Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just Business

Harper's Magazine has a profile of an oil fixer, the sort of middleman without whom we don't get our daily dose. It's not a pretty picture, but it's how the oil business works. The profiled fixer, Ely Calil, is a well-connected businessman. While he continues to be an operator in oil, he sees an new opportunity to make money on his connections to potentates and oil executives.
"One of his most promising investments is a company called Green Holdings, which is in the emerging field of carbon trading: buying rights to pollute from cleaner businesses and selling them to dirtier ones. The firm has struck deals in China and India, and Calil has traveled regularly to both nations on the company's behalf, hoping to establish business ties and build political support. It is an ironic turn indeed that Ely Calil, who grew so rich off the excesses of the carbon era, should now stand to profit still more from the long struggle to clean them up."
The story is available as a pdf here.