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Does U.S. Government Have the Right to Make BP Cut Its Dividend?
Personal opinions are irrelevant. Liability alone, is the critical reason why BP should be forced to hold any and all dividends in trust until it is perfectly clear they can meet any and all claims over a multiple year period, with potential claimants in line well before ANY shareholders.
Shareholders know and understand that their claims are always the last paid. If you don't like that, then don't buy shares. Shareholder grandstanding is just as offensive as the supposed government grandstanding. A company is given the right to exist by the laws enacted by a government. A government certainly has a right to protect assets in the face of an enormous event such as this.
Yes, maybe... BP has enough resources to pay for this disaster, but no claimant should EVER have to be looking at a BP in bankruptcy where dividend payments continued every quarter since the accident occurred. Furthermore, given the reckless behavior of the company, they should be expected to put a far larger amount of reserves on the side. The situation facing BP is entirely of their own creation, not the government's. While it may be popular to beat up the Obama administration, the reality is anyone defending BP is overlooking the fundamental basis of company law, fairness and corporate governance.
Jun 10, 2010. 07:04 AM
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