As of today, we've made nearly ten buckson the one share of BP we bought as a gift for the lucky person who will have guessed its value on this coming Christmas Eve. We bought at $29.67 on June 23-and it's trading at $38.18 this morning. We're not the only ones making out like bandits: "anti-big-government" Wisconsin Senate candidate Ron Johnson plans to sell his BP holdings to finance his campaign! Nifty. BP reported major losses in the second quarter of 2010, unsurprisingly; in the 2009 second quarter, they reported a profit of $4.4 billion. Yes, that's right! $4.4 billion in three months.
There's no pique quite like the British kind. The eyebrows arch, the throat clears, the spittle flecks, and the rhetoric swells portentously. It's not for nothing that the coronation robe of the country's wheezing monarchy is purple.
But when you combine this tradition of jowly hauteur with the smug shibboleths of neoliberal free-trade dogma, well, then the royal fireworks really start combusting. Just witness the Economist's June 17 opinion leader on the White House's deal with BP to create an escrow fund of $20 billion to cover the company's liabilities in the enormous Gulf oil spill.
Maybe, just maybe, the just-announced investigation by the US Attorney General into the companies involved with the Gulf Oil Disaster will actually reveal something illegal and they can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (this may at some point come to involve a sudden reversal of my strong opposition to the death penalty), despite any possibly changing liability caps. Or maybe not! The best part is that, despite the oily consequences, it's perfectly likely that everything was perfectly legal. Still, I'm looking forward to how Anne Womack-Kolton explains about how BP will be fully cooperating. (Or, you know, maybe she'll get confused from [...]
Six months ago, BP's stock price had been halved from its January high. It seems that pumping 50-odd thousand barrels of oil per day into an open ocean is not a profitable use of oil? (Though, as we'll soon demonstrate, it can be.) With its stock under $30 and Congress sending out hearings e-vites to oil executives, we wondered where BP's stock would be six months later.
At the time, it was already two months after the April 20th rig explosion. Who knew how long it would be until BP could stop the open flow of oil? (Remember when setting the Gulf of Mexico on fire was [...]
"In the 77 days since oil from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon began to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, BP has skimmed or burned about 60 percent of the amount it promised regulators it could remove in a single day. " -EMPHASIS MINE. Go ahead. Freak out on them.
According to "Proud to Buy BP," a strange Tumblr that supports the "bravery" of folks filling up their cars at BP pumps, today's Miami Herald claims that BP franchises have "no closer relationship to the crude oil company than" they do "to Coca-Cola." (Which means… the franchises… buy BP's product and resell it, just like Cokes, we're pretty sure!) So, you protesters and boycotters? You're just destroying one franchisee's American dream, not actually hurting BP, according to the media. BP gas stations just buy their gas from "a distributor," and then only pay "some money" back to BP. All over the country, the media is explaining this! [...]
This account of being on the ground in Louisiana, where BP is really running the show, is pretty horrific. Have you felt like you've been unable to find any reporting from there? That is in part because pretty much everyone has ceded control of the actual physical territory to BP. Although the company is also occupied with scooping up spilled oil on the beaches-which makes Fake Sarah Palin's Twitter joke ("I'm so heartbroken about this spill in the gulf situation. All those animals. They're polluting our oil.") all that much more biting.
In January, BP's stock price was hovering above $60 a share. This is when all of America was focused on rebuilding Haiti. (That went well.) Even BP got into the charitable spirit. At the time, the oil behemoth was getting set to drill a new well at its Deepwater Horizon site, even though at the time BP knew the well to be dangerously high-pressured. While Anderson Cooper leaped into action to single-handedly save Haitian children, BP announced the conclusion to a successful cleanup of its Alaska pipeline leak. BP's market value surpassed rival Royal Dutch Shell. BP was about to be named an [...]
And then there's this: "A bolt of lightning struck the ship capturing oil from the blown-out BP well in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, igniting a fire that halted containment efforts in another setback for the embattled company in its nearly two-month struggle to stop the spill, the company said." BP expects to resume operations later this afternoon, unless it is confronted by boils, locusts, lice and darkness, which it almost certainly will be.
BP stock, which had been hanging around at 60, is now finally heading below 50, and we hope everyone ditches out and makes those Gulf-destroying schmucks broke. So broke they won't be able to air their ridiculous "we're green!" TV ads. There's a huge number of smaller lawsuits against the company, and the company has apparently spent $450 million on cleanup (and publicists) so far (without much success obviously!) and the potential and potentially massive criminal charges are barely even being contemplated yet-but they will be, oh and how. This is not particularly a rational or even reasonable response but I would pretty much like [...]