Posts filed under 'Enron'

Refine, Baby, Refine!

Well, I can’t say that this is much of a surprise:

A) high gas prices aren’t related to supply, and therefore drilling more won’t curb high gas prices and B) re-regulating Wall Street, cracking down on oil industry consolidation, and investigating energy company collusion is the best way to get at the problem. We know this not just because of whats happening now, but because of what has happened over the last decade.

Here is an excerpt of the energy chapter from my book, Hostile Takeover that spells it all out:


In October 2004, Consumers Union… found that in the first nine months of that year, oil companies’ profits increased by a whopping 35 percent. The watchdog group found that the price increases that created those profits came more from higher charges for refining the crude oil into gasoline, than from higher prices for the raw crude itself (i.e., supply). Why would those refining charges increase? Because federal regulators have allowed the oil industry to pursue their goal of deliberately reducing refining capacity to create artificial bottlenecks that drive up the overall price of gasoline. And it has been deliberate. “If the U.S. petroleum industry doesn’t reduce its refining capacity,” said a 1995 internal Chevron memo, “It will never see any substantial increase in refinery profits.”


This is the oil/gas version of the Enron speculators shutting down power plants in order to artificially jack up prices – and it is precisely what the “drill, baby, drill!” crowd doesn’t want to talk about, because that crowd is underwritten by the same oil industry and Wall Street speculators that are making a killing off the status quo.

Obviously, there is only one possible solution for out-of-control gas prices: We must give the oil companies tax breaks to build more refineries!

Horrible as it is, I can’t escape the sneaking suspicion that that’s exactly where we’re going to end up…

September 10th, 2008 at 07:15pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Energy,Enron,Wankers

I Am Grandma Millie’s Smirking Revenge

Some sad, sad news out of Houston today…

Once at the pinnacle of Houston’s financial and political elite with a fortune worth as much as $400 million, Mr. Lay, the former chairman of the Enron Corporation, is now facing financial ruin.

While he has talked about his shrinking wealth since Enron’s collapse, he has managed to keep up appearances, continuing to live in a full-floor apartment in the city’s affluent River Oaks section. But already, according to personal financial records obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Lay has fallen out of the ranks of the city’s millionaires, with a stated net worth of less than $650,000.

And that financial assessment is probably on the optimistic side. His assets, for example, include $1.9 million held in a trust that is almost sure to be eaten up by legal fees.

In addition, Mr. Lay, 63, faces potential liability from lawsuits that were filed against him by shareholders and others after Enron’s collapse that would almost certainly force him into personal bankruptcy. Mr. Lay may also be forced to forfeit his remaining home, along with some other assets, if he is convicted in the criminal fraud trial that is now taking place in Houston.

This just makes my heart so sad. Why do these things always have to happen to such good people?

1 comment February 25th, 2006 at 05:53pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Enron,Wankers

I Should Have Such Problems.

From the NY Daily News:

…asked by his lead lawyer why a $25 million bonus from the company did not appear on his 1999 tax return, Kozlowski said he could not explain why.

“I just was not thinking when I signed my tax return that I had a $25 million loan forgiveness,” Kozlowski said. “Year in and year out at Tyco, my tax returns for the most part had been correct. I didn’t pick up on it.”

Man, I wish I had enough money that $25 million could just… slip my mind.

3 comments April 27th, 2005 at 08:07pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Enron,Wankers

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