16 June 2010

Well, well, well

Having been publicly disowned by the bosses of the other oil majors at a Congressional hearing, BP seems to have done a deal with the Obama administration and will cough up $20 billion over a period of years into a trust fund, to be disbursed by the attorney who previously administered the 9/11 victims compensation fund.

In return it seems likely that the US government will agree to limit the company's liability - presumably at $20 billion. Since BP's suspended dividend pay-out was going to be $2.5 billion, between insurance and co-payments by the other companies involved the sum would seem to be entirely manageable. Expect BP stock to rebound.

Is it possible that the whole thing was a carefully orchestrated psychodrama? If so, hats off to Obama's much-maligned staff and to the even more execrated BP management.

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