designed and developed on cheap oil, we've come to rely heavily on it, like it or not. So now, like druggies hooked on crack, the market is whatever the consumer can bear. It might even be beyond that.

2) Oil companies could sell there product on a cost plus basis - that is the cost of refinement plus a small profit for themselves... but that isn't the capitialist way. They need to gouge as much money out of the people as possible - so inflate the "market", and play innocent stating the cost of oil is out of their hands. If for nothing else, it is for their shareholders, who actually do nothing but give them money and demand the highest return. Ahhh.... the American dream... money for nothing... Real work we outsource to India.

3) Oil companies don't pay for the damage their product does. Finding, refining and using oil has high environmental costs. I didn't see LA charging Exxon for the smog its product littered throughout the city. Medical insurance companies aren't backcharging them for their lung cancer clients. Up here in tarsand country, oil companies aren't cleaning the (finite) drinking water they use to steam out the oil, nor are they storing the heavy metals and crap they refine out properly. The result - dead wildlife and an aboriginal population with an increasing cancer rate. They are also not replacing the boreal forest which ironically used to filter some of the result of their offgassing. Good thing, or those profits would drop. One of the funniest things I've seen is the historical site where oil was first found in our area - it is fenced off and the government is paying for the cleanup. The oil companies that made the money off the site are long gone. Good thing we cut them oil companies tax breaks so they could desecrate the land for their faulty product.

4) Exploitation of the third world. A topic in itself... but those profits aren't helping the countries where they are stealing... I mean.. extracting them from. That would be bad for profits. Besides, how many people could you feed for a year on a tenth of that profit (1.1 billion)?

5) It is a bad product. Seriously. Houses can be heated and powered by the sun. Geothermal energy is a proven technology. The electric car was created and destroyed. Unfortunately, there is no room for obscene profits in these alternative models, unless of course PG&E patents the sun. So... why are we subsidizing / allowing monster profits on an immoral product? Oooh... I must be against making money. Drug dealers told me that same thing too. I wonder what the ATS board would say if you replaced "oil" with "heroin". Mind you, heroin supply is up since the invasion of Afghanistan...

Oh well. I guess I'll just wait for some trickle down.

posted on Aug, 6 2008 @ 05:00 AM

Originally posted by jascott1
I can understand what you are saying, but I don't think they should be taxed at all.

Who did you say you were working for?

Most people that have a good understanding of economics know that companies don't pay taxes. They pass that along to the consumer in the price of the product.

Well they do pay taxes and they do do their best to pass along the cost to the consumer. Since they are in theory competing in a 'free' market those who reduce their non fixed costs most will achieve a greater market share. We should ALL pay taxes because we are all using infrastructure and in theory at least corporations should pay quite a bit more given how we allow them to share in the natural wealth of our various nations.

If you eliminated coporate taxes prices would become cheaper, and the economy as a whole would become more prosperous.

Why would they decrease prices if they could just make more profit by colluding to fix prices? Why would the economy become more prosperous if that is not the aim of capitalism?

More companies would move their bases here because it would be more advantagous to conduct business here.

Not with skilled works now in such abundance in so many parts of the world at far lower wages and with decent civilian infrastructure to allow for production.

Lower priced goods and more jobs......Ireland is an escellent example of this. They have some of the lowest corporat tax rated in the developed world (17.4%) and their economy is booming.

Do they have a strategic nuclear missile arsenal, or aircraft carriers that in part result in a bill of more than 500 billion USD? Isn't this just a question of their government not requiring less taxes because of having far lower expenses? In fact are they not developing Irish infrastructure and education systems faster even with lower corporate taxes?

Ours is 35% and our economy is faultering. Businesses are leaving left and right.

But not because of the high taxes! Corporations are leaving the US because of the wages and frankly it's not surprising given how little you can pay people in some other parts of the world. The US government could lower taxes to ten percent and still not gain a competitive edge given the fact that labor is almost always the highest operational cost while also probably being the easiest ( for all but high tech industries) to change trough reduced wages.

I think alot of people would argue that the modern world probably would not be the same without the software provided by Microsoft or the life saving medication offered be Pfizer.

I think a lot of people would have come up reasonably good solutions to the same 'problems' either MS or Pfizer addressed without us having to become subject to cartels and blatant market manipulation.

