Thursday, June 30, 2005


Warner Bros. Music Man

The battle for Unocal heats up. More than one person has noticed that this is an economic shot across our corporate/military/industrial prows. All the rhetoric about free trade is now being put to a test. Congress, which passed all those free trade laws and which is passing CAFTA now is blanching as they reconsider the wisdom of their ways.

From Unocal corporate headquarters:
El Segundo, Calif., June 29, 2005 - Unocal Corporation (NYSE: UCL) announced today that its board of directors has set Aug. 10, 2005, as the date of the special meeting of Unocal's stockholders at which a vote is scheduled to be taken on the proposed merger with Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX). Stockholders who hold shares of Unocal common stock at the close of business on June 29, 2005, the record date for the special meeting, will be entitled to vote on the Chevron merger at the special meeting.

Unocal previously announced that on June 22, 2005, it received a proposal from CNOOC Limited to acquire all outstanding shares of Unocal for $67 per share in cash. Unocal also announced that it has received a waiver from Chevron enabling Unocal to engage in discussions with CNOOC and its representatives concerning the proposed CNOOC transaction.

In connection with entering into the Chevron merger agreement, the Unocal board of directors recommended the transaction to Unocal's stockholders. That recommendation remains in effect. Unocal expects that, prior to the August 10 special meeting, and after engaging in discussions with CNOOC, Unocal will update stockholders regarding the Unocal board's evaluation of the CNOOC proposal.
Looks like the deal is still on! But wait! From the Financial Times:
Chevron Corp has played a direct role in drafting and circulating letters from members of Congress asking the Bush administration to examine and potentially block China's CNOOC Ltd's bid for Unocal Corp, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with Chevron's activities in the capital.

In a sign of congressional concern, House Republican leaders are planning to bring to the floor today a resolution urging the administration to give the CNOOC bid close scrutiny, the report said.

In addition, the House may vote as early as today on a budget amendment that seeks to bar the Treasury Department from taking any action approving Unocal's sale to CNOOC, the Journal said in its online edition.
Chevron, instead of offering a higher bid, pulls political muscle instead. This has repercussions, of course. Our government is owned by more than one person. The Chinese weighed in today. From Xinhua News:
Stay out of it.

That's what corporate America is doing, and that's what some outspoken executives are advising the US Government to do about Chinese oil firm CNOOC's US$18.5 billion bid for California-based Unocal Corp.

Executives say the government should let the market decide whether CNOOC Ltd's offer or a rival bid from Chevron Corp comes out on top for the ninth-largest US oil and gas producer.

A US government panel will likely consider whether national security would be threatened if China gains control of Unocal's oil and gas reserves as well as proprietary drilling technology and mining assets.

General Electric Co, often considered a bellwether for corporate America due to its range of businesses from industry to finance to media, said China stepping out into the world is a natural evolution of the country's growing economic power.

However, GE executives carefully avoided a question at an analyst meeting on Tuesday about whether deals like CNOOC's posed a threat to its business.

A few companies' executives stepped out from the shadows following the CNOOC bid, saying that blocking the deal would send the wrong message after US officials and multinational corporations have encouraged China in recent years to adopt more open policies regarding foreign investment.
Interesting. GE owns vast media real estate just like some other corporations that want to keep us under their thumbs. I will note the game of keeping the anti-Chinese talk as low as possible, raising it only to stir the pot when deal making, continues. Want to know my opinion?

All our energy systems are owned by traitors. They all have international connections and they are not shy about using and abusing us, the host nation they manipulate, to fight wars for their own business purposes. Right now, we are paying $300+ billion to hold down Iraq for them so they can make money selling that oil to Europe and Japan. This, to put it mildly, stinks since many people are dying because of this so trusting these monsters is a waste of time. The Chinese cannot be worse than our own Texan businessmen.

From Common Dreams:
Anyway, Bush's energy policy can pretty much be summed up in the immortal words of that 1970s bumper sticker, once seen so frequently in the South: ``Drive Fast. Freeze a Yankee.'' Like everyone else from Texas, Bush does not believe in conservation. Or in forcing domestic oil producers to refine enough home-heating oil to get the Yankees through the winter. Or, heaven forbid, in taxing gas more heavily to make people start to think: Gee, maybe I should buy a basic sedan instead of an SUV.
I have lived in El Paso. I have lived in the Southwest. I know all about the freeze the Yankee stuff. It was real and it was loud. So I have little faith or trust in my supposedly fellow Americans.

After lining up their ideological duckies, the Chinese have gone back to doing what they do very well now: diplomacy. Once again, back to Russia to touch base and strengthen ties and prepare for the next salvo upon America. They will, I am assuming, discuss Iran. The victory of an anti-American mayor who is a hardliner is pure gold for Hu and Putin. Remember this? NTI News:
On 27 February 2005, Russia and Iran signed agreements that will allow Tehran to start up the Bushehr nuclear power plant in 2006. Under the agreement, Russia committed to supply Iran with approximately 110 tons of nuclear fuel while Iran promised to repatriate all spent nuclear fuel back to Russia.[1] By returning the spent nuclear fuel, Moscow and Iran hope to allay fears that Iran may use the spent fuel to develop nuclear arms.[2] The conclusion of an agreement on the return of spent nuclear fuel has been delayed for years (for more information, see the 11/10/2003 and 12/26/2002 entries below). Even the 26 February signing ceremony was delayed one day due to questions regarding the readiness of storage facilities in Iran and the delivery schedule, with Russia seeking a later delivery date and Iran seeking an earlier date. Although the final details of the delivery date were not revealed, Aleksandr Rumyantsev, head of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency, said that the Iranian nuclear plant is scheduled to come online in late 2006 and the fuel will be delivered six months prior to that.
The delivery has been made accompanied by howls from Condi and Bush which is music to Putin's ears.

As I pointed out several months ago, Bush's visit to Moscow was a total failure. Complete and utter failure. He acted up like he was a boy visiting Never Neverland rather than the Kremlin. He thought, eating dinner and acting the fool would win over Putin. Putin served him cold duck soup and laughed.

From Xinhua News:

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived here Thursday for a four-day state visit, which aims to enhance the strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Russia.

During his stay in Moscow, Hu Jintao is expected to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on expansion of bilateral cooperation in various sectors. The Chinese president will also meet with Russian government and parliament leaders.

The two countries will sign a number of cooperation agreements during Hu's visit. Hu is also scheduled to make a trip to Novosibirsk, the third largest city in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg.

In recent years, Sino-Russian relations have entered a new stage of development, featuring political mutual trust, economic cooperation and cultural exchanges. In 2001, the two countries signed the Sino-Russian Good-neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, which serves as the legal foundation of bilateral friendly relations.

Last year, trade between the two countries reached a record high of 21.2 billion US dollars, or a 34.7 percent increase over the previous year. In the first three months of this year, the trade volume increased 20.7 percent over the corresponding period of last year.
Note the point of the trip: to sign agreements and to arrange further agreements. This is all business and you can bet, the pictures coming out of Russia will be formal portraits of Putin and Hu, fully dressed, appropriate faces, each with something good to give each other. Both men are formidable negotiators who can face to face, talk. They have underlings do all the prep work but the final revisions and final read through is done by them, themselves.

I seriously doubt Bush reads any such things. Seriously, his only talent is for ripping up treaties or spilling his drinks on documents.

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