Friends, there's someone among us who has a big problem and he needs our help. Knowing the innate generosity of Americans, I'm certain that you'll reach out and do all you can to assist Mr. Lee Raymond.
He's the CEO of Exxon Mobil -- and wait till you learn about his desperate situation: His company has so much cash that he doesn't know what to do with it. And you thought you had problems! Here is Fortune magazine's gloomy analysis of the situation: "[Lee Raymond] suddenly has a new anxiety: how to spend the windfall wrought by $55-a-barrel oil. By the end of April, Exxon [had] a cash hoard of more than $25 billion. And if crude prices stay where they are, this geometrically growing bonanza could soon give Exxon more cash on hand than any other U.S. company.... Each dollar jump in the price of a barrel of oil adds another half billion in earnings. Based on current prices, Exxon is accumulating more than $1 billion a month -- even after allocating for dividends, share repurchases and capital spending. If oil simply stays where it is now, Exxon's cash could approach $40 billion in 12 months."
I have no doubt that you feel Mr. Raymond's pain and will want to help him cope with, as Fortune expressed it, "the headache of what to do with all that cash." If you have suggestions, e-mail them to me and I'll forward them directly to Mr. Raymond.
Just to get your creative juices flowing, I'll offer an obvious way for Exxon to end this "crisis" of excess cash gushing into its coffers: Stop gouging us at the pump! Each dollar of those billions causing such a headache for Mr. Raymond comes out of your and my pockets. Exxon doesn't have to rip us off just because it can -- it could pass on some of its windfall oil profits to its gasoline customers in the form of lower prices.
But I'm sure you have more creative suggestions. Send your ideas for easing Mr. Raymond's headache to me: email@example.com.
Publication date: 05/12/05