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In the news…

By Brian | January 20, 2012 | Share on Facebook

I promised myself when I started blogging again that I’d stay away from overtly political posts, but I saw a couple of articles in the news lately that I found interesting in various ways, so I thought I’d share:

BP Makes Amends
When the oil spill first occurred back in April of 2010, environmentalists claimed the damage could last for years, if not decades. Economists predicted economic doom for the Gulf region, already damaged by past hurricanes and other natural disasters. But now, less than two years later, we read this in the New York Times:

BP has performed quite admirably in [the] aftermath. It has spared no expense in cleaning up the oil. It has set aside $1 billion to restore the environment and coastal ecosystem. It underwrote an advertising campaign to lure tourists back to the Gulf Coast. Today, less than two years after the spill, the beaches are sparkling, most fishermen are working and many of the hotels are full.

At the urging of President Obama, BP also agreed to set up a $20 billion fund to compensate anyone who could show that they

Topics: News and/or Media, Political Rantings | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “In the news…”

  1. Jeff Porten says at January 21st, 2012 at 2:46 am :
    Now I suspect you’re trying to give me a headache.

    BP: it would be inaccurate to say that the environmentalists were wrong about “the damage would last for decades.” Those environmentalists who said, “The Gulf will be a dead zone for 20 years” were clearly (and thankfully) wrong. But the BP spill was essentially an uncontrolled experiment on the ecosystem of the Gulf, and the only information we have about its long-term effects is what we can predict now

  2. Brian says at January 21st, 2012 at 3:12 pm :
    @Jeff: my point really wasn’t whether or not the environmentalists were right or wrong (or why). It was that both the private and public sectors did the right things here and got a positive result. We tend to bury those stories, but put the failures of both on the front pages.

    As for Wall Street, no bonus should be paid when the employee is given his full compensation as salary. If you’re going to give 30-50% (I don’t have statistics, but that’s what I’ve seen over the years) of someone’s pay to them in a lump sum, then you should only cut that portion to zero if your intent is to only pay them 50-70% of their expected pay.

    Also of note: since 2008, there has been a significant increase in the number of people that get $0 bonus on Wall Street, particularly at the most senior levels. In 2008 itself, most senior management teams (CEOs and their direct reports) voluntarily set their bonuses to $0 (which reflected the standard factors that go into bonus calculation: performance of the industry, performance of their firm, and their own performance, but also reflected the immense political pressure of the presidential campaign at the time).

    Since then, the “meme” has been that after the crisis, Wall Street went right back to paying super-high bonuses, while the economy remained stagnant and unemployment remained high. I thought this was a clear & concise way of showing that this wasn’t (and isn’t) the case.