From the British Pen

A lot of folk have been trying to convince me that pension funds are dividing Americans from their friends across the pond. I think a lot of it is media driven, a common phrase I don’t use very often. Maybe I should.

If you ask me, you shouldn’t gamble with retirement. If your savings are investing, that isn’t the same as a savings account. Risk is risk. Anyhow, have fun reading the Guardian,

In the 59 days since the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, Hayward has been transformed into one of the most hated men in the US, and the ferocity of the encounter between him and the House of Representatives committee on energy and commerce was much-anticipated. As one committee member noted: “The anger at BP is at fever pitch. It’s almost palpable.”

The committee has been conducting an aggressive inquiry into the gusher, and called Hayward in to answer specific charges of suspected safety lapses and shortcuts in the design plan of the well in the days before the explosion on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon rig.

But Hayward, who had been carefully coached by legal and media teams and was testifying under oath, failed to satisfy.

“The committee is extremely frustrated with your lack of candour,” Bart Stupak, who is leading the investigation told him. “You are the CEO. You have a PhD. We hope you have more candour in your responses.”

The reprimand was just a taste of the rancour towards Hayward. He was told by angry committee members that BP had a history of cavalier disregard for environmental rules and workers’ safety.

Hayward’s claims to have ushered in a new regime of safety after taking over as chief executive of the company in 2007 were plainly ridiculed.

“When I heard of the explosion in the Gulf, the name that immediately popped into my mind was BP,” said Stupak.

read more.

YOUTUBE: BP is Looking For Friends

BP is agressively searching for friends and subscribers on YouTube and they are sparing no expense. All day their video adds have plagued my monitor, so I took a moment to see how their newest upload is fairing with the public. You really have to marvel at the PR challenges in this Internet age, and notice just how easy Exxon had it when the spilled a tanker load off the coast of Alaska. Can an energy company survive  online criticism as well as Paris Hilton? I would say yes, but this ongoing predicament is like a thousand unflattering club photos every day.

Pretty soon people will hate BP so much they will demand it gets a reality television show. Dancing with the Pelicans with CEO Hayward and Doug Suttles as judges. Now you the audience at home has a vote, and I suggest you make it. Click the picture before feedback is disabled.

Goldman Sachs: Negative Publicity is KILLING us!

Goldman Sachs has finally sussed out the fact that negative publicity is bad for business. Time to get your stuff in gear, Masters of the Universe. Hey, that’s all right: just throw a few billion into marketing and lobbying, like the entertainment and insurance industries have done, and you’re sorted.

“Goldman has become one giant pinata to whack,” said Charles M. Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, adding that he couldn’t recall a previous instance where a company cited bad publicity as a risk to its business. “It’s reflective of the rather bizarre political climate in which we operate.”

Follow the story at the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.