In a deal negotiated last month, President Obama and BP officials agreed the company would pay $5 billion annually over the next four years into an escrow account for damage its oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused. Ken Feinberg, who was appointed to administer oil spill claims out of the escrow fund, has said he “hasn’t been able to start writing claims checks” because BP PLC has failed to deposit any money into the $20 billion fund it promised to create:
Feinberg, who was appointed to administer oil spill claims out of the fund, said he doesn’t have the authority to force BP to deposit the money, but his hands are tied until it does. “I don’t want the checks to bounce,” he said.
The day after the escrow account’s establishment in June, BP CEO Tony Hayward told Congress that BP is “unwavering in our commitment to fulfill all our responsibilities” and the company “won’t stop spending until the job is done.”
America’s biggest creditor – China – has called our bluff.
As the Financial Times notes, the head of China’s biggest credit rating agency has said America is insolvent and that U.S. credit ratings are a joke:
The head of China’s largest credit rating agency has slammed his western counterparts for causing the global financial crisis and said that as the world’s largest creditor nation China should have a bigger say in how governments and their debt are rated.
“The western rating agencies are politicised and highly ideological and they do not adhere to objective standards,” Guan Jianzhong, chairman of Dagong Global Credit Rating, told the Financial Times in an interview.
“The US is insolvent and faces bankruptcy as a pure debtor nation but the rating agencies still give it high rankings ,” Mr Guan said.
This "piece" of driftwood washed up on the beach at La Push, a small community in Clallam County, Washington. On our visit there in early spring, a very strong gale was blowing. Powerful winds accompanied by high tides are required to bring monsters like this ashore. The entire length of the beach was strewn with driftwood of all sizes.