Professor Ingo Walter draws parallels between the oil spill and financial crisis.
Oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico reminds us of the vulnerability confronting even the most sophisticated of production systems to extreme events. It’s unlikely that any upstream oil producer and system integrator is more competent than BP in doing what it does best and in managing the associated risks. But here’s a case where the firm’s core competency nevertheless left it vulnerable to an industrial accident and massive financial losses, in the process creating large external costs for the environment and a significant swath of society. It’s far too early to begin a forensic discussion of the BP disaster or come up with sensible solutions for the future.
Read the full opinion editorial on Forbes.com