Halliburton Plea Could Save BP Billions: Barrett

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July 26 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg Businessweek senior writer Paul Barrett discusses the impact of Halliburton's guilty plea to destroying files in relation to the 2010 gulf oil spill and looks at parallels between related indictments against BP and the current SAC Capital Case. He speaks on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg Surveillance."

Why do i care about halliburton after the mess at bp?

Halliburton, the concrete contractor and the well that blew up in 2010, killing 11 people and creating a huge environmental mess, halliburton pled guilty to what sounds like a relatively minor infraction, destroying a computer document in the wake of the spill.

The reason this is so significant is that halliburton and bp are still fighting over civil allegations in federal court as to who, if anyone, is grossly negligent.

And billions of dollars turn on that question.

And this confession by halliburton that he was destroying a key piece of evidence will be a huge help to bp, and this could literally be worth billions of dollars.

We associate halliburton with former vice president dick cheney.

I will assume he is removed from this debate, ancient history.

But the state of halliburton today, i they being sued like bp by the people of louisiana?

They are being sued by a rerun.

Prickly, being sued by the federal government.

The main arena right now is the federal court in new orleans with the justice department is seeking billions of dollars in civil and environmental penalties, both from halliburton and from bp.

We have a single -- finger- pointing exercise where companies are trying to push the liability onto each other.

To the drama of steven cohen, we know where it will come from, the people of sac.

If they are sued for "billions" where will it come from?

Insurance in place of actual companies?

I don't think insurance will be paying a lot of it because most of the relevant policies would exclude liability having to do with fraudulent activity.

You can be sure the insurance companies are already lawyered up and prepared to push back -- i like the phrase lawyered up . any case like this.

. i am glad tom made the parallel connection between sac and bp because it is rare to be criminally charged as a company.

As i understand it, bp faced the criminal charges and pled guilty.

Absolutely right.

A real interesting contrast.

It shows you the difference between a company that has been indicted because the mentality is allegedly pervasive throughout the company -- criminality is allegedly pervasive in the company, the sac case, where's bp, is a global industrial company that is clearly involved in very constructive activity around the world and then there is a disaster and the question is whether they violated some laws in connection with that particular disaster.

, another example, arthur andersen from enron which did not fare so well.

Many people criticize the arthur andersen indictment for that reason because 27,000 people lost their jobs.

What people tend to forget in the mists of history is arthur anderson was the -- recidivists.

They had been in trouble because of its audits over a whole series of companies before enron, particularly with waste management.

Arthur andersen had promised the government they would clean up.

That was part of the big reason arthur anderson went down.

Let's go to company news.

Thought it would be a quiet friday.

Forget about that.

Samsung falls short of profit forecast.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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