One thing we’ve learned about the Gulf oil spill is how opinions tend to differ depending on which side of the Atlantic you reside on. Compare these screenshots of the respective homepages of the New York Times and London’s Sunday Times.
NYT’s homepage highlights BP CEO Tony Heyward’s yachting trip (taken 6/20/2010 3:50pm EST, crude MS paint additions in red are mine):
London’s Sunday Times fires back with “Obama’s Golf Days Fuel BP Row” (requires login) on their homepage (SS taken on 6/20/2010 around 4:00pm. Once again, the crude MS paint additions are mine.)
Both are bone-headed moves. Everyone should be focused on this disaster, especially considering what we’ve learned over the past few weeks. 100,000 barrels per day and possible well casing failures dictate that.
Watching this situation play out will be both fascinating and nauseating. One of the biggest questions going forward may prove to be: Is BP too dangerous to exist? I’m starting to think so. Their safety record is horrific.
BP continued to cut corners even after recent disasters, as the NYT points out here. In contrast, after the Valdez incident, Exxon transformed their culture into one where OCD-level safety concern is encouraged. I’m starting to think BP shouldn’t even be entrusted with the relief wells and a head-role in the cleanup efforts.
Disclosure: I am short BP and own long-dated, out of the money puts).