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May 22, 2011

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I could not agree more. I also noted that the letter of the Dutch government in re long-termism lacks any substantial analysis of the issue. It is completely agnostic about the problem it is supposed to tackle.

As John Donovan wrote in his article "there is a culpable short-termism about Shell at the moment and one one of the world’s largest corporations cannot:
(a) Decide what its strategy is
(b) Use its huge resources to stick with that strategy over the medium to long term.

So he would humbly suggest:
(1) Concentrate exclusively on upstream and midstream oil and gas.
(2) Get rid of activities that fall outside the competances of those at the top (Refining and Marketing especially).
(3) Don’t kill the downstream with a thousand cuts – sell it as a going concern (which it is). There will be plenty of willing buyers.
(4) Get out of petrochemicals – again plenty of willing buyers.
(5) Consolidate to one Head Office. Close Shell Centre.
(6) Look for good upstream acquisitions.
(7) Really learn from the failures in Nigeria, Ireland and Russia… Get out of delusional mode. Try always telling the truth!

I also recognize that the activation of the voting rights of dividends for long term investors may have adverse side effects

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