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'There will be damage'

June 24, 2010 - By Phil Mattera, Dirt Diggers DigestTwenty billion dollars. The amount BP agreed to put in escrow is more than 250 times the company's maximum obligation under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. It is a remarkable sum to get a corporation to disgorge before there has been any formal finding of guilt. But is it enough?While it is commendable that the people of the Gulf Coast will be guaranteed compensation, there is a risk that BP's voluntary

VOICES: Federalize BP

June 2, 2010 - By Phil Mattera, Dirt Diggers DigestPresident Obama's declaration that the federal government is in charge of the response to the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is apparently meant to deflect Katrina comparisons and show that his administration is fully engaged. With that P.R. mission accomplished, Obama now needs to turn to the question of what to do about BP.

The (investment) house always wins

April 23, 2010 - By Phil Mattera, Dirt Diggers DigestGoldman Sachs, which has long prided itself on being one of the smartest operators on Wall Street, has apparently decided that the best way to defend itself against federal fraud charges is to plead incompetence. The firm is taking the position that it is not guilty of