Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Somebody Plug That Hole

BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg’s hole, that is.

BP’s chairman hit back at critics of the company’s response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, insisting that they ought to remember that the group was “big and important” for the US.

As BP prepared to launch its latest attempt to halt the flow, Carl-Henric Svanberg told the Financial Times on Tuesday that “everything that can be done is being done” to staunch the spill caused by the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig.

In his first newspaper interview since the accident, he also insisted that, while BP’s reputation had suffered damage, that should not last long “if we do the right thing”.

He said: “The US is a big and important market for BP, and BP is also a big and important company for the US, with its contribution to drilling and oil and gas production. So the position goes both ways.

“This is not the first time something has gone wrong in this industry, but the industry has moved on. Of course our reputation will be tarnished, but let’s wait and see how we do with plugging the well and cleaning up the spill.”


He also rejected calls for the government to take direct control of the clean-up operation.

“While the well is still leaking, it is natural for people to be frustrated that efforts to cap it have failed,” he said.

“I am positive we have all the resources needed to tackle it, working along with competitor companies, scientific experts and others, and I cannot see that any other form of organisation would stand a better chance. We think we have what is needed to do it, and we will see it through.”

It looks like this guy has been having strategy sessions with Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon, two other Masters of the Universe with journeyman level experience in destroying large parts of the world. He’s definitely borrowing their posture and attitude. The best defense is a good offense. Never admit guilt, at least not completely. Treat the public like a cheap hooker. Let them know that you are everything and they are nothing. They need you more than you need them. You’re a savvy businessman, an Atlas, a motor of the world economy. They are nothing but parasites and consumers, “second-handers” as their great goddess Ayn Rand put it. Say it with conviction. Remember, it’s not a lie if you really believe it’s true.

That’s the kind of arrogant self-assurance you find in a well established aristocracy that knows its privileged status will not be jeopardized under any circumstances. No matter how badly they screw up, they will still come out on top and they know it. We also know it, and they know we know it. They’re simply laughing at us as the world economy, and now the Gulf of Mexico, are swirling down the drain.

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