Wednesday, June 16, 2010

BP Agrees to $20.1 Billion Trust Fund for "The Small People"

From this afternoon's New York Times:
The White House and BP agreed on Wednesday that the oil giant would create an independent $20 billion fund to pay claims arising from the worst oil spill in American history.

Bowing to pressure from the Obama administration, the company also said it would suspend paying dividends to its shareholders for the rest of the year and would compensate oil field workers for lost wages.

BP's board chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, soon after announced it would be suspending shareholder dividends for the balance of the year.

An additional $100 million will be set aside "to compensate oil field workers who have been idled by the moratorium on deepwater drilling."

Get this. While explaining the suspension of dividends, Svanberg said, "it was clear from the meeting Wednesday at the White House that the president was "frustrated because he cares about the small people." He added:
And we care about the small people. I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don’t care. But that is not the case indeed. We care about the small people.
Apparently in BP's world the rich get richer, the poor get small.

Has Svanberg ever met a Louisiana fisherman? We're tempted to suggest it, but on second thought we think he ought to stay away. One of those "small people" might take it into his head to show him just how "small" his fists are.

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