Business: Back-Door Increase

Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Saudi Arabia's urbane Petroleum Minister, often professes a desire for the price of oil to come down. Last week he said that his government had indeed decided to lower the price by 40¢ per bbl., in a move designed to "take from the oil companies and give to the consumer." However enticing that Robin Hoodish remark might seem to suffering consumers, the consequences promise to be different from what they would expect. The cost of oil to the major companies —and to their customers—stands to rise about 50¢ per bbl.,...

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