James Moore: Why BP is relieved at being £3bn lighter
Outlook The reaction of the stock market to BP's admission of what amounts to corporate manslaughter while agreeing to pay nearly £3bn in penalties is instructive. Shares in the oil giant barely blinked. They finished down just 0.35p.
What the enormous settlement should do is get the United States Department of Justice off the company's back. It is impossible to say the DoJ takes no prisoners because it has secured lots of them. If it's the monkey on your back, you're dealing with a silverback gorilla.
The majority of shareholders in this "British" oil company (copyright USA Today) are Americans, who are well aware of this. It's also run by one, so it's no wonder the reaction to this enormous penalty was much sighing of relief.
Even though this isn't over – there are still civil claims outstanding and other regulatory agencies sniffing around – the deal struck yesterday has got to be worth it for a company that still hasn't cleaned the dirty oil from its reputation. Even if it comes at the price of the liberty of a couple of scapegoats.
Did I say scapegoats? Maybe I'm jumping the gun, but there have been two arrests of individuals to accompany the charges.
I'm not for an instant seeking to defend anyone found to have behaved negligently. Eleven people lost their lives, and the environmental damage wreaked by the Deepwater Horizon spill was disgusting.
But it strikes me that if individuals were at fault, so was a corporate culture that prioritised presenting fancy-looking cost cuts to the City at the expense of safety. The responsibility for that was high up within the BP's corporate headquarters.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Stephen Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli air strike destroys home for the disabled killing two women residents
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli PM says conflict may 'continue for a long time' as hundreds of Palestinians flee their homes
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...