British Petroleum Screws Up Royally

Dear British Petroleum,

You really screwed up royally.

No, I am not talking about the oil spill. Accidents happen, sometimes very bad ones.

Yet your actions taken in the last 24 hours are nothing short of corporate suicide.

You have decided to voluntarily give away 20 billion dollars to people who want to kill you while screwing over the only people who want you to exist and thrive.

Let me explain it to you in a simple manner. President Barack Obama hates your guts. You are an evil big oil company. He wants to put you and all of your competitors out of business so the entire world can be one green utopia. The oil rig explosion gave him an opportunity. Yet your awful decision yesterday made matters worse.

It is impossible to unite everybody on to your side. However, it is possible to lose everyone and have them all against you.

The law said you only had to pay 75 million dollars for the cleanup. People may not like that law, but liberals love to claim that any law they dislike is illegal. The government was trying to turn public anger against you into a sledgehammer to take 20 billion dollars from you. You caved.

The government claims that the person overseeing this 20 billion is a fair minded individual. He may very well be. However, he still answers to the president. Do you think the president cares if any of the claims against you will be frivolous? He just wants you out of business.

There is no guarantee that 20 billion will be the end of it.

So what did you do? You took the one group of people that still had a reason to support you…the shareholders…and you screwed them over. You announced that you were suspending dividends.

This is lunacy.

(Full Disclosure: to the best of my knowledge I do not own shares in BP.)

You should have kept dividends the same. In fact, you may have even considered raising them.

Look at your warm furry tobacco friends at Altria, formerly Philip Morris.

(I do own shares in them.)

They know that the world hates them. They face plenty of lawsuits, some legitimate and some from crybabies looking for a free ride in life. Yet 80 year old ladies still buy the stock because they like the large dividend. Mutual fund managers like the stock in their value funds.

Either become a growth stock, which is not going to happen, or remain a value stock, which you are. You cannot be a value stock without providing value.

The government will rile the public up and say that you are paying out dividends to avoid your responsibilities. This is nonsense. Honoring your commitment to your shareholders is a major responsibility.

My prediction was that your desire for good public relations would allow you to pay out tons of money, which you just did. The government will thank you by commencing a criminal investigation. You will be out of business, exactly as they want.

Your stock price is plummeting. The only reason to buy the stock just got slashed out of existence along with your dividend.

By paying out dividends, you would have kept many loyal shareholders. That would have allowed you to raise more money to pay claims. You sacrificed future business for a short term public relations reward that will have a shorter shelf life than the Obama speech condemning you.

Yes, the spill needs to be fixed and you need to pay claims. Yet destroying the trust with the only people standing by you was as shortsighted as it is counterproductive.

I am no liberal anti-business crybaby. I worship at the alter of big business. My favorite charity is “save the big businessmen.” So when a rah-rah cheerleader for corporate America tells you that you screwed up royally, trust me on this one.

Perhaps giving away all of your wealth is part of some elaborate estate planning technique I did not think about.

Or you just caved in to pressure and gave up all of your leverage for nothing.

You are now as dead in the water as the oil coated pelicans.

The only people willing to give you a chance were the shareholders and future potential shareholders. They will flee in droves, as they should.

Your dividend is gone. Enjoy your remaining few months on Earth before the president shuts you down faster than Vladimir Putin seized Yukos Oil.

The spill was an accident. Eliminating your dividend was a deliberate dreadful decision.


14 Responses to “British Petroleum Screws Up Royally”

  1. I hope Republicans run on this come November. I really do. This was an avoidable accident – in other words, no more an accident than negligence. But please, keep saying things like this! Please! I beg of you!


  2. Micky 2 says:

    yeah, ts pretty sickening that BP and most of the country is falling for this crap.
    Obama just wants to be the last face associated with the pay outs.

    A dog doesnt care who actually paid for the food. He only loves the one who puts it in front of him.

    Right Jersey, lets talk about the Minerals Management whacking off for the last 18 months, giving BP a pass and the Clinton Admin that okay’d hundreds of these platforms

  3. Last 18 months?! LOL! Yeah, right. You conservatives can NEVER just be man enough to admit when you’re wrong – let alone EVER take responsibility. Heck, our good host thinks the shareholders – the owners – of BP should pay no price whatsoever for the clean-up! You guys talk about morality, talk about responibility. but when the heat is on, the only thing you care about is yourselves.


  4. Micky 2 says:


    “It’s not a good day to be an employee of the Minerals Management Service: In a somewhat angry appearance from the White House Rose Garden, President Obama said the agency is partly responsible for systemic breakdowns surrounding the April BP oil spill.

    “There’s enough responsibility to go around” for the BP oil spill, Obama said. “That includes, by the way, the federal government.”

    “For too long, for a decade or more, there’s been a cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill,” Obama said, referring to MMS. “It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies.

