FT letter – BP found guilty and sentenced without trial
by Dr. Ros Altmann
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Clive Crooks’ assessment of the BP defenders seems too harsh. Of course this is a dreadful disaster, which is wreaking havoc on livelihoods and the environment and will cost huge sums to put right. However, it seems entirely wrong that one company has been summarily tried by the ass-kicking kangaroo court of US political opinion, found fully at fault, and sentenced beyond the maximum limit without due investigation of where the guilt lies or proper opportunity to prepare its own defence. Negligence has not been proven, other companies were involved and regulators had a role too. On this basis, will US banks be required to pay the unemployment benefits of those laid off as a result of failed derivative contracts, sub-prime lending or the post-credit crisis recession?
Dr. Ros Altmann
9 Fairholme Close
London N3 3EE