Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Asperger's Social Graces Of Tony Hayward

Disclosure: yesterday I took the most cynical action of my life, entering the stock market for the first time to buy a few shares of BP. (They're Too Big To Fail!) With luck, one day I'll make dividends enough to buy a big pack of gum from the local BP station (which used to be a Citgo until the owner moved to what he thought was a better company, poor guy. Sure hope my investment decisions turn out better than his).

Speaking now not as an incredulous blogger but a Concerned Shareholder, I demand to know why BP can't find a CEO with better social skills than Rain Man. Tony Hayward, who earlier complained that he wanted to "get [his] life back," took this weekend off to go to a yacht race in England. How can our company survive if the man at the helm is clueless enough to think "You know what's a good idea? Leaving the oil-ravaged Gulf of Mexico to traipse across the Atlantic and indulge in the sort of pastime only the exceedingly rich can afford."

Actually, his cluelessness doesn't bother me so much as his callousness. Even if he still has a grand time in private behind the closed doors of his mansions -- as I'm sure he does -- in public simple manners, to say nothing of corporate responsibility to the shareholders, demands he comport himself with a certain gravitas.

As a Concerned Shareholder, I cast a vote of no confidence in Hayward's leadership abilities. Push him out, replace his golden parachute with lead, and toss him into the rainbow-streaked waters* off the Louisiana coast. If he's lucky, maybe he'll land on his yacht.

*Disclaimer: Use of the phrase "rainbow-streaked waters" in lieu of "toxic contaminated sludgy horror that wouldn't exist if not for BP's long record of negligence, irresponsibility and callous disregard for the environment" is in no way intended to make the Gulf catastrophe sound less nightmarish than it actually is in a cynical bid to drive up BP's stock price so I can get a free pack of gum.


Blogger rhhardin said...

Fortunately it's a better deal than a lottery ticket. Markets give you a fair price. Might go up, might go down.

My own guess is that it will go down. Political piling on has pretty done away with all constraints by now.

Con Ed when it suspended its dividend (owing to regulatory nonapproval of a fair rate of return) was the last good bet on the return of government responsibility, I feel.

Since then government responsibility has pretty much disappeared as a political force.

But you might make out okay.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Even if BP goes bankrupt and the stock drops to zero, I'll be fine since I didn't spend anything I can't afford to lose. Conversely, if the stock does well enough to regain or even surpass its pre-spill value, I didn't buy enough shares to significantly increase my net worth.

1:03 PM  
Blogger LanceThruster said...

Maybe he was emptying his bilge and dumping other toxic waste overboard to make the environment familiar to him.

3:01 AM  

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