later, big oil

today i sold all of my shares in occidental petroleum. i made a 6% profit since i bought at the end of january. in the process, i have learned a bit about the big business of big oil, and have refined (har har) my opinions on how truly addicted the world is to petroleum, and how critical it is that we break that addiction. (there is nothing like putting your money on the table to encourage your own research).
so why did i sell? a number of reasons. the ceo is obscenely over-compensated, the price of oil may drop precipitously if we do not go to war in iran (although i think the odds are fairly high that we will have some sort of military action there in the next year), long term interest rates are finally budging up, and there are many signs that the economy is slowing and the demand for oil generated by the recent years of easy credit is likely to wane.
all these thoughts had been weighing on my mind, as well as ethical considerations. i was a philosophy student at uc berkeley, and i think i can rationalize almost anything, at least intellectually. the very nature of ethics and morality is such that you can construct a very detailed model of right and wrong, all supported with the rigor of logic, but these contructs are always built on initial assumptions that cannot be proven. in short, ethics and morality all boil down to what someone feels is right.
this picture crystalized my internal debate. it didn’t feel right. i think there are less problematic companies to invest in out there. (disclosure: i’m still holding onto a canadian oil company that i bought around the same time. one picture of mounties walking behind troop carriers with a displaced eskimo in the foreground could be enough to get me out of that position).
i guess i’ll never be a gordon gecko. hmmmm. how is big tobacco doing these days…..






3 responses to “later, big oil”

  1. citizen x Avatar

    im an hobbesian/malthusian when it comes to capital investiture and ethics..
    IF the indigenous (sounds like ‘indignant’
    populations of resource rich jungle nations..
    who BTW cant exploit their own country efficiently..
    ALSO cant mount an effective insurgent campaign
    AGAINST foreign oil corporations..well then HEY!
    FUCK ‘EM!
    they got a tribe from “down there”
    living in the Smithsonian or sumpthin dont they
    e is 100% right..its about how you feel
    i feel like A WINNER..Exxon/Mobil baby..fuckin a!
    like they say in the job centres in suburban Paris……..

    ‘if you cant WIN………………………………………..FIN’

  2. gimaha Avatar

    hey, e, didn’t you spend enough time with Asubini back in the ’70’s to know that Eskimo is out and Inuit is in? Glad that you are 6% ahead and out……..How are the yen doing?

  3. Jondi Avatar

    MO still looks like a good buy. You have to be pretty dense these days not to know that smoking is bad for you. 😉

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