I just feel that if you heavily regulate an industry like this you will drive down profits and drive away capital investments which allow a company to research, expand, and be cometitive and efficient.

It's funny that most industries are in fact screaming for regulation when it comes to fixing the prices of commodities, restricting the power of unions ( the workers) to negotiate, create captive markets by economic and military means and to create consumers by propaganda trough government institutions such as schools and transportation. Industry LOVES regulation as long as it's in their interest and not to protect either their consumers or their employees. Obviously the same goes for the consumers and employees but as always we are having less success in arranging for such protections and regulations than industry seems to.

I think regulation will only lead to higher fuel prices.

I think regulation can lead to pretty much anything the regulators have in mind. Economies can be entirely manipulated and if the US government decided to set oil prices at very low levels i am sure they are capable of the same concerted action as they were when they invaded Iraq with the intent of causing a massive rise in world oil prices. Given the fact that they would have the support of hundreds of millions of American voters this time round one can but wonder why they always seem to have trouble moving in the direction we keep voting for.


posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 07:49 AM
reply to post by disgustedbyhumanity

Damn right, i completely agree. The main problem with this 'shareholder accountability' nonsense is that too many big companies are in control of what should be our basics as citizens, such as energy, healthcare, transport, waste disposal etc... Energy is bad enough in the hands of corporations, but it's the healthcare that is the most worrying...

posted on Aug, 7 2008 @ 03:50 PM
uhhm sales minus expenses, that's profit.
j.k., They either have a mastermind behind all their financial activity or they are abusing of our vulnerability, these oil tycoons have been treating us like dummies since about 2002 trying to drain our pockets, maybe also a diluted substance is being used rather than the actual "pure" fuel. another reason profits are high is that they probably only have three employees, ... ... ... yeah i didnt think so either.

posted on Aug, 9 2008 @ 06:59 AM
reply to post by skyshow

One star? Huh? That post is worth way more than that! Republican candidate or Democratic one...they are both a day late and a dollar short on this. We should have been dealing with this issue as issue number one thirty years ago (oh wait, Carter tried that)...but alas, here we are 2008 and now finally they have woken up and are alert to the problem...ok, here and now, at least they are finally talking about our energy crisis. McCain wants more drilling beyond the already hundreds of thousands of acres and thousands of drilling permits already in file by the big oil corps (this is a huge attempt at a big land grab and theft of land that belongs to “we the people” but of course we aren’t told this)...but ok...and pro nuclear without telling us how incredibly expensive and thus inefficient that one is plus the issue of waste that never goes away oh and the threat of mass deaths of human beings in case of an accident...then we have the other guy talking about wind, and alternative renewals...ok...I'm all for this, and he's clearly the better of the two, but what about a full blown national war like effort at putting solar panels upon every American roof top??? OMG this would be amazing! While not solving our problem completely it would move mountains...

Me thinks the energy establishment (with their plants and massive power plants and power lines and all the billions and billions they and the share holders have in that) does not want solar panels on every American roof top. However, it appears they want American G.I.'s on every roof top around the world...

What would it take to get Obama (we know Mc Bush ain't gonna' ) to start telling the whole story here, and become committed to real change?

[edit on 9-8-2008 by skyshow]

posted on Aug, 9 2008 @ 07:10 AM
reply to post by Anonymous ATS

nice are the first anonomous I have replied to (you need to register and get an avatar and become a "real" poster...)

We need to nationalise oil. (period).

All infrastructure items should be, and this includes, education, roads, power, oil/gas, mass transit, rail, air travel, health care, milk for babies and infants, and all other major needs we humans have. The so called "free market" myth, isn't dealing the cards out fairly, nor will it ever.

Turn off Fox news, Limbaugh, Beck, Liddy and all the other right winger talking heads, and do some thinking for yourself here. Or do you want to pay $10.00 per gallon of gas, and $1,000.00 plus for your coach ticket back to Ohio for Christmas (and you'll pay extra for your pillow, blanket, extra bag, soda pop, sandwich, headphones etc...).

Everyone else is "getting it" why are we at the bottom of the heap? A: cause you folks can't put down the bible, register your guns, and stop hating gays. That's why.

*working way to hard for stars...what gives star givers?*

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