Friday, July 16, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell

Dear all,

The BBC2 Money Programme last night was about the Royal Dutch Shell fiasco. This was very interesting indeed. Here is a case where the US approach to corporate malfeasance and the polite British tendency to brush things under the carpet are in direct opposition.

Sir Philip Watts has retired with a £1 million payoff and a pension of £580,000 per annum and is quietly tending his Japanese-style garden in the Berkshire countryside. Meanwhile, Stanley Bernstein in New York is preparing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of several US investors (including a number of big pension funds), with the intention of not only putting Sir Philip behind bars, but also holding him personally liable for repayment of billions of dollars defrauded from investors.

Not only that, but the new chairman of Shell, who replaced Sir Philip, is held to be equally accountable.

This is definitely one to watch!