Been wondering when the lawyers and takeover artists would start talking about exotic ways to let BP off the hook

Blood From An Oil Covered Stone

by digby

I've been wondering when this would come up:

The idea that BP might one day file for bankruptcy, particularly as part of a merger that would enable it to cordon off its liabilities from the spill, is starting to percolate on Wall Street. Bankers and lawyers are already sizing up potential deals (and counting their potential fees).

Given the plunge in BP’s share price — the company has lost more than a third of its value since Deepwater Horizon blew — some bankers and analysts say BP is starting to look like takeover bait. The question is, who would buy BP, given its enormous potential liabilities?

Shell and Exxon Mobil are both said to be licking their chops. And already, flinty legal minds are dreaming up scenarios in which BP would file a prepackaged bankruptcy and separate the costs of the cleanup — and potentially billions of dollars in legal claims — into a separate corporate entity.

That entity will be inadequate, of course. And when the money's gone, the money will be gone.

Some people will lose their jobs in such a deal, but they'll be well compensated. The lawsuits will be tied up in court for years. The wells will belong to someone else and the beat will still go on. Good plan.