Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Individual Accountability in BP Disaster, No Criminal Charges in Financial Crisis


Majia here: Management of public outrage over the financial and BP oil crises has been expert, smooth, and sociopathic.

We see in the BP oil spill the use of scapegoating of low level employees, who surely bear some responsibility, but are merely the foot soldiers of a culture of greed and arrogance.

We see in the financial crisis erasure of personal culpability altogether, as corporate cultures seeped in corruption are euphemistically referred to as "risk seeking."

The examples below are illustrative, beginning with two articles on the criminal prosecutions of BP engineers:

In BP Indictments, U.S. Shifts to Hold Individuals Accountable by Clifford Krauss Nov 15, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/business/energy-environment/in-bp-indictments-us-shifts-to-hold-individuals-accountable.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121116


Engineers Deny Charges in BP Spill: Two Who Oversaw Safety Test Are Set to Appear in US Court on Seaman's Manslaughter Counts. The Wall Street Journal Nov 19, 2012 p. A6

[Excerpted] "It's still a surprise that the Department of Justice would pin the entire incident on just these two 60-year-old guys who were actually working on the rig" said Jimmy Ardoin, a criminal defense lawyer in HOuston....

...Assitant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said Thursday after unsealing the indictments that the accident was caused by 'BP's culture of privileging profit over prudence." BP has denied it has such a culture.

 David Ulhmann, a Univ. of Michigan law professor who previously led the Justice Department's environmental crimes unit, said the issue of BP's culture is likely to come up at trial.

"It raises the question if it is fair to charge these individuals who had no influence or authority over those policies and this culture," Mr. Uhlmann said. [end excerpt]

Majia here: The two engineers no doubt had some level of culpability, but the trial should focus on the EXECUTIVES who produced this BP culture that disregards safety, legality, and human decency.

Please see my extended post here about the BP oil spill and the use of the toxic dispersant, corexit.

It is worth noting that in 2010 BP had a huge toxic atmospheric release in Texas, as well: here 

The BP oil spill was a result of gross negligence and greed. There is no doubt. So, why focus on two lowly engineers, unless you are looking for safe scapegoats?

Now let us consider the financial crisis. No criminal charges have been leveled against any of the Wall Street banksters working for the banks holding the most responsibility for the crisis, including Goldman Sachs, J. P. Morgan Chase, Bank of American, etc. See my posts on this subject below.

The financial crisis gets described by the mainstream press as caused by a risk-taking culture and legal loopholes, despite the obvious criminal fraud at the heart of the crisis, from liars loans to fraud infused securitization processes.

No criminal charges at all for any banksters at the largest financial institutions.

In both instances -- the BP oil spill and the financial crisis -- we are witnessing miscarriages of justice. 

In the case of BP, rank and file employees are made to pay for the culture of greed that came down from the top executive eschelons. Scapegoating occurs. 

In the case of the financial crisis no criminal charges for the banksters, although a few ponzi operations get taken down for the crowd. 

There is no justice here...

Jul 26, 2012
The fraud, corruption, and weaponization of financial instruments at the heart of the crisis have continued years after the recession was declared over. Two brief examples illustrate the power of the financial industry to acquire ...
Aug 11, 2012
It is unusual for federal and state prosecutors to bring criminal charges against a defendant connected to the same set of facts. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits double jeopardy, or being tried twice for the ...
Nov 16, 2012
Media Report NO Criminal Charges in MF Global Expected. The New York Times and Washington Post emphasize a "risk taking" culture fostered by Corzine and a failure of regulators in the MF Global scam. Neither news ...
Apr 20, 2010
She argues that criminal charges should occur because these investment banks and commercial banks were fundamentally involved in criminal activities. She states they were "supplying money for fraudulent lending and ...
May 22, 2010
Today the Washington Post reports that no criminal charges will be filed against AIG executives: "The executives, who worked at a unit of AIG called Financial Products, were instrumental in designing complex contracts known ...

PREVIOUS POSTS ON GULF OIL SPILL

Aug 21, 2011
This decision against a ruling of gross negligence is hard to understand given BP's safety record. BP's corporate culture has promoted deal-making over safety (Chezan “BP's Safety Drive”, 2011, A1). BP's Prudhoe Bay ...
Mar 20, 2012
[excerpted] "A whistleblower is alleging for the first time in a yearslong lawsuit against BP that its massive Atlantis oil platform operation off the Louisiana coast faces present and imminent danger... He reported to a BP ...
Mar 05, 2012
[excerpted] "As BP settles out of court for the first phase of thousands of lawsuits that could cost the company tens of billions of dollars, Al Jazeera has spotted a large oil sheen near the infamous Macondo 252 well.
Oct 11, 2012
Matt Simmons Warned Us. Thur Oct 11 BP Close to Spill Settlement: Multibillion Dollar Deal with U.S. Would Combine Civil, Criminal Liabilities. By Daniel Gilbert p. A2. [Paraphrasing] The article states that the US government ...
Aug 09, 2010
I'm not implying that I believe everything Simmons said was true, or that I thought that nuking the well was a good idea. However, BP is lying about the condition of the ocean floor. The government's own data show lots of ...
Jul 25, 2010
BP Oil: Is There a 2nd Major Leak? Matt Simmons has been saying for months that there is a second leak, coming not from the riser but from a large fracture in the ocean floor. There is some evidence to support his claim about ...
Aug 19, 2010
Additionally, he tells Washington's Blog he does not know if the other well drilled by BP is leaking or not, but there are unsubstantiated reports of 2 leaks to the west, one about 400 feet away and one several miles away. Dr. Bea also confirms that although a methane release is unlikely to be dangerous, there does exist the real danger of hydrogen sulfites being released. Dr. Bea's interview lends support for and/or confirms a lot of Matthew Simmons's claims.

 

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