Once again, the oil companies are rolling in the dough! From CLG:
Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, is within striking distance of setting an all-time profit record - again. Analysts are expecting the company to post solid quarterly and full-year earnings next Friday - and if the results top forecasts, Exxon could end up reporting the highest profit ever for a U.S. company. "Exxon is likely to have record quarterly earnings," said Fadel Gheit, a senior energy analyst at Oppenheimer. "For every $1 [increase] in the price of oil, Exxon makes [another] $125 million for the quarter."If that math is actually valid (Matty Boy?), then HOLY SHIT. That $1 => $125 million formula really puts it in perspective, eh? But gee, I'm sure big business really needs those tax cuts (while cutting food stamps and unemployment benefits! Yay! Fuck the poor! Way to go, Nancy!) that Nancy Pelosi gave to Bush! They've got to help the economy, after all!
Meanwhile, I'm starting to think we'll have $4/gallon gasoline by summertime.
Speaking of the "economic stimulus" package, Tengrain pointed out something I've been thinking for a while:
But the thing that just about everyone is missing is this: to pay for these tax cuts, we are adding to the deficit. China and others who are bankrolling us are watching their investment lose value as the deficit increases and as the interest rates decline. They are going to stop bankrolling us at some point, and then watch the freefall.
True dat, Tengrain. I realize that republicans (and most politicians) seem to have forgotten that our government's been pretty much writing hot checks every day since moRon Reagan told schoolkids that ketchup was a vegetable and started dreaming about lasers in space. But really--how long can this go on? How far can a country go into debt until the whole house of cards just falls apart? Ten trillion? Fifteen trillion? Twenty trillion? How long before some of these other countries get sick and tired of our imperialist bullshit and pull our plug?
Remember that friend you loaned fifty bucks to in college, because he said he really needed it to buy groceries? He promised he'd pay you back in a couple of weeks, but of course a couple of weeks turned into a couple of months. So a few months go by, during which your pal avoided you like he owed you money (which he did, the lousy jerk!), and then you found you were a little low on cash, so you finally put aside your disgust with the whole idea of asking for your money back (seeing as how it is YOUR money after all!) but of course, friend didn't have it--some bills came in, Mom and Dad hadn't sent him any money, yadda yadda. Typical. So you blew the guy off, and then that next weekend, you went out and there was said friend at the bar, drinking that $50 for all he was worth. And you thought, "That asshole!"
Well, that's the US Government, folks. We're the assholes who are borrowing billions of dollars from friends, neighbors--shit, whoever will give us any money--and the whole time Condi's talking that noise about how fundamentally sound our economy is, and that corpse Greenspan's spewing jibba-jabba about how we're not in a recession. And yet, to get the supposedly robust economy stimulated (if it's so robust, why does it need stimulating?), they're going to throw a bunch of tax breaks to business (surprise) and a bunch of tiny rebate checks to a bunch of us. Meanwhile, China and Japan are standing in the door of the bar, thinking, "Those assholes!"
Many other people who are much smarter than I have already pointed out that most of those rebate checks will be used to pay bills, or will be put into savings (that's what I'm going to do with mine, just as I did in 2001). Most of the people who need these checks will pay bills, pay down their credit card debt. And the credit card companies will get even more money to spend on all those stupid "You've been pre-approved!" card offers to people who can barely afford to pay their light bills.
If there's one phrase I'd use to describe our economy--our capitalistic, "free market," robber-baron-run economy--I can tell you that it would NOT be "fundamentally sound." We're in a deep pile of economic shit right now, and it's only getting deeper as we throw money down the pit of our endless wars and empire of military bases.
We're in deep doo-doo.
But hey, great news!--Exxon's CEO will probably get himself big old bonus check, and the shareholders will be thrilled with their dividends. Maybe they'll go shopping.