Monday, March 13, 2006

Economics: Consumers: Oil prices monitored daily; top oil corps testify before Senate Committee about mergers' effects on price

UPDATE: Oil executives (Exxon Mobil, Valero Energy, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, BP Plc's US units, Royal Dutch Shell Plc) testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to the effect that the tendency toward an oligopoly in the US oil industry that resulted, for instance, in Exxon Mobil's record profit of US$36.1 billion last year were not the result of unbridled mergers and acquisitions that increasingly prevented newer and smaller oil companies from competing. So reports William L. Watts of MarketWatch (a Dow-Jones business news organization online.

We all know, even if we do not understand even the basics, that oil at the well-head, in the refinery where its transformd from crude to derivatives like automobile gas, in the barrel for shipment, and at the neighbourhood gas-station's pump is important to the entire national economy in many countries.

Principium Consumers' Hub:
here's a source for oil news

Crude oil is the world's most actively traded commodity. Because of its excellent liquidity and price transparency, the crude oil contract is used as a principal international pricing benchmark. provides linked news pages on the following seven categories of uptodate information: Commodities & Markets, Commodities Future Trading, Online Commodities Trading, Crude Oil Futures, Crude Oil Market, Futures Markets, and Day Trading Futures.

OPEC logo

If you're not an analyst or investor, you'd probably be most intersted in the link for Crude Oil Market. It seems to be the most bellweather of the linked webpages, given crude oil's special role as a signal of coming general economic trends in this era of globalization.

For general education regarding the world's economic structure from the financial and investment angle, the additional webpages for Futures Trading Systems and Commodity Trading Systems may well be worth your trouble, but of course learning curves will vary along with oil prices!

If you're interested in core economic theory as such, using price as your exemplary problem, and Christian philosophy's key economic concept of optimization (a refinement of Dooyeweerd's and Vollenhoven's "saving") then you mite want to tackle the "Price Optimization" page. A couple of entries offer articles and even software for understanding how businesses determine the optimal pricing of their products.

But thru it all, don't forget that the pollutant-fuelled vehicle - whether it's your car, your boat, a taxi, a bus, a truck, a ship, an airplane - is now fully antinormative in North America. These products should not be built, sold, or allowed to continue using streets and roads, especially in urban areas. Instead, governments should bring industry, labor, and consumers together to produce a transformation to non-oil, non-gas, non-polluting fuels with engines that can contribute to the recovery of clean breathable air. Optimal pricing is for persons with such a consumer horizon of responsiblity, in a Christian spirit of stewardship of creation and health of the human community, a big problem. When will it be affordable, if ever, to shift over to non-pollutant-fuelled vehicles? When will an optimal price charged by the retailer be optimal for consumers of various levels of income and disposable personal assets? It's the congruence of the optimatics, or the simultaneity of norm-realization (Zylstra) that's at stake here. - Owlb

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