Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Placing BP Under Receivership

Robert Reich suggests Obama take steps toward placing BP under temporary receivership, forcing a switch in company loyalties from the stockholders to the public interest. "But... but..." we all say; I know I did. Reich answers the questions that came to my mind immediately in the linked post. Yes, he has the authority. No, it doesn't matter that BP is based in the UK. And so on.

Would this work? I don't know. But Reich is a pretty smart fellow. And we have to do something... soon.


  1. I don't know. I would have to understand the pros and cons a little better. BP's stock is currently in a serious decline and receivership might be a way to preserve stock holder equity and insure the company has enough assets to actually pay the bill relative to the spill.

  2. Fallenmonk, I can't imagine the economic harm to the U.S. government of placing BP under receivership would even approach the harm to the entire economy (of the world, for that matter) if BP is not somehow compelled to answer the public's interest instead of its stockholder's interests to the exclusion of public interest. And we don't have much time. Reich explains his reasons quite well; give him a read.

  3. BP is getting ready to ship out $10 billion as a dividend, which makes it unavailable to pay claims, so something needs to be done.

  4. Can the government get an injunction to hold up the dividend?

  5. Why is everyone focusing on punishment NOW. NOW is the time to address fixing the problem. You can go to court later but animals and peoples lives are dying now. Read this and then ask BP, the Coast Guard and the government to explain why this proven technology has not been put into action.

  6. Welcome, Joe. I do not visit tiny links, and having just had a bad virus experience despite a fully updated NOD32 did not make me more inclined to do so.

    I do not see the two initiatives... fixing the problem and pursuing punishment... as separate. Indeed, different people with different skills are suited to the two tasks, so there's no reason not to do both at the same time.

    So how does pursuing punishment help fix the problem? C'mon, do you not think BP is busy hiding the evidence as rapidly as it can? Now is the time to find it. And if BP is not punished promptly for this, they (and other large corp's engaged in wrongdoing) will keep right on damaging the environment and violating the law. Any major environmentalist org will agree with me completely on this one: all of them pursue legal action in real-time.



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