We hate to keep picking on BP – oh, wait, no, we don’t – but their employees are suing them. The Houston Business Journal just picked up the story from a Bloomberg piece published a couple of days ago.
Employees at their North American unit are accusing the company of “mismanaging their retirement savings plans by investing heavily in its own stock before last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill.”
Farther down in the article, we learn that “BP workers last year filed multiple lawsuits on behalf of all U.S. employees participating in the company’s retirement savings plans. The suits, combined together in the Houston court, claim losses of more than $1 billion from the stock plunge after the rig explosion and subsequent spill. ”
Surely, the fund’s losses are not so bad by now, we thought, what with the huge recovery the stock market has seen since March 2009? Yes, the losses are that bad. From a high of almost $80 in Oct. 2008, BP shares have suffered several stomach-churning price drops. The big drop was after the oil spill, when the price went to $27, but it has recovered, somewhat, to around $46. Still bad.
The employees named several divisions of BP, plus individual members of the company’s management team. Furthermore, tons of other people, alleging injury from the spill itself, are also suing the company. Hundreds of lawyers will be able to retire on BP lawsuits alone.
This is just ONE of many examples showing why IFO recommends investing by and for yourself. Don’t leave the decision-making to experts. And don’t let your loyalty to a company that you probably love (and oil companies are full of hot, hard-working, tough hombres) take you down.
Who loves you more than you love yourself? Nobody, we hope.