Paul Pessolano's Reviews > Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

Private Empire by Steve Coll
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's review
Jun 29, 2012

really liked it
Read from June 29 to July 04, 2012

“Private Empire, ExxonMobil and American Power” by Steve Coll, published by The Penguin Press.

Category – Business

How big is ExxonMobile and how much influence does it have on politics both National and International???? Steve Coll investigates not only these questions but many more and also looks into the dealings of other oil and gas companies. Coll is very neutral in his writing showing both sides of an issue and the possible outcomes of the decisions made by the companies. It is hard to visualize that ExxonMobile has probably more influence than the United States throughout the world. ExxonMobile rarely, if ever, needs assistance from the United States in matters of business and politics. It is an entity in itself, answering to no one, except maybe its stockholders. The book tells of how ExxonMobile, and other companies, compete and sign contracts with other countries for their oil deposits. Most of these countries are very poor and lack the basic needs of housing, education, clean water, and healthcare. The companies pay these governments for the oil but these countries are controlled by people who steal these funds for themselves and their people are damned. In defense of the oil companies, the companies insist that they make payments to the government and it is out of their control what happens to the money. The book takes a hard look at the past and present governments involved and the players that formulate policy in both the business and government sectors.

The largest part of the book will be for those interested in the inner workings of oil companies, but there are some real eye opening sections concerning oil spills, graft, and climate control.
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