OT: Oil spill size

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On Jun 10, 8:01pm, snipped-for-privacy@at.BioStrategist.dot.dot.com wrote:

Along those lines, the most damning thing I saw so far was a news report weeks ago. They went back several years and compared the OSHA records of BP and other oil companies. Keep in mind this is AFTER the BP Texas City explosion. In the category of willful, serious violations, BP had accumulated 762, making them #1 on the list. But far worse was the fact that the #2 violator had 6 violations, and by the third worst, like 2. And those other guys were companies like Conoco/Philips, Mobil, etc, so they were making a fair comparison.
The incredible thing, once again, is how could this go on. OSHA was just fining BP millions and they just paid it out of pocket change. One would think with any reasonable oversight they would have been shut down until they changed their ways long ago.
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Along those lines, the most damning thing I saw so far was a news report weeks ago. They went back several years and compared the OSHA records of BP and other oil companies. Keep in mind this is AFTER the BP Texas City explosion. In the category of willful, serious violations, BP had accumulated 762, making them #1 on the list. But far worse was the fact that the #2 violator had 6 violations, and by the third worst, like 2. And those other guys were companies like Conoco/Philips, Mobil, etc, so they were making a fair comparison.
The incredible thing, once again, is how could this go on. OSHA was just fining BP millions and they just paid it out of pocket change. One would think with any reasonable oversight they would have been shut down until they changed their ways long ago.
================= I believe this closely related phenomenon explains "the incredible thing" nicely:
http://reason.com/assets/mc/_ATTIC/ngillespie2/dilbert.gif
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Yep. The Obama administration is moving, via injunction, to prohibit BP from paying out its quarterly dividend until its liability in the Gulf is sorted out.
Again, the administration is trying to do what feels good without concern for the consequences. In the case of the BP dividend, California Public Employees Retirement System, New Jersey Division of Investment and the Texas Teachers Retirement System own a lot of shares. The New Jersey bunch owns 51 million shares of BP and was expecting a quarterly divident of $400 million.
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That's too bad. Losing the dividend will not cost those employees their jobs.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

No, but pensioners can't get unemployment compensation.
Some significant number of retirees were depending on that dividend for rent, food, medicine, and Bingo money.
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They shouldn't have all their eggs in one basket. Or in other words, tough shit. I'm more concerned about the safety of our food supply. We don't have clue #1 yet what disasters like this mean in terms of damage to fisheries, and the effects on our health. My concerns would be best addressed by designating BP's type of negligence as a felony, if someone had the balls to write laws like that.
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On 6/10/2010 5:24 PM JoeSpareBedroom spake thus:

>

Amen.
--
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My concerns would be best addressed by

BP is the majority owner of the alaska pipeline that had a major leak a couple years ago. The pipe was rotted worn out and needed rebuilt.
BP headed by tony haward who wantsd his life back, and says shareholder value is number ONE.
Profits before safety:(
Its like the housing collapse, unlimiteed greed without proper regulation.Hey its making great profits why worry?
I DONT want to see BP merged!! creating yet another even larger oil company..
BP needs to go BANKRUPT, and be sold off piecemeal to all other oil companies...
to maintain at least the appearance of competition.
the management of companies who ignore safety need to be used as a example.
5 yeas in maximum security prison would send other companies the message that safety must come first.
companies like BP who pay fines jst looking at violations as a cost of doing business.....
The fines should go up EXPONENTIALLY so they couldnt afford poor safety.
BP had over 800 safety citations exxon mobil ONE, sunoco 8.
Our country better fix this or the next cost cutter could be a nuclear power plant turning a big chunk of our country into a dead no humans live here for thousands of years
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On Thu, 10 Jun 2010 17:50:20 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

China is drooling now, at a chance to buy it.
...

You're kidding, right? Level 6 MAX is for the recalcitrant!
We have Club Fed for CEO's, politicians, etc.
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6.5% dividend doesn't have to be remotely all your eggs to have a major impact on your income.
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wrote:

Failure to diversify? Too bad. Tough shit.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

The New Jersey pension fund is about as diversified as a fund can get. It still will take a $400 million hit under Obama's plan.
40% of pensioners in the UK own BP stock and will not get their anticipated quaterly dividend.
Forty percent of BP's stock is owned by American pension funds. Another 14% is owned by individual Americans.
In BP's case, it has $2 billion in quarterly profits to disburse. To BP, it matters not whether it's held in escrow or sent out in checks. The disbursements DO matter to: a) The people who will NOT get the expected checks, and b) The Obama administration that feels it is somehow punishing BP.
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wrote:

Were you equally outraged when pension funds were burned by their investments in funny real estate crap invented by companies like Goldman Sachs?
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

No, of course not, although the two do have in common government meddling in the marketplace.
In the case of Goldman-Sachs - and related - the whole sheebang started with the Clinton administration, amending the Affordable Housing Act, mandating lending institutions loan money to credit-worthless individuals to buy homes. When they couldn't make the balloon payment after three years, the homeowners simply refinanced their homes at a new, higher, value.
Ultimately, this Ponzi scheme collapsed as everybody who wanted a home had one and the real estate market stabilized.
Meanwhile, all these mortgages had to get bundled, shaved, and diced somehow, but remember, they were based on vaporous valuations.
Anyway, had it not been for the liberal dream of "every man in his own home," the recent economic set-back would not have taken place.
As to your question, Goldman-Sachs et al didn't make the rules and cannot be fairly criticized for playing by them.
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On 6/11/2010 1:47 PM HeyBub spake thus:

