19 June, 2010

Apologies ? What For ?

Here's an article in the Business Times that I agree with : Joyce Hooi writes "Say 'sorry' for apologising" (new URL)

So, once again, the US plays the role of Goliath and decides to "strong-arm" another entity. BP has to put $20billion into a ("slush") fund ?

It might be been interesting (amusing) if BP had refused. Would American Citizens have called for boycott of British products as they did with the French when France opposed the war on Iraq ? Oh yeah. the two aren't the same, you say. Actually they are quite similar in how US Citizens behave when they are irked -- "the rest of the world, if it doesn't agree with us OR it hurts us, has to pay. We don't have to pay Afghanistan and Iraq for destroying their cities and killings tens of thousands of their civilians."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The only reason this has anything to do with the rest of the world is that BP is, well, British.

In the US legal system, when a company does something bad to someone, that person can sue to be made whole again. Is that unfair?

In practice, little fish suing big companies are at a disadvantage - the big company can simply wear them down through legal maneuvering. For example, the Exxon Valdez disaster managed to avoid paying anything for 20 years. This is obviously wrong, and BP is obviously going to have to pay, so why give all the money to lawyers? The people getting their livelihoods wiped out can't last months.

Also, the US legal system has something called "Bankruptcy," which among other things means that fictitious legal persons (which is what companies are) can ask courts to protect them from creditors, when they don't have enough money to pay all of them. People who win lawsuits against companies are creditors. So it happens that some people win lawsuits and don't get paid through this kind of legal maneuvering. Again, this is patently wrong, and that's why there's this "slush fund," to grab at least some of the money before shareholders get what is left. And who are these shareholders? A large proportion are US pension funds. These things are never simple.

Agree with your characterization of American Citizens though, I find it embarrassing. It's nothing new, and people are down on Obama, Clinton et al when they try to guide the US towards being a good world citizen. Contrast with the Iranians telling the world that Rupert Murdoch is a secret Jew.

You might google "Sarah Palin" and "drill, baby, drill" for some more entertainment.

word: quingstf