Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The oil boon

The writer I quoted in the last post was Karl Lowith. It had been years since I last looked at any of his writings. His is a magnificent mind, so dazzlingly brilliant. Lowith’s Meaning and History is a work of art. Well worth your time.

The last post was supposed to serve as a bridge to help me return to Mr. Gerecht and the question of honesty. I become slightly agitated when someone who has made a career out of systematic deception goes on to be so unthinkingly self-righteous. Good thing a news item distracted me from the post I had in mind. So we’ll just focus on opportunities, threats and insecurities for today.

Exxon reports a net income of $36.1 billion for the full year, and total revenue of 371 billion.

Here is a list of the top 50 US operators ranked as of 2004, (Pdf) the latest I could find on one form. I did some quick research on the first few.

Since it has finally gotten out that your friendly blogger could be a kibitzer connected to some shadowy outfit, (and even if not still) I should start with the sign that might have given me away: hence the famed BP PLC and their latest stats. You also should have a look at some of its major share holders.

If you’re curious, here is their Statistical Review of World Energy (Pdf), and some interesting reports, of course, about its West Azari production activities. And their Assets and Liabilities.

ChevronTexaco: net income of 14.1 billions, 4.1B in last quarter on sales of 53 billion.

Shell Explorations, an astonishing $23.97B quarter and $306.34B year

And have a look at the stats for Conoco Phillips.

Figure out what goes on with Aera Energy LLC and Ivanhoe Inc on your own if you can. Tell me what you’ve figured when you succeed.

There is always Kerr-Mcgee and the Appache Corp as well which haven’t announced yet. And Andarko Petroleum.

What gets me, of course, is that, on the one hand, we are presented with the vision of a dynamic world economy promising salvation for all. An economy as impersonal as it is self correcting. People and governments are said to be free to buy or sell. That, after all, is what is routinely peddled as capitalism.

Yet, on the other hand, we have those progressively more personal, loud chimes about all the parasitic, primitive ingrates, and/or blackmailer who pose horrendously serious existential threat to all life as we know it. The sort of people who are simply begging to be replaced with “glass factories,” with due regrets, of course, for the incidentally charred collateral damage, naturally.

So let’s look at some stats. again.

Iran is a country of 70 millions with the sort of key economic indicators you should feast your eyes on to believe. Here also the highlights of the latest Human Development Index report on Iran.

It has a military budget of around 4.3 Billion according to the CIA.

Iran is the fourth largest oil producer in the globe. It ranks also as the fourth largest exporter of oil to the tune of 2.55 million barrels a day. Assume a constant price of $70

That would give you roughly around $65 B for a country of 70 million; a country highly dependent on foreign imports. Those higher oil prices would naturally translate into higher prices for all the imported goods as well.

Factor in that the poor normally don’t pay any taxes and the rich avoid them like plague and most of the state owned corporations and foundations don’t even bother thinking about them.

Consider also that there are many who don’t even think they can manage a simple wedding without some assistance from the Love Fund. And yes, there are even roads, dams, schools, hospitals, universities, social security payments, pensions for the retirees and benefits for the tens of thousands of war disabled, etc.

And last but not least, all the theft, corruption, and the inordinate amount it takes to spy on, jail, torment and torture people and to kill those most nettlesome. So terribly expensive, you know, this business of brutalizing people. And lucrative to boot!

Now, I know, we Iranians are notorious for being paranoid, conspiratorial and perpetually on the lookout for all those reportedly out to get us. And yes, we tend to be a headache and terribly annoying at times...for each other and others!

What would you think, though, of the sort of people who could find this sort of people an existential threat and still manage to go on boasting ceaselessly of how they single-handedly put an end to the red menace? Are they really the best thing that has happened to our planet next to Hollywood movies, and assorted condiments?

PS. Sorry Craig. I had to get rid of the annoying bars. And your comments dissapeared. Have another go.

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