The Similarities Between Deepwater Horizon And Global Financial Meltdown
Jun. 9, 2010
The explosion of Deepwater Horizon and the collapse of Lehman Brothers share similar characteristics of risk, denial and coverup.
My good friend G.F.B. recently observed that the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe uncannily mirrors the global financial meltdown that was triggered by the September, 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers.
G.F.B. suggested that the Deepwater Horizon fiasco mirrored the global financial meltdown, almost as if it were a physical manifestation of the same hubris, denial of risk, manipulation and misinformation which collapsed the global financial house of cards.
1. The extreme levels of inherent risk in each system were downplayed/misunderstood by those responsible for their management.
2. The unprecedented risk intrinsic to each system was masked by facsimiles of regulation and specialized expertise.
3. The initial warning signs were dismissed, downplayed or ignored.
4. Each system was on the outer edge of human engineering (mechanical and financial) but was treated by regulators and managers as entirely standard.
5. Once the system collapsed, nobody knew how to fix it.
6. As the full extent of the damage became apparent, those responsible sought to mask the true extent pf the damage.
7. The mainstream media and elected officials unskeptically accepted prevarications, mis-statements, misinformation and manufactured facades as representations of the truth.
8. As the true extent of the damage, distortion/manipulation and failure of responsible authorities became undeniable, public confidence in government, regulatory agencies and the market irrevocably eroded.
Here is a chart of the market with my notes. This basic pattern applies to Deepwater Horizon as well, only on a much shorter timescale.