Business Insider has reported on a letter sent to a judge by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman with regard to a secret email account used by #Secretary of State #Rex Tillerson, from 2008 to 2015, while he served as chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM). The alias used by Tillerson is reported as "Wayne Tracker," which #The Young Turks has reported was used in "relevant communications at Exxon." The letter, which was published by Bloomberg, is said to order the oil conglomerate to reveal any other secret email accounts used by the secretary of state.
Referring to the situation, John Iadarola, host with The Young Turks, characterized the Wayne Tracker alias as a "weird, porn-star name," and warned that the situation may go more deeply than merely what is being presented in the "Tracker files." TYT founder Cenk Uygur stated "to be fair" to the former CEO, he wasn't a politician during the period he was using the secret email, but observed that politicians use "super goofy" aliases -- which, the host, underlined -- one does not use "unless you're trying to hide something."
What does Rex Tillerson believe with regard to climate change?
Jordan Chariton, with TYT, and Uygur discussed the seeming motivation behind the Tillerson-Wayne Tracker alias, with talk focusing on climate change. Rex Tillerson using an alias while panning the veracity of climate change used by Exxon in official documents suggests that the former CEO may possess both evidence, and a belief, that climate change is real, but still wish to spread the seeming falsehood that climate change is something made up by the left.
Even though Rex Tillerson wasn't a politician at the time he is reported to have used the Wayne Tracker identity, he was a CEO with a fiduciary duty to those who hold XOM stock. Making misleading statements, or lying outright, using an alias, in official documents used by Exxon in the course of business, deceives not only investors, but also the public with regard to the reality of climate change. Mr. Uygur discussed how the fortunes of XOM stock and the reality of climate change are closely connected, and that any information regarding how true, or untrue, climate change is would likely be of great interest to XOM shareholders.
Jordan Chariton held up the actions of Tillerson, and Exxon, with regard to climate change, and pointed out that he isn't the only one seemingly attempting to play down climate change. Mr. Chariton cited Kelcy Warren, the CEO with Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ETP), which operates the infamous Dakota Access Pipeline, and his attempts to hold down "solar and wind" with his business, but that he is currently building "the biggest wind farm in the Caribbean."
Corporate structure encourages short-term thinking
Cenk Uygur spoke of the seeming common sense behind taking the long view with oil industry, where companies acknowledge "that it's not sustainable, eventually it will sink the company." He expressed his view that Exxon needs to "shift" its business toward renewable energy. The TYT founder described a problem seemingly inherent in corporate culture where executives are incentivized to focus on short-term returns, because "if Exxon Mobil crashes later that's their problem." He also acknowledged the cost, and seeming effort, that accompanies the decision to transform a $338 billion company.
Over the coming five years, the Wall Street analyst consensus is for Exxon Mobil to grow its earnings per share at an average annual rate of 32.87 percent, as reported by Yahoo Finance. Over the same period, renewable energy company Tesla, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) is reported to grow its EPS at an average annual rate of 35.00 percent. Out of the last four quarterly EPS reports, Tesla has missed analyst expectations three times. Over the same period, Exxon has beat analyst expectations three times. On a trailing 12-month basis, TSLA EPS is -$4.68, compared with $1.88 for XOM.