In a massive PR effort to win the affection of Americans for its commitment to address the spill and its cleanup, BP's CEO Tony Hayward made some fairly unequivocal assertions. BP, he assures us, will assume "full responsibility" for the crisis, . . . will honor all legitimate claims, and our cleanup effort will not come at any cost to taxpayers."
Reportedly, President Obama is "furious" at the prospect that BP is contemplating the distribution of billions of dollars to its shareholders while "nickel and diming" residents of the Gulf states whose circumstances are desperate as a result of BP's malfeasance.
Meanwhile, the media and/or the American people are looking for some evidence of real anger in the demeanor of the President, compelling press secretary Robert Gibbs to reference his boss's non-public "clenched jaw."
These concerns could all be met with a simple and well-established financial mechanism: an escrow account.