Is BP a buy?

2nd June 2010

BP's spill will cost it dearly.

There is the pure economic cost. There is the long-term reputational cost. There is the environmental cost, and finally there is the ‘irritating-the-President' cost.

6 thoughts on “Is BP a buy?”

  1. Dontmindme says:

    Fukushima vs Chernobyl

    Classification of level seven does not mean the incidents are alike in scale. From reporting this morning, The best estimate is that so far the radiation leakage is 10% of Chernobyl, and crucially in a much more limited area (most of that 10% is leakage into coolant water itself largely contained on site), and that the level of leakage has already fallen from its peak. IF the current leaks are not contained then eventually the leak might reach Chernobyl levels.

    Even if that happens, the evacuations have already happened or are happening now, and therefore the death toll will be very small, i.e. it still wont be a Chernobyl.

    What would appear to be the main consequernce remains unchanged by the classification change. The power from the plants six reactors will never come back on line now, and therefore the implications for Japans power shortage will be significant and far more important than radiation issues

    1. Anonymous says:

      CNN reports that reactors 1,2,3 and 4 will require decommissioning. Reactors 5 and 6 were in cold shutdown when the quake happened. I think reactors 5 and 6 will be running for the summer peak usage.

      1. Dontmindme says:

        I am not so sure. Japanese public opinion, and Japanese infrastructure is far more informed / resilient than the old USSR’s. I am not sure anyone will allow them to come back on line politically. Also continuing aftershocks will ensure lots more leaks will keep the plant of limits for a while yet.

  2. Mac says:

    I thought arable commodity prices were peaking? Could it be the big supermarkets are only trying to buy back footfall from the discounters using staples and if so there might be shocks in store when prices get back to ‘normality’.

    Productive arable land has not kept up with rising populations so there will be a squeeze come what may. ‘’Arable land area per person in 1961 was 0.42 hectares. In 2007 the per capita availability of arable land had halved to 0.21.’’

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Shaun. Reading your latest posts makes me wonder how all of these themes you cover converge. Is it not the case that rising long term interest rates will act against the inflationary forces whilst extraordinary monetary policies suppress exchange rates for sterling and the dollar.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Hi Shire
      In general yes with the fact that the US has a more expansionary monetary regime than the UK meaning that over time one would expect the US dollar to be weaker than the pound sterling.

      It is a lot in one go and illustrates to my mind the dynamic nature of many events which leaves static theoretical economics rather far behind. This is one of the reasons I feel that it has done so badly over the credit crunch.

      The next real move barring natural disasters I expect is the end of QE2- which I expect to be on time as in June- and what happens next. If asset markets take it badly the FOMC could be forced into QE3 in say September. But in an “expect the unexpected” world much may change before we get there…

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