Taxes on firms within the oil and gas industry are “inevitable” to help the poorest people, the outgoing boss of Shell has said.
Ben van Beurden said that energy markets cannot behave in a way that “damage a significant part of society”.
This is a great example of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). Wouldn’t we have a great country if every company recognised its responsibilities? We also need a loose partnership between the government and the private sector. I don’t mean Kwarteng crashing the pound so his mates can short it. I mean taking joint responsibility and helping to fix society’s problems.
The Prime Minister mentioned Extinction Rebellion in her speech and marked them as the enemy. Greta Thunberg is more of a stateswoman than Truss will ever be. I’m sure Miss Thunberg will be addressing the United Nations long after the lizard has been consigned to a dark corner of the back benches.
Leave the oil and gas in the ground?
Should we leave the oil and gas in the ground? As we have seen recently we are dependent on gas for heating and oil for transport. It would be sensible to tax air travel more and try to develop more efficient ways to travel that cause less pollution. We can also find alternative energy sources to gas. Obvious solutions like limiting the engine size of car engines should be introduced now. There is no need for large gas guzzlers. We can also step up home insulation now too. Research obviously needs to be done into the problem and that could be a joint venture by the government and energy companies.
The stock market
Meanwhile, while we wait for a new government that will take those problems seriously, we have to consider our finances. There is still little confidence in the London stock market and the US market is jittery too. There is a definite shift in the London market to defensive stocks. I sold growth stocks and bought GSK and will probably buy more defensive stocks when things look better. I think RKT and Unilever might be the next ones I favour. I get the impression that many small investors faced with high inflation and mortgages going up are selling and favouring cash in the bank. Cryptos are on a downward trend as well.
I see the UK and the US economy being on a downward trend for some time. The US dollar is still on the up so the US is attracting more investment. The UK stock market is attractive for US investors though, with the dollar strong there are bargains on the UK market. The real measure of how both economies are doing can be seen when we look at the gold price and that is up again today. President Biden warned of Nuceal armageddon in response to Putin’s threats and when financial armageddon is threatened investors buy gold.
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