WSJ headline: “U.S. to Demand BP Fund”
That is an inaccurate headline, of course. It’s the Obama administration that’s asking for it, not the U.S. The U.S. has laws against extortion. A better headline is a small blurb on the same page on which the misleading one appeared: “The White House plans to ask BP for a damage fund.”
If there is such an escrow account, though, who would keep the money for safekeeping and administer it? The Obama administration is not eligible, because its policy of nationalizing any industry within reach creates a conflict of interest.
The British government also has a conflict of interest.
The United Nations? The money would be gone in a day if deposited there.
Here are my three nominees:
- The government of Ireland. The Irish have no great love for the Brits or for America, but get along reasonably well with both.
- The government of the Czech Republic. Václav Klaus can be trusted not to be easily intimidated.
- The government of Georgia. This would help focus more attention on a country that needs it. And Georgia would have great motivation not to mess up.