Monday, April 11, 2011

That Was Some Shakedown

Like the oil spill never happened.

Despite its hefty spill-related spending, BP's cash pile more than doubled in 2010, to $18.6 billion. Free cash flow will likely be another $8 billion to $10 billion this year at current oil-price levels

Isn't that amazing? And some folks were worried that the socialist Kenyan anti-colonialist government of the United States might get in the way of BP making oodles of cash last year.

But even after all that "shakedown" and "extortion," BP's back to payin' dividends, baby!

Except, of course, to the creatures that live in the water and those pesky folks who live at the water's edge.



Dante said...

From what I recall and what I'm rereading, the argument against Obama going after BP was that he didn't have the legal authority to just take money from them without due process. I understand the sentiment but disagree since BP voluntarily gave up the money. They could've fought it in court if they wanted to.

The other argument I remember was that if we made BP pay for the cleanup they'd just pass the costs along to consumers... which they very obviously did. The analysis was spot on but I do think that's exactly where costs should've been passed: to those who financially support the company.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

I'm pretty sure you just nailed both points.

There was an additional undercurrent to the "shakedown" thing - that it was somehow wrong to publicly shame a company and insinuate future legal proceedings against them in order to acquire money quickly.

And everyone knows my thoughts regarding the "pass it on to the consumer" line of thought - pass it to the consumer and let them make decisions with their dollars.