The UK government has closed two loopholes used by the lender to avoid tax. That’s a setback for CEO Bob Diamond’s efforts to present the bank as a good corporate citizen. But by introducing retrospective legislation, ministers have made the UK tax system even more unpredictable.
A minority partner’s deal with the U.S. government is a promising sign ahead of a critical civil trial opening on Feb. 27. Extreme financial penalties look priced into BP stock whatever the verdict. So too is a big management discount. There’s lots of upside if BP isn’t thwacked, and its board restores credibility.