Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mergers and Acquisitions I

Ridley Scott's A Good Year (2006), based on Peter Mayle's 2004 novel, stars Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard (Academy Award-winner for her portrayal of Édith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, 2007), and Albert Finney. A good-natured comedic treatment of conflicting lifestyles and manners (British investment banking vs. French wine country). A nice diversion.

Meanwhile, far too far away from French vineyards, I'm about to shred the rest of my decade-old banking statements. Before I do, it's worth noting some of the economic changes that have been wrought in the past decade.

AMOCO statements. Amoco merged with British Petroleum in December 1998. Today, at BP stations, you can still sometimes see tiny AMOCO logos as a nod to the past.

I had an Amoco card ten years ago. In Detroit, on July 11, 1998, 12.1 gallons of unleaded regular gas cost me $13.76. That's about $1.14/gallon. They called it "Pay Express" -- I guess that was fancy spin for inserting your gas card at the pump and then pumping your own gas. I was driving a small black Dodge Dakota truck at the time.

The last time I ever used my Amoco card was on December 15, 1998, at Fourteen Mile and Ryan, Warren, Michigan: 12.3 gallons for $11.13 = about .91 per gallon.

The Amoco card replaced a Mobil card. On January 10, 1998, most of a full tank cost $12.00 in Detroit. Mobile merged with Exxon to become ExxonMobil in 1999. (The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in 1989.)

Before moving to Detroit in the summer of 1997, I lived in Newport News, Virginia, and had a Texaco card (I was looking for a place to live when the July 2 tornadoes ripped through the Detroit area). Back in Virginia for a final fill up with Texaco in Smithfield, it cost me $10.00. Texaco merged with Chevron in 2001.

These are just gas cards. Today in Detroit, some stations will only take cash now, and others offer a slight discount for cash payments. Most are hovering around $4/gallon.

Shred, shred.

Saw this poster at a school, behind glass: Un amigo siempre está listo para escuchar. "A friend is always ready to listen." Indeed . . .

Today's Rune: Journey.


spencer said...

i saw an amoco station at this trailer park in north carolina today
and by the way you shouldnt leave liggett the library will be no fun anymore

Charles Gramlich said...

That's kind of depressing actually. Those gas prices and all.

Too bad I can't make my money today and spend it back then.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks Spencer and Charles!

Spencer, where are you traveling in NC? GObama! We've got to do everything possible to help the Dems win this November, all along the line.

Yeah, the money thing seems to only go one way through time. Gas really will be $10/gallon some day. Hopefully quite a little ways away, until it doesn't really matter anymore.

Johnny Yen said...

Today, while running around doing errands, I realized I needed to put some gas in my car. I put ten bucks worth in at $4.39 a gallon-- just over two gallons.

Logically I know that this will provide economic incentive to alternate energy policies, but I'm boiling over with anger thinking how tough this must be on people who make their living driving-- cab drivers, delivery guys (FedEx ground guys are private contractors), etc. and regular schmucks who make ten bucks an hour and have to drive 45 minutes to work and back.

JR's Thumbprints said...

There are plenty of inmates (soon to be ex-felons) drooling over the "cash only" and "cash discounts" some gas stations offer. I feel sorry for the minimum wage earner that may encounter these opportunists.

the walking man said...

http://www.gasbuddy.com/<---get the current lowest prices and locations for your state/local area here.

I had to back through a decades worth of tax returns last week. I live on 2/3 less $$ now than then.

I doubt that no matter who the next president is there will be any mitigation of fuel taxes which is the only thing the gov. has control of without regulating hedge funds and speculation in the futures market.

But this is a the time for federal transportation dollars to look to not only highway infrastructure improvement(15 years behind by an average estimate) but also to the improvement and development of new mass transit initiatives.

What is strange to me is that with NAFTA and Canada being our largest trading partner and supplier of oil, why are we paying world prices for what we receive from them?

Anonymous said...

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out the record $2.5 billion in punitive damages that Exxon Mobil Corp had been ordered to pay for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the nation's worst tanker spill.

By a 5-3 vote, the high court ruled that the punitive damages award should be slashed to a maximum amount equal to the total relevant compensatory damages of $507.5 million."

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks again for the comments --

Johnny, Jim, I hear you. People are modifying quickly ("substitution effect") -- and warily (or craftily).

Walking Man/Mark -- good points. Mass transit needs more of a boost, alt energies, etc., and a damned good question about our close NAFTA tradgin partners -- why *don't* we get special trade status? And what did Cheney's Energy Task Force talk about in 2000? Think we'll ever know? They either A) succeeded or B) failed. Do we have a coherent energy policy?

the walking man said...

Our current energy policy was stated in the collapse of Enron. Chaney directly steered the policy towards the enhancement of existing business.

Remember Kenneth Lay was an adviser to that policy, ergo I believe it was his agenda that formulated the policy, including securing oil reserves in the middle east.

You will know them by their works...look back at the past 8 years and you will see this damnable administrations policy very clearly.

spencer said...

i was in durham at first for this admissions forum for children of alum at duke (my mom went there), and now i am in a city called sealevel

im reading obama's book, the audacity of hope, right now! yeah im going to start volunteering for the campaign when i get back, i'm exited to help.