What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Consumer spending over the last quarter fell by the largest amount in 28 years. During that same time the gross domestic product fell by 0.3 percent, indicating that the country is in a recession. Six governors have asked the Federal Reserve to bailout automakers. Yet Exxon broke its own earnings record, hauling in more quarterly profits than any U.S. company in history—a whopping $14.83 billion—because (“Hold onto your gas tank, kids!”) oil prices were at record highs. That’s right, in the oil business high prices don’t squeeze profits, they squeeze the consumer.

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