I'm just singling out this one comment from the rest of your drivel to show definitively, once and for all, that you're just a common garden-variety elitist. The most self-centered type possible. Hell, not even the Tea Party would have you, is my guess.
Yes, only the rich and successful should be allowed to dream of owning their own home. Fuck the poor; they're just a bunch of Darwinian losers.
So we can safely go back to just ignoring your drivel. Well-crafted drivel, I'll grant you, but drivel nonetheless.
--
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with the flaunting of well-defined muscle, wrapped in flags.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

I never said only the rich and powerful should own their own homes. It has long been the policy of the government to encourage home ownership, just witness the home mortgage interest deduction that's been around since forever.
But for the government to demand that people with no jobs or low-paying jobs be granted a mortgage by financial services firms when they are already spending 105% of their weekly paycheck on such things as wheel rentals for their tricked-out '86 Chevys is madness.
Name ONE "decent housing for the poor" plan that's worked as envisioned: Rent supplements, public housing projects, the Community Reinvestment Act, vouchers, whatever. Pick one as an exemplar of success and share your choice with us.
I doubt that you can, because if the scheme you name WAS a success, then all the rest would have faded into oblivion.
And, to set your mind at ease, I am an elitist. I hold that only those who spend 16 or more years in the study of medicine should be trusted with slicing people open, and so on. I'll complain about one thrown attribute though. No elitist would admit to being a "common, garden variety" elitist - we elites are, well, elite.
Now David, you seem like an intelligent person, and, as such, we'd be pleased to welcome you into our ranks. Enlightenment is, kinda like the Masons, a multi-runged process. If you can get past the first stage, you're well on your way.
The first stage is simple - you merely have to adhere to the following rule:
While each person is entitled to an opinion, he is not entitled to inflict that opinion on others or, in fact, even mention it in polite company. An "opinion" is a sincerely held belief not supported by facts. Now a nascent elite is comfortable saying: "I don't want to hear your opinion, I want to hear facts. By that I mean evidence sufficiently strong on its face to compel a rational mind of the truth of your proposition. If you can't muster facts, then shut up."
If you can direct your life, adhering to this principle, then you have achieved the First Degree Elite station.
Report back when you reach this condition, and I'll forward the secret decoder ring we all have.
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changes in the law that meant a whole bunch of people who should not have gotten loans did. I don't see how it is all that progressive to make it possible (almost mandatory) to give a person a house that they PTB know from the outset he isn't going to be able to afford to keep. Seems rather cruel to me.
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I think most of us here that have gotten mortgages were shocked at how some people were able to obtain mortgages with nothing down, little or no verification of income, etc. In some cases they obtained in excess of 100% financing. When I've gone for mortgages they were up my rear with a microscope and that was with excellent credit, a long term job at a Fortune 100 company, and 20% down. And this went on for years, yet as usual, when the sh** hit the fan, Congress acts like they are surprised, outraged and didn't play a role in either actually enabling this or at the very least, looking the other way.
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wrote:

It was Wall St.'s voracious appetite for mortgages of any kind that fed the process. The poor were just pawns the lenders could lure into a machine that never meant to let them own a house in the long run. This is one of those cases where crooks saw an opportunity to do something criminal and yet lay the blame at the feet of the government.
If it were true, hundreds of bankers would be telling lurid tales of how Barney Frank or Nancy Pelosi came into their offices with a gun and made them make loans to poor people. It just didn't happen like that. It was Enron/WorldCom take two, and naked greed ran the show. And that meant happily making loans to people who could never complete the payments knowing that they could foreclose on those houses and resell them to other suckers.
What happened was that they scammed so many people that the market got flooded with foreclosed homes that no one wants to buy at the crazy, inflated prices that came with the bubble.
Lenders just wanted loans of any quality they could package and securitize (putting bad apples in with good and making them legally very hard to split apart). When the loans went bad, they were someone else's problem. The thinking, I am sure, was to repo the house and sell it to another buyer that really couldn't afford it, generating more fees for the lender.
The CRA was involved in less than 1/4 of the subprime loans that caused the breakdown and Bush was a big supporter of that act. Both parties were until the party was over.
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/loans-20542-subprime-banks.html says:
<The criticisms of the reinvestment act don't make sense to Glenn Hayes. He runs Neighborhood Housing Services of Orange County, which works with banks to provide CRA loans to first-time homebuyers. In its 14-year history, the nonprofit has helped 1,200 families buy their first homes. Score so far: No foreclosures and a delinquency rate under 1 percent. "It is subprime that's really causing it," Hayes said of the mortgage crisis. "But CRA did not force anyone to do subprime.">
The CRA boogeyman is something universally touted by ultra-con talk show hosts to try to hide the failure of the "free market" and de-regulation. But like so many other fairytales, it's just not true. Demonstrably so.
-- Bobby G.
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made it possible on many levels. The largest players in this was the quasi- governmental units like Fannie and Freddie. And lets not forget about underwriting standards of the FHA that were largely required to be followed to get loans guaranteed and able to sell many of them off. I get a kick out of lawmakers (of all stripes) who get upset about corp bonuses yet don't acknowledge (or hell even realize) that their own messing with things they don't understand (economics and tax laws) brought much of it about. You effectively cap the salary that people are paid to actually run the company at $1 million by making anything more non-deductible. Then you tax favor bonuses and stock options to make the interests of the honchoes more in line with the shareholders. Of course you put no limits on this so that the money they get paid to actually run the company is breathtakingly small compared to what they get to run the books. (The most egregious example of this was a late-stage Merril Lynch honcho who got $300,000 in salary and $300 million in options and bonuses). So what you get is a rather startling disconnect between the honchoes and the shareholders, inflicted on us by Congress.

as Community Reinvestment did. Besides, as we are seeing now, all BF and NP had to do was go to the press and start talking about how banks would feel the wrath of the Congress and Banks got the hint. .

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