Anatomy of a Hustle — Obama puts the screws to BP?
The information below was from an e-mail I received from a reliable source who compiled the information. I’m in the process of sourcing the figures, and will share their point of origin as soon as I have determined it. –e
It seems like a miracle that Obama was able to convince BP to establish a $20 billion slush (oops, escrow) fund to compensate those hurt by the ongoing oil plume in the Gulf of Mexico. After all, he had no constitutional power to force them to do so; so had to resort to Chicago-style negotiating.
But, let us take a closer look at the effect on BP’s finances:
1. BP will establish a $20 billion fund, but will pay only $7 billion into it during 2010.
2. BP is a British corporation, but has a very large operating entity in the US.
3. By Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAP), BP must book the entire $20 billion expense in the year accrued. Therefore, they will book a $20 billion expense in 2010, reducing their US tax liability by $7 billion.
4. Obama also convinced this massive corporation to show their concern for the “small people” by withholding dividends to their shareholders for the last 3 quarters of 2010. This reduces their outward cash flow by about $7.5 billion, including approximately 40% of that amount to US citizens. Assuming that the Bush tax cuts will survive through 2010, the US Treasury will lose another $450 million in taxes on that amount. We won’t even discuss the effect on the US economy.
Let us put the results into a table easily understood by us “small” people:
BP Cash Flow:
o Escrow funding ($7 billion)
o Dividend saving $7.5 billion
o Tax savings $7 billion
o Net favorable cash flow : $7.5 billion
US Treasury Tax Receipts:
o BP Corporate income tax ($7.5 billion)
o BP Shareholders ($0.45 billion)
o Net unfavorable tax receipts ($7.95 billion)
I guess we really should have expected this. After all, Obama is the most inexperienced man in any room he walks into.