Dazzling Knowledge

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Big (Government) Oil


Swipes at "Big Oil" are normally implied swipes at free markets. This Economist article looked at "Big Oil" and found that the 13 largest oil companies, owning ~90% of the world's reserves, are state-owned.
Hat tip: The Agitator

4 Comments:

Blogger Chamomiles Davis said...

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5:26 PM  
Blogger Chamomiles Davis said...

The question is, what difference does it make to the consumer whether the oil is privately-owned or state-owned?

5:26 PM  
Blogger tpotdomescandal said...

This consumer can at least be spared paranoid theories of how ExxonMobil engages in monopolistic practices and price-fixing, when they are, in fact, not even major players.
Also, that these companies are state-owned partly explains problems with the industry. Cronyism, inefficient management, underinvestment, the whims of crazy-ass dictators in Iran and Venezuela (Actually, I don't think Chavez counts as a dictator, but close enough. And still crazy-ass).

3:43 PM  
Blogger Chamomiles Davis said...

True. Russia's state-owned industry seems to have been in turmoil for some time. State-controlled economies seem to breed more, not less, corruption.

Also, I would imagine that a state-owned industry does not fear competition as private-owned businesses do, and thus feels less incentive to make their prices more palatable to the consumer.

12:27 PM  

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