According to Reuters, Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, posted its biggest first-quarter profit ($8.4 billion) ever on Thursday. The article bemoans the fact that this was below expectations due to taxes.
But why have profits risen at all? To my mind, unless you’re price gouging (i.e., raising your profit margin), profits only rise if you sell more of your product. With prices going up, consumption should be going down, and thus profits should be going down. Am I misunderstanding how things work? But why should I worry. After all, isn’t ExxonMobil a large, monopolizing corporation that is a force for good in the world (does anyone get the reference)? They would never try to make a buck at the expense of their customers, or to take advantage of a situation.