Transparency, perception of bias, and BP: the case of paying Mr. Feinberg

Kenneth Feinberg, the adminstrator of BP's $20 billion fund to compensate parties for damages from the Horizon oil spill, is a fascinating guy.  Not so much for his current role (though it is certainly important), but rather for his willingness to step in to administer settlements to victims' families from the 9/11 attacks in New York.  That task, which he took on willingly, entailed trying to use logic, reason, encouragement, and pursuasion to navigate seemingly impossible human conflicts. 

Gulf Oil Spill: "Not our fault" not a big surprise

With billions of dollars on the line and public wrath at extremely high levels, is it any surprise that every group involved with the BP drilling site are blaming everybody but themselves?  The benefits to the firms of deflecting responsibility and delaying payouts can be immense.  The 1989 Exxon Valdez spill was not finally paid until August 2008, nearly 20 years later -- and at amounts paid were far less than the original awards.  In games like this, even

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