Review: Exxon’s shareholder fetish, good and bad

By Christopher Swann
May 4, 2012

A single-minded devotion to shareholders has helped the oil giant earn high returns. But Steve Coll’s “Private Empire” shows how this obsession also made it easy to make some bad decisions: cozying up to nasty regimes and a crusade against global warming science.

Exxon’s fracking gag makes Chesapeake look good

By Christopher Swann
May 30, 2012

That’s a rare feat. The troubled gas firm is infamously opaque. But Chesapeake’s openness on the risks of fracking puts larger rivals like Exxon to shame. After another large minority vote from investors for more information, Big Oil should follow its troubled cousin’s lead.