And what fate lies ahead for BP?

BP's Eventual Bankruptcy Is Certain

By James West contributer to Seeking Alpha

There is no doubt that BP (BP) will not emerge from this oil spill disaster intact. Make no mistake – this is the fatal black swan event in BP's life that is going to take investors by the hundreds down with the ship. Its not going to happen immediately. Much like the slow initial fall and eventual breakneck pace of collapse of a giant tree, the giant oil leak is the event that will catalyze the fall of this far flung and storied company.

Here's some food for thought in support of my prediction. I also caveat that statement with the possibility that a 'merger' or 'buyout' will be forced and negotiated out of public view to offset political carnage. Either way, shareholders and taxpayers alike will burn.
What they're still touting as the "worst environmental disaster in US history" is quickly growing up into the worst environmental disaster in the history of humanity. With the unprecedented scale and scope of this astonishing catastrophe, BP will likely not survive. There are reasons for this which are not currently part of the mainstream analysis. But the mainstream is reactive, and to some degree compromised by conflicted cross ownership of shares in both big oil and big media.
When will the actual rate of flow be known? At this point, it grows weekly.
What will be the long-term effect of such a severe and unprecedented change in ocean chemistry within the Gulf? Might this trigger some sort of domino effect that can spread to the rest of the world's oceans? Will the Gulf become a pelagic desert?
These are questions that lurk along the outer reaches of a lot of minds of late. With BP now acknowledging that it will likely be at least August before the leak is brought under control, its share price is plummeting, and that makes the 100 year old company both a takeover target and a bankruptcy concern.
Never mind any semblance of moral imperative – this disaster has already upset the entire offshore drilling industry, and with the clamor growing around the world, you can bet that serious – and expensive – legislation curbing the industry's growth is inevitable. Besides banning offshore drilling off Alaska and the entire eastern seaboard (which has already happened), the new rules governing the procedures of exploration and extraction of offshore hydrocarbon resources are going to make the commodity and the final product more expensive. We are obviously going to see new safety requirements and probably requirements for substantial contingency funds.
But it's the legal and financial exposure that BP is going to be desperately seeking ways to avoid. Its safe to say a good portion of the days of BP CEO Tony Hayward are devoted to ducking responsibility for the event. BP's history is rife with incidents involving collusion, perjury, political interference, and other chicanery. As the price plummets further and further downward in a self-perpetuating cycle that only increases downward momentum, the company might soon cease to exist.
What does that mean for the Gulf coastline and the years of damaged economy and ecology?
Well first of all, any takeover/rescue deal of BP involving another major oil company is going to involve a negotiation with the United States government to cap the financial exposure and legal responsibility for the cleanup. The acquiring company will argue that the assets and earning power of the acquired BP assets must be unencumbered by any unknowns such as where the limit might be on the actual cost of damages. They will furthermore argue, at precisely the right moment, that the alternative is let the company go completely bankrupt, and stick the American taxpayer with the bill.
The whole article is here:

BP's Eventual Bankruptcy Is Certain
Found this little morsel on the Madhedgefundtrader blog. Queenbee

“There is a massive, rotting pool of mortgages on bank balance sheets.…There is no doubt there is going to be a double dip in housing,” said Meredith Whitney, CEO of the Meredith Whitney Advisory Group.
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