As we put together this edition of the Weekly News Analysis, I kept thinking that it’s particularly difficult these days to analyze much of the news without weighing economic, human, and environmental costs. The recent volcanic episodes in Iceland created enormous ripple effects globally on each of these fronts. I’m sure that many of you are following the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. That accident happened on April 20, resulting in 11 deaths and an oil leak damaging land, water, fish, and fowl, potentially like no other oil catastrophe before it. The financial storms that these events and others (9/11?) create are widespread and felt in every pocket of society.
BP shares have fallen nearly 40%, wiping out nearly $70 billion in shareholder value. Staggering. An accountant in Florida told me that one of his clients, a retired couple, had more than a third of their nest egg in BP stock. The waves that BP has created will remain with the world for a very long time…just ask a fisherman in Louisiana.