BP: “Bitch Please”, you can’t regulate me.

                The largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico covered the news for months. From scientists to national guards, companies and people repeatedly failed to stop the oil spill for months. As millions of gallons of oil spilled into the ocean, the government continued to rely on BP to clean up the ocean and save the environment. However, BP consistently downplayed their responsibility every chance they could. After 5 months and 206 million gallons of gasoline, the gushing oil was finally contained.

How could we allow such a catastrophic event happen when we know the dangers of oil spills?

The catastrophic event caught millions of people’s attention all around the world. The public was outraged at the negligence and the ignorance of BP’s practices, before and during the cleanup. However, many people failed to investigate the larger picture. People neglected to consider deregulation of the oil industry and both Bushes and Obamas offices assigning ex-oil industry leaders in charge of the departments responsible for safeguarding the environment from oil drillings. This deregulation and conflicting leadership assignment allowed BP to ignore the lenient environmental laws that we did have, while also creating a culture at BP that surrounded profit. This culture caused BP to focus on consistently make profit and ignore the multiple warnings of the tragic oil spill that occurred. BP’s history is full of tragic oil spills that they chose not to learn from because they were only focused on profit and had no one regulating them making sure they adhere to environment laws.

Like Lehman Brothers, Walmart, Nike, Apple, BP focused on making profit over ethics. Even though BP’s history revels numerous oil spills and environmental ignorance, the government and people chose to ignore their behavior because they wanted to maintain the status quo. BP’s chose to act unethically by drilling in a risky place, ignoring mandatory policies and downplaying their responsibility throughout the spill. As a result, millions of gallons spilled into the Gulf killing thousands of fish and birds and causing many people to lose their jobs and land (ruined beaches). Overall, BP’s unethical behavior resulted in a catastrophic event that could have been prevented through government intervention and a change in culture at BP.


A Clutch of Break Goodies

Here is just a clutch of good randomness that has been accumulating on my desktop…

PS featured image is Simon Johnson.

Bucknell and Truth

Bucknell gets unexpected reward for being honest about a mistake.  Is this worthy of an ethical snap?

Net Neutrality?

What the hell is net neutrality?  Baratunde Thurston  one of our tech/no speakers, explains it so well, it got picked up by Raw Story.   I love how Bucknell can be a producer of information and wisdom and not just a user. 

Organization Theory is Cool

A book review about organization theory I really need to read.  Orgtheory.net is the one blog I wish I read more.

Learn from Nice Rich People

Lessons for failure and management from philanthropists.

We are drowning in deficit! (are we?)

Compare your answers to the US public and, um, the reality.

Change Doesn’t Happen.  Until it Does.

From AFL-CO vs Home Depot, through Frank-Dodd, to Citigroup.  Is corporate governance and executive compensation changing?  Maybe.  Read abotu some pretty big changes at the link.

Is a Tax Better than Regulations?

You want policy ideas?  You like finance? You dislike “regulation” that tries to dictate firm behavior?  Try this one.  Instead of trying to tell financial firms what they can or can’t do, how much capital to have on the books, and so on, how about you tax a vice- like we do with alcohol and tobacco- and simply tax financial transactions to make trading for the sake of microscopic gains on immaterial price shifts non-economic?  Read. here about Europe’s experiment with a different, and I would argue,  less intrusive form of regulation to change financial markets and firms.

You want even more financial regulation news?

You are really, really troubled.  I hope Vinny, Loukas, Mike, and… (who else are finance jocks?) are reading this. Simon Johnson.  yes, THAT Simon Johnson, had this blog post about the 12 “angry bankers” of the Fed and their ideas to push for transparency in money market fund valuations as part of the (yes, that same one) Frank Dodd bill reforms that created the systemic risk council.  In a nutshell, the financial industry does NOT WANT such valuation while the regulators do.

I am never surprised when practicing “capitalists” fight against actual free markets (with liquidity and transparency).  Businesspeople are often, perhaps usually anti-capitalist if you define capitalism not as maximum wealth accumulation, but as free markets that expand the prosperity of a society.  Am I alone in seeing this?

Science, Cynicism and Sport

Why is the sociological imagination replacing physical science as the current major common denominator of our cultural life?

Physical and biological science dominated as the major common denominator of cultural life over the last few hundred years. With a sense of wonder and discovery, men sought out the “truth” through the physical and biological sciences that could be supported through additional findings and experimentation. Religious doubts had been defeated and science could prove anything at this time, as people looked whole-heartedly toward science to find definitive meanings. The field advanced tremendously to the point that the question was no longer “can we do it?” but rather “should we do it?” The most recent major scientific developments have created more problems in the realm of social affairs than physical solutions. Continue reading