But here's the kicker--Ken Feinberg didn't know his jurisdiction would include moratorium claims until the weekend:
"Yes, I now have discovered -- I didn't realize this until yesterday -- that the moratorium claims will fall under my jurisdiction," Feinberg said in an interview Monday on CNN.
"That's a huge development, and we didn't know that before?" replied the CNN reporter.
"I didn't either," Feinberg said.
Just last Thursday, Feinberg was telling reporters that idled workers couldn't submit claims against the $20 billion escrow account BP established following a June 16 meeting at the White House. Instead, workers were expected to be compensated by a separate $100 million slush fund that was also agreed to at the June 16 meeting.
So, between last Thursday and his interview with CNN yesterday, who told Feinberg that his fund's jurisdiction would cover workers idled by the moratorium? More interestingly, why is he being told to cover workers idled by a moratorium that cannot be enforced due to a court order?
It's easy to understand the confusion that reigns over how these funds are to be administered. If a formal agreement exists, no documentation of it has been made public. First it was a $20 billion fund that was to be neither a guaranteed minimum nor a guaranteed maximum, nor was the establishment of the fund to mitigate BP's liability from the coming onslaught of civil lawsuits. That fund was supposed to compensate individuals and businesses who were hurt by the spill's effects on tourism, fishing and other economic activities shut down by the spill. Then, we learned about a separate $100 million fund that would serve workers idled by moratoria and other regime interference in the oil and gas sector. Now, apparently, those two funds are to be conflated, co-mingled and completely confused with one another. Gee, do you think there might be an opportunity for waste, fraud and abuse here, sports fans?
We already have fantastic evidence of how well managed these types of slush funds are. Remember how well TARP and Porkulus funds were accounted for. Why, every red cent went right where it was supposed to, didn't it? Remember also that this is the Gulf Coast, and the epicenter of this disaster is Louisiana. In the five years since Katrina and Rita hit the state in a hurricane double-whammy, the a special task force at the Department of Justice is still indicting, prosecuting and convicting people of defrauding the government with bogus claims.
There's a $20 billion slush fund and its own administrator doesn't know what it covers. There's supposedly a separate $100 million fund that's supposed to cover workers idled by the moratorium--the moratorium tossed out of court last week. Does Feinberg administer that fund as well, or is someone else in charge of it? There's absolutely no documentation of the agreements between BP and the federal government, so we don't really know who's in charge of what fund and who can file claims against this one, that one or some other one. And, there's a state with a legendary history of graft and corruption.
Gee... What could go wrong?
Gimme some feedback in the comments.