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Feinberg Opens $20B BP Shakedown Fund

From an unquestioning Reuters:

Compensation czar takes charge of $20 billion BP fund

By Matthew Bigg
August 23, 2010

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – A $20 billion compensation fund for economic victims of the BP Gulf oil spill opens for business on Monday amid accusations that the rules established by its administrator are unfair.

It is just opening now? We thought this had happened more than a month ago. Didn’t ‘Sherriff Joe’ leaned on BP way back on June 16th?

What a testimony to government efficiency this is.

Kenneth Feinberg who will run the fund said those who sustained financial loss because of the spill could claim for damages and he promised claimants more generous treatment than they would get if they sued the energy giant for damages.

Why "more generous"? We thought they were supposed to prove what they had lost, and that was that.

"The goal here is to try and explain to eligible claimants: ‘It is not in your interest to tie up yourself and the courts in years of uncertain protracted litigation when … there is a more efficient quick alternative’" Feinberg told a news conference on Sunday.

"The goal will be to pay any individual claim within 48 hours of the claim being finalized and seven days for any business claim," he said.

Why the rush? Are they trying to surpass the Katrina record for fraud and theft?

BP set up the fund in June under pressure from the White House to come up with a remedy for the losses sustained in the fishing, tourism and other industries on the Gulf of Mexico coast because of the leak that began in April and was capped in July.

Does “other industries” include the oil workers who have lost their jobs because of Mr. Obama’s illegal and gratuitous drilling ‘moratorium’?

Certainly, these workers have suffered more directly than people in the fishing business (whose fishing areas have long since been reopened) and tourism (which should have never really been affected in the first place).

Feinberg was named its administrator because of the reputation for fairness he acquired administering the 9/11 fund and determining executive pay for companies bailed out by the government during the recession.

What a laugh. We suppose this means his “reputation for fairness” with the media. Some of us unenlightened types still wonder how fair it was that Mr. Feinberg would be deciding who gets paid what on Wall Street.

But the spill fund may provide an even tougher challenge, according to insurance experts who said calculating claims for businesses would be particularly difficult.

For the next six months, anyone claiming an emergency payment can also sue BP at a future date but beyond that period claimants would forfeit the right file against the company, Feinberg said.

The position is controversial. Florida’s Attorney General Bill McCollum issued a statement last week saying the ruling favors BP and weakens provisions advocated by state attorney generals along the coast…

In his defense, Feinberg said the idea for the cut-off point was his rather than BP’s.

"I am beholden to neither the administration nor BP. I am entirely independent," Feinberg said, adding that entry into the compensation process was voluntary

Imagine packing so much mendacity into one sentence.

So far, BP has paid $375 million in compensation, Feinberg said, though that money was separate from the $20 billion

Notice how far down in their story Reuters buried this tidbit of information. So BP has already paid out $375 million, and they are still on the hook for another $20 billion?

Sure, companies are going to flock to the US to drill for oil now.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, August 23rd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Feinberg Opens $20B BP Shakedown Fund”

  1. proreason says:

    Bernie Madoff is livid with jealousy.

    It took years for him to bilk his victims.

    The government does it like they’re swatting flies.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Looks like the Powerball Lottery is gonna be losing money. Why play that when the odds and payouts would be much better if you just show up with some doctored up “documentation” about how much money you lost due to the “largest environmental disaster the US has ever had”?

    Shoot, Powerball is only at 20 million right now. I have documentation that I lost more than that in my shrimping and oystering operations and seafood places alone. To say nothing of all the related losses from my trucking outfit, my hotels and casinos.

    I need to go get another printer cartridge.

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