Thursday, June 17, 2010
When you're in a lot of trouble, sometimes you'd rather your friends just said nothing:
BP's Russian partners, who had sparred with the British company over management at the venture in recent years, last week came out publicly to defend BP's environmental performance amid the Gulf crisis. Mikhail Fridman, who leads the group of Soviet-born billionaires, said BP was much more concerned about environmental and safety issues than most Russian companies, adding, "I don't think there's a threat to the stability of the company in a purely financial sense."
Oh. Good point. If a group of "Soviet-born billionaires" commends you for exceeding the environmental standards of "most Russian companies," what are we all so damned worried about?
Meanwhile, from Adam Nossiter at the New York Times:
"The Niger Delta, where the wealth underground is out of all proportion with the poverty on the surface, has endured the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every year for 50 years by some estimates. The oil pours out nearly every week, and some swamps are long since lifeless."
It is not obvious that "The Company Formerly Known As British Petroleum" would regard Russians as friends.
After all, the Russians kicked out Dudley as head of TNK-BP -- which is why he is available to take over from the wounded Tony Hayward as the person in charge of BP's efforts in the Gulf.
Meanwhile, Hayward walked out on the US and went to a yacht race this weekend in currently uncontaminated waters off the English coast. That's what wanting his life back apparently means.
It is great that European businessmen are so much more in touch with the "small people" than their evil US counterparts.
I do not know why everyone is so exised about "the small people". The term is paricularly apt if you consider small to be people without much power. Think in terms of the minor bondholders (secured)of Chrysler who got screwed over so the ratbags could give the auto workers union (non-secured) a share of Chysler.
Then again there are all the small people who got screwed over on Obamacare because the big people - AMA, Unions, Health care organizations got a deal with the Obama Administration.