$87 million is what BP may pay in fines for failing to clean up the egregious safety violations after 15 workers were killed in an explosion in Texas.
$3.14 billion was BP’s second-quarter earnings, considered “disappointing” since they were down 50% from the year-earlier level.
Is it any wonder so many corporations are chronic scofflaws, when the penalties even in extreme cases are barely material to their operating results? Since the explosion, four more workers have died at the same refinery.
It’s time to start computing corporate penalties as fractions of equity. A penalty of 1% of equity per quarter until the plant runs right would get BP management’s undivided attention.