Home | About | Donate

Big Oil’s Broken Business Model


Big Oil’s Broken Business Model

Michael T. Klare

Many reasons have been provided for the dramatic plunge in the price of oil to about $60 per barrel (nearly half of what it was a year ago): slowing demand due to global economic stagnation; overproduction at shale fields in the United States; the decision of the Saudis and other Middle Eastern OPEC producers to maintain output at current levels (presumably to


Glancing at another headline about divestment, my impulse to connect dots draws a line to the structures of “investment portfolios”, - oil interests being a primary presence in the major institutional portfolios - and the twists between stockholders and accountability. Does an institution with oil company holdings in its portfolio necessarily mean that they are represented in stockholder decision making? What does it mean in this sense when an institution divests? Might this not also represent an ostensible punishment actually being a massive opportunity at another level?
In the mean time, the instantaneous and obscenely lucrative (virtually taxfree) trading constitutes a form of ‘fiat policy making’ utterly removed from governance in the public sense simply by virtue of the scale of potential for combining and recombining any given set of interests at any given time.
In other words, just like my desire to connect the dots, its hard to be certain that I’m seeing them accurately for all the legacy silos. Then, it would seem that within and behind the arguments maintained by rhetorical silo-style argumentation, the quick of foot recombine under the debt/negative metrics to amass the veiled ‘problem’ potentials.


This is an interesting article but it would have more credibility had the author addressed the US-Saudi agreement to lower oil prices as a means of punishing Russia (NY Times reveals).



All the way back to the days of the Teapot Dome and beyond. For about a century now. What more fully defines America than the car.