Wednesday 2 July 2003

Corporate Subliminal Collusion

Must be nice to wake up and realise you're a slave...

How the Bilderberg Pulls the Strings

There was tremendous response to last week's article "Downsizing: Corporate Corruption or Globalist Enslavement". Most readers were glad for the perspective and alarmed to learn that corporate downsizing was not engineered to inflate profits but to destroy the accumulated wealth of millions of highly paid white-collar workers to prevent their early retirements and insure our continued enslavement. Many thinking readers, however, questioned the mechanism through which the majority of publicly traded corporations could have possibly colluded to perpetrate so vast a fraud. A few even doubted the motive, preferring to believe corporations were merely greedy. Corporate greed was certainly a factor, but sadly, the Bilderberg is the greater evil.

Having spent years in the oil industry where the mechanism has been practiced since the breakup of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil into the seven sisters, I was only too familiar with the method when the Bilderberg directive came down. No doubt you've noticed that big oil companies tend to act almost identically. Pump prices to rise and fall in harmony. Individual oil companies have followed identical strategies with very small times lags over the years. Whether it was the unrelated diversification wave of the 70s, the divestment and reorganization wave of the 80s, the downsizing wave of the 90s, or today's merger and acquisition wave; all major oil companies tend to pursue exactly the same strategy at virtually the same time. I don't hesitate to admit that they do it without direct collusion.

Many of you may have watched in disbelief as oil industry executives testify before congress that they do not collude to fix prices or on any other aspect of their businesses. Many find it hard to accept that these executives are not meeting regularly to fix prices. Be assured, oil companies do not have to collude to fix prices. Because big oil companies are nearly identical in structure and buy and sell crude oil, gasoline, and heat oil from each other on a continuous basis, no actual collusion is necessary to set prices. One of the dirty secrets the oil industry marketing machine has managed to keep from the public is that gas is gas. Aside from a tiny and insignificant additive unique to each company, gas is gas. It's the same everywhere. Because gas is gas, the oil companies don't bother to transport it from their own distant refinery to their gas stations. Instead, the company with the closest refinery or terminal supplies all the gas stations in its geographical area. They just trade the gas among themselves and save on the transportation cost. The additive is mixed in at the terminal when the trucks are loaded. If you believed your car did not run as good on Exxon as it did on Mobil you were a victim of marketing. Your gas came from the closest refinery regardless of what oil company happened to operate it. Gasoline pricing occurs automatically and without collusion. From the point of view of both the consumer and the Bilderberg, the oil industry operates as effectively one big company.

Okay, they don't have to collude to fix prices, but how can I explain that they all adopted identical corporate strategies over the years including the diversity programs and massive downsizings all at the same time and without direct collusion? As a senior financial analyst at BP Oil I received on my desk each morning the BP Oil Executive News Summary. It was nothing more than an assembling of all oil industry news articles from the prior day. The main way BP competed was to see what the other companies were doing and try to do it better. If Mobile announced it was putting a diversity initiative in place all the other major oil companies studied the strategy, hired the same consultants, created a few new buzzwords, and put a similar strategy in place. If Exxon announced a massive corporate downsizing, the other majors would compete to see who could fire the most workers. Once all the majors had decimated their white-collar workforces to the point that they could barely operate, they had to merge to survive and now we have Exxon-Mobil, BP-Amoco, Chevron-Texaco, etc.

I like to call the process "subliminal collusion." It was perfected in the oil industry, but it works nearly as well on a larger scale across the entire spectrum of publicly traded companies (downsizing is not a strategy practiced by privately held companies).

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