BP, Disasters / Emergencies, Ken Feinberg

Ken Feinberg Offers Better Deals than Lawsuits

As we mentioned this weekend, the BP oil spill has been capped (for the time being), and now we can fully focus on who needs to get paid. As with so many things, it’s Ken Feinberg’s world and we’re just living in it. Bloomberg reports:

Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing a $20 billion fund to pay damage claims from BP Plc’s oil spill, pledged to create a system “more generous and more beneficial” to spill victims than taking the company to court.

More generous than court? Ooohh, judicial system, Czar Feinberg is calling you out. You gonna just take that?

In fairness, Feinberg’s plan sounds like exactly what would an effective solution for our immigration problem with Mexico. You know, we could help make Mexico so awesome that its people would want to stay there.

But in terms of the BP situation, should generosity be the most important concern? The New York Times reports that Feinberg has quite a sales job on his hands:

“This program I am running is absolutely voluntary — nobody has to do it,” he said at one stop. “It’s my opinion you are crazy if you don’t participate.”

Mr. Feinberg knew he was facing many skeptics — and cynics — who no doubt wondered if they could get more money from the oil company, not to mention satisfaction, in the courts. He acknowledged the doubters, noting that they were being asked to sign up for “a program that’s never been tried, never been tested and that they view with some skepticism.”

Really, if all these BP claims end up in court, the process will get totally out of hand. We need people to trust their government and trust that Feinberg and BP will treat people fairly.

And since this country was founded on distrust of government… yeah, good luck with that, Czar Feinberg.

Feinberg Says BP Fund Will Be Generous, Better Than Lawsuits [Bloomberg]
For Kenneth Feinberg, More Delicate Diplomacy [New York Times]

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