Bailing Out BP


Anyone looking for another clue that the BP claims process allows the company to dodge its responsibility should note that the Federal Reserve is “urging” financial institutions to expedite loans, ease credit terms and consider waiving late fees.

The move, reported in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, comes with regulators’ assurances that any such actions “… if conducted in a reasonable and prudent matter, are consistent with safe and sound banking practices.” In bank-speak, that seems to mean “no harm, no foul” if these loans go bad.

This is clearly another example of how those hurt by BP’s actions are relying not on the broken claims process, but on other resources … in this case, their banks to try and make things right. Regulators also urged the banks to expedite loans that anticipate future receipt of BP payments … yet another reason to be frustrated that there is so little consistency or transparency in the BP payment system.

On the heels of a massive financial meltdown, we must really be in trouble when we’re now looking to the banks to bail out BP. Stay tuned…

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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