City of London - (Disaster Mess): In the City of London it's know as 'doing a Ratners' - disparaging your business in public in the style of Gerald Ratner, former managing director of the eponymous jewellery store, who told press and shareholders that all the company's merchandise is "total crap". The company soon crashed with massive debts and insolvency receivers had to be called in.
Today it was the turn of BP, the UK's flagship hydrocarbons corporation, to fall foul of the Ratners curse when new CEO Tony Hayward said in public that the oil giant's current performance was "total bollox" and promptly wiped £3.5 billion off the company's value.
Hayward has been in the job less than five months after ex-UK Prime Monster Tony Blair's crony Lord Browne was booted from his cushy sinecure job at the BP helm after five UK Law Lords called him a "lying, perjuring, corrupt bastard" when reviewing his Royal Courts of Justice testimony and finding it bereft of any credibility whatsoever.
Now Howard's outburst has put the oil giant under the spotlight as city analysts concur that the structure of BP is not only "fundamentally flawed" as Howard admits, but on a par with the core of the Alaskan Corrupt Bastards Club heartlands, the VECO oil services industry graft specialist.
And to add injury to insult the UK Serious Fraud Orifice is poised to announce a major corruption investigation centred on Lord Browne's decade-long tenure at the top of BP.
The move follows massive complaints from the FBI that BP's Lord Browne and former Chevron-Texaco non-exec director Condoleezza Rice conspired on Dick Cheney's orders to harass, threaten and attempt to assassinate the ultra secretive majority shareholders of the Chevron empire.
Over five tonnes of documentary evidence are believed to be in a Fraud Office secret vault already as indictments are being prepared for early action some time next week.
Oil is currently trading around the $80 mark, plus or minus small daily fluctuations either way.