Friday, May 28, 2010

Did Transocean Purposefully Let The Deepwater Horizon Rig Explode To Collect Insurance?

That's the story being trotted out by blogger Mac Slavo:
BP and Transocean let their safety processes slide, as did the regulators, and 11 people died as a result. Someone’s father, brother, son - and for what?

According to these reports, it was for money. What motivation do corporations have to protect their employees? When they can still profit from disaster, even after people die, then the only motivation is profit. Even after settlements with the families, these companies will come out ahead.

Will anyone be prosecuted? Like Goldman Sachs, there will be a show - heck look at the circus they’ve made of it now! In the end, no one, at least not those directly responsible, will be criminally charged with manslaughter or negligence, and as a result, corporations like BP, Transocean, Goldman, JP Morgan, et. al. will continue with business as usual - killing people, destroying lives, destroying sovereign economies, manipulating currencies & stock markets, and a host of other crimes against humanity, while our politicians turn a blind eye, because they, too, have been bought and paid for.
Is this guy serious? He appears to be-- Mises's famous "no way to avoid the final bust" dictum headlines the site, presumably as words of wisdom making sacred everything else the SHTFPlan bloggers write about.

But where is the logic in this? If Transocean was willfully negligent in its safety and maintenance measures and essentially purposefully allowed the rig to explode to collect an insurance payment, this would constitute fraud. Presumably, Transocean's insurers (and re-insurers) did not write a contract with Transocean that stated it'd be just fine if they sabotaged their own rig and forced the insurer to pay out on it. This is the same reason a person can't light their house on fire and collect homeowner's insurance, or murder their spouse and collect the life insurance.

If what Slavo is accusing Transocean of is true, it's hard to believe the insurance companies would've paid up so quick. What's more, we will likely see them take Transocean to court for insurance fraud and demand a clawback of the money if so.

My guess is Slavo is out there... his attempt to tie the Deepwater Horizon debacle to Goldman Sachs and other regulatory capture events is weak and seems like a maneuver to get some additional Goldman Sachs-hatred related search hits on his blog.

I'm calling BS on this one until Transocean's insurers take the rig operators to court for insurance fraud.


  1. What a lame, ad hominen response to a thought provoking idea.

    So, you're dismissing the potential for sabotage because the insurance companies already paid out and this blogger is "out there"?

    Oh, please! Either you're really naive or you are just doing a little damage control and dismissing this idea so people will chuckle and go back to watching their favorite tv show.

    It's a much bigger incentive then a little insurance payout. The incentive or motivation to intentionally cause the oil spill includes the following:

    -Gov't takeover of certain oil companies, this was just commented on by Robert Reich
    -Consolidate oil companies by make bp collapse as was just done in the banking industry
    -Halt or dramatically decrease domestic off-shore energy production to put US back dependent on foreign oil thus keeping dollar backed oil flows
    -Provide ample public outrage to bring in sweeping environmental reform laws such as cap n' trade, global ocean laws, etc.
    -Obviously to make money with insurance payouts, cleanup efforts, etc (this is merely an added bonus compared to the massive changes the above incentives provide).

    I'm sorry, but the incentive/motivation to intentionally cause the oil spill is a much bigger picture then you so naively presented it to us...

    Indeed, geopolitical chess moves are done all the time and if you can get something done faster by intentionally causing a crisis, then the motivation is certainly there. If the players involved can all make some money as well, that's even better!

    Plus, and this is the best part, it's such a ludicrous idea that a government or private/public alliance would intentionally cause an oil spill, that it almost guarantees that no one will ever suspect it and they'll get away with it free and clear.

    After all, the massive delay and foot dragging that has gone on in not capping the well, is certainly more evidence that this is an intentional move to cause big changes in energy/environmental laws and policies. The more we wait and hear about the mess, the more anger builds and the more political capital is created to make sweeping changes.

  2. Enraged Anonymous Psycho,

    The blogger whose blog post I was commenting on did not hint at any of these potential motives. He was concerned with the idea of Transocean itself sabotaging its own platform to collect insurance money. I was responding to that idea, and that idea alone.

    Sorry I couldn't get into addressing every single one of your conspiracy theories (don't mean to use that term sarcastically, just don't know what else to call them), I'll be sure to be much more thoughtful next time! I'd absolutely hate to write a blog post that let people go back to watching their TVs afterward. Luckily, thoughtful, concerned citizens like you are around to step forward and put me in line when I majorly screw up like I just did!

    Anyway, all the incentives you mentioned would be incentives for the government to sabotage. Transocean/BP wouldn't profit from any of the things you mentioned.

    Have a great, if not slightly crazy, day!

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