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2012: Big Oil vs. Big Money: The Case for Rick Perry

Hoisting Beowulf's comment on Big Oil (R Perry) vs. Big Money (D Obama) in 2012:

At least the oil guys actually produce (or rather extract) a commodity of value instead of simply draining money from rest of the economy. M-C-M is always better than M-M (and as every school child learns, Marx favored the Republicans).

I'll let Michael Hudson unpack that M-C-M business (from his piece From Marx to Goldman Sachs: The Fictions of Fictitious Capital)

Industrial capital makes profits by spending money to employ labor to produce commodities to sell at a markup, a process he summarized by the formula M-C-M’. Money (M) is invested to produce commodities (C) that sell for yet more money (M’). But usury capital seeks to make money in “sterile” ways, characterized by the disembodied (M-M’).

Growing independently from tangible production, financial claims for payment [rents] represent a financial overhead [the rentiers] that eats into industrial profit and cash flow. Today’s financial engineering aims not at industrial engineering to increase output or cut the costs of production, but at the disembodied M-M’ – making money from money itself in a sterile “zero-sum” transfer payment.

So yeah, if you had to choose, Big Oil is better than Big Money. To give one example, unlike President Obama, at least the CEO of ExxonMobil has endorsed the carbon tax. Obama's preferred cap and trade market is a far inferior tool on both economic and environmental grounds. But while the carbon tax is favored by everyone from James Hansen to Arthur Laffer, it doesn't provide Goldman Sachs a market to manipulate. So of course Obama couldn't support it. More on this very point in Matt Taibbi's already classic Vampire Squid piece:

The new carbon credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that's been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won't even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.

Call me a communist, but I'd take my chances with Rick Perry.

So, OK, Uncle Karl was a PUMA....

No votes yet


malagodi's picture
Submitted by malagodi on

the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

that works.


So I presume you'll be in favor of the next front in the oil/energy war.

Submitted by lambert on

As, for example, the legacy parties, who are bonded by their hate for each other into a single system. However, they hate us peasants more than they hate each other.

beowulf's picture
Submitted by beowulf on

I'm not a fan of Perry on many grounds, not least of which is he executed a man who, the facts are plain, was wrongly convicted of murder. Then again Obama is the first President in history to endorse a policy of executing Americans who, the facts of plain, have never been convicted of anything.

Maybe Obama is a more wonderful person than Perry, who knows? My point is only that Perry's backers are marginally less loathsome than Obama's backers. Indeed, since by some unwritten constitutional provision, Treasury Secretaries must either come out of Wall Street (Rubin, Paulson, Geithner) or the oil patch (Connolly, Baker, Bentsen), the oil guys have been tougher across the board on Wall Street because that's not where there last job was or where their next job will be. In 2009, James Baker urged Obama to gut punch Wall Street in a way Geithner would never dream of. As Yves Smith wrote:
"A very good comment by former Treasury Secretary James Baker in the Financial Times, “How Washington can prevent ‘zombie banks’,” warns that the US is on its way to repeating the Japanese error of propping up dud banks and creating a moribund economy as a result..."

"bank boards of directors and senior management should be replaced and, unfortunately, shareholders will lose their investment. Optimally, bondholders would be wiped out, too. But the risk of a crash in the bond market means that bondholders may receive only a haircut. All of this is harsh, but required if we are ultimately to return market discipline to our financial sector."

malagodi's picture
Submitted by malagodi on

Yes, the front, maybe in Syria/Iran or Sudan that comes next, after the one that 'Obama started'. Let's keep saying that there's one war in Iraq, one in Afghanistan, one in Libya (the one Obama started) and never make the connection. If we keep them all separate, we can more easily deal with the minutia of each, as Greenwald does in Rethink Afghanistan. It's easier to calculate the budget and efficacy of each and we can isolate successive Presidents as being 'responsible' for each.

In doing some research for the upcoming KeystoneXL Tarsands demo in DC later this month, I came across an interesting (and very good) 04 article in WaPo detailing the machinations over Sudanese oil. It was quite clear that, in agreement with a more recent recent post, that Obama is continuing an energy war essentially laid out 10 years ago by well-know NeoCons. Surprise! Whoever occupies the White House as President presides over the already moving executive policies and programs that have developed over time. The idea that the President, whoever it is, actually steers the ship of state is naive and simplistic.

To change the actual direction and policies of the Presidency would be revolutionary, in the literal sense of the word. Revolutionaries are usually not elected, it is a rather undemocratic process.

The idea of 'taking your chances' with Rick Perry because he represent oil interests rather than banking interests is - well - I hate to say it - stupid. Do you really want all those crazy apocalypse now ultra right religious nut-jobs in the engine room of his candidacy to have even more power?

I don't think you do. Maybe it's just about filling column space with a consistent theme.

Submitted by lambert on

There's a lot of that going around, and the nut jobs aren't only in one party -- or one elite faction.

As for consistent editorial theme.... This wasn't commissioned, eh? I thought it was a fresh angle, and beowulf has a track record of coming up with such.

Also, too, the tribal Ds and the career "progressives" wouldn't give Perry a pass the way they do Obama. I know that's a PUMA argument, but Unity is looking pretty awful these days, and although we can't know whether Obama would have been worse than McCain, he did turn out to be worse than Bush.

And all that said, I'm not endorsing Perry or any legacy party candidate.

beowulf's picture
Submitted by beowulf on

After Brad shakes his head at this Josh Marshall piece...

Perry: Bernanke Policies "Almost Treasonous": I guess this is going to be a pretty interesting election. Rick Perry is now saying that any more emergency efforts by Ben Bernanke to resuscitate the economy would be "almost treasonous."

Maybe he's thinking about a different country than you are Brad.
Here are the undisputed facts:
1. Perry is a native Texan, Bernanke a native South Carolinian.
3. The legal definition of "adhering" is "Cleaving to, or joining"
4. Bernanke joined the United States Government by accepting appointment to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
5. The definition of treason is clear:
"Treason against the Confederate States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.."

Res ipsa loquitur, Professor. The "almost" part was just Perry commendably respecting Bernanke's constitutional rights.
"The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States, and shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any State of this Confederacy, with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in such slaves shall not be impaired."