June 10th, 2010
By Louise Armitstead and Myra Butterworth, UK Telegraph
Obama’s constant attacks on BP hurt British citizens
City investors said the president was jeopardising the pensions of millions with his “excessive” criticism of the energy company following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Before the accident on April 20, BP was Britain’s biggest company, with a stock market value of £122 billion. Since then, £49 billion has been wiped off its value.
On Wednesday, BP’s share price fell a further 17.35p to 391.55p – representing a 40 per cent drop on the 655p price of a share two months ago.
Experts have said that the clean-up costs of the oil spill will run to between £10 billion and £20 billion but the biggest cost to the company is from investors dumping stock for fear of BP being further punished by the US Government.
Those fears have been heightened by Mr Obama’s increasingly aggressive rhetoric towards BP, which some investors see as an attempt to deflect criticism of his own handling of the crisis. Last month, a White House spokesman said the President’s job was to keep his “boot on the throat” of the company.
In the past week, Mr Obama, who insists on referring to BP by its former name British Petroleum, has suggested that its chief executive, Tony Hayward, would have been sacked if he worked for him.