Friday, May 19, 2006


Exxon's Fat Cat

Exxon's Lee Raymond recently retired with a 350 million dollar retirement package, angering even the stockholders of the big oil companies. Everyone suspects that such compensation is undeserved, and even Business Week admits that it really is. Oil company profits are a function of the price of crude oil, which is influenced by environmental and geopolitical factors beyond the control of any CEO. In other words, the profits of the oil bosses are not even their own accomplishment. Yet they are obscenely overpaid anyway. During the oil crisis of the seventies, the board of Mobil, for instance, had the integrity not to award a giant bonus to their CEO because everyone knew that the, ahem, "credit" for rising prices should have gone to the sheiks. Today, that honesty is a poignant memory as the fat cats of oil slurp up all the spilt milk they can get. Meanwhile the working stiffs of the world reel from gas prices that hit them with the disproportionate brutality of a flat tax.

"Oil Exec Pay 'Just Plain Stealing'" from CBS Evening News
"A Black Eye For Big Oil" from Business Week
"As Oil Profits Soar, Scrutiny Rises" from the Christian Science Monitor

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