    “That cannot and will not happen anymore.

    Washington post even carried it.
    MM was under Obamas watch for the last 18 months failing to enforce saftey standards


    Eric thinks BP shouldnt pay ?
    how the hell did you get there ?

  5. Micky, I was laughing because you conferred that the MMS was somehow asleep at the job the past 18 months… try YEARS AND YEARS.

    This is just more uttter total complete failure of laizzez faire government.

    Face it – YOU conservatives caused the Gulf oil spill.


  6. Eagle 6 says:

    This was pretty decent back-and-forth until the final line: “YOU conservatives caused the Gulf oil spill”… BOB did it! Big Oil Bush. Light bulb Ford moment with a V8 epiphany…darn that guy. He was so bad it will take Pres Obama 4 terms to right those wrongs…

  7. Eagle, you have to man up and face the consequences of your political beliefs. You want “Drill, baby, drill?” You want deregulated industry? You want government out of the way? You want corporations treated like human citizens, but without the criminal liabilities? You want corpoate campaign donations treated as “free speech?” Well, you got it! You got the Republican Way. Enjoy the disaster you caused.


  8. Eagle 6 says:

    OK Jersey, I man up: Drill, Baby, Drill provides a required service. There are consequences. This industry IS being regulated. It is intuitively obvious to the casual observer that maybe the government regulators failed. OF COURSE it was the Republicans fault because they had a President in control for 8 of the last 10 months, and a Republican Congress for six of the last 10…and the Democrats have only controlled Congress for the past four years, and our current CINC is so busy cleaning up Bush’s mess, he hasn’t had time to really do anything else. It was the Republicans who tried to regulate the mortgage industry. I can man up. How’s that working out for you? It works both ways. To pick out one incident and say “It’s BOB’s fault because he is a Republican” is so outrageously naive and comic-bookish, to use one of your favorite “let me be clear” moments, it doesn’t deserve further consideration.

  9. Eagle 6 says:

    years not months

  10. The oil industry is OBVIOUSLY not being propery regulated. Just because something ostensibly “is” being regulated, that doesn’t mean it’s being regulated correctly. The MMS is an infamously corrupt body that is waaaaaaaay too close to the industries it’s supposed to monitor. That’s not regulating – that’s appeasing. And the Republicans most certinaly DID NOT try to regulate the mortgage industry. A couple of Republicans in the House, working with Barney Frank, tried to move some language, but the GOP in the senate REFUSED to even look at it and Bush would most SURELY have vetoed it anyway!

    Get your history straight, Eagle! C’mon man!

    Are you honestly going to try to tell me that if BP was better regulated this could not have been averted? Are you honestly trying to tell me that the GOP wanted to rein in CDSs? Are you honestly trying to tell me that drilling for a litle more oil in dangerous deep waters is going to make a squats worth of difffernce in our energy supply?

    C’mon man! You’re a grown, educated, worldly man! How can you think these silly things?


  11. Micky 2 says:

    “that’s appeasing. And the Republicans most certinaly DID NOT try to regulate the mortgage industry. ‘

    I have repeatedly shown you the congressional transcripts of both Bush and McCain begging the 111th congress to do something about the impending housing/mortgage crisis… so… to borrow from you;

    “You’re a grown, educated, worldly man! How can you think these silly things?”

    “You want “Drill, baby, drill?”

    Obama wanted it off the east coast just before this spill

  12. Micky 2 says:

    cant post anything substantial again

  13. Eagle 6 says:

    Jersey, I am laughing right now because I am off the hook – our favorite attack dog Micky did a far better job of answering than I could have! As for the regulators on oil industry – I am not arguing that the MMS did a poor job, but I just can’t see ANY proof or even indication that it was solely a Republican thing. The Repubs did more “democrat-like” stuff under Bush than any president since Roosevelt, and that, more than anything, has hurt the economy and immigration reform. He violated the Republican principles of smaller government and may far too many concessions to be bipartisan. We are paying for it now, and if we continue to make the government a jobs program, we will continue our slide. I think we should drill on dry land….a lot. In the late 60s, I think we were the number 2 oil exporter. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be there again.

  14. parrothead says:

    What I have found interesting thorough this entire episode is I have heard lots about the risks and mistakes as to how an dwhy the leak hasa spread and wasn;t contained. To date I have still not heard any explanation of the CAUSE of the epxlosion in the first place. In Califronia every year we are treated to terrible forest fires most of which when the investigation was done were started intentionally by a human being. Is that the case here. Was it afreak accidetn that cause the explosion, was it started intentionally. If the latter by who and why? Was this a case like the anthrax scare a few years back where somebody was trying to show the flaws in the system. Did somebody deliberately cause the explosion to demonstrate the lack of controls in place? I am nto talking about somegrand conspirace just some wacko wiht a cause.

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