The USS Quad Damage

Beyond British

I have a try at the BP thing

Buying petrol has increasingly become a poignant moment in my week. I suspect others take the time they spend holding down that button while waiting for their weekly dose of travel juice thinking about similar things to me. My local (vehicular) watering hole happens to have an interesting property: It’s a Caltex which is literally next door to a BP. Looking at the BP sign raised an eyebrow: It was exactly the same price as the Caltex.

I sniggered a little while reading Toby’s article on buying BP stock. I suspect the article was slightly snarky, but a quick thought exercise never hurts. BP is currently worth about half what it was at pre-leak levels. I figured about 50%1 of the people in the world are selfish pricks, and the rest are “basically good”. Ordinary petrol purchases (guess) make up about 60%. Importantly, BP do not offer anything special: it’s oil, same as every other company. Their biggest sell was their brand being an environmental image.

No good person is ever going to drive into BP again, even if they were cheaper. Even the 50% of arseholes will only go there if it’s significantly cheaper — Why would you stop at BP when there’s a ton of other vendors out there? Companies associated with BP should want to move, if only to save their own decent customers, etc. etc.

Their dividends have been 84c recently. What’s the bet that their earnings have dropped recently? What’s the bet that BP shares are actually worth 50% of their previous value? I know that I’m never going to buy BP (or related brand name) again, and it’s literally a decision I can make at the drop of a hat.

1 I calculated this based on some basic moral question posed and answered. It’s not exactly scientific.