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The title of this article comes from Margaret Thatcher’s 1990 remark to then-President George H. W. Bush, who was somewhat apprehensive about a plan to deploy troops to the Middle East to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. I had not heard the phrase “to go wobbly” before then, but it made immediate sense. It may be a stretch to compare Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait to the current credit crisis and the precipitous drop in oil prices. Nonetheless, I can hear the Baroness telling us that now is not the time to go wobbly in response to our industry’s challenges.
Since I started working in the petroleum industry in 1975, crude oil prices have risen and fallen many times. Almost all senior managers working today have some experience dealing with product price crises through spending cuts and hiring freezes.
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