Friday, July 2, 2010

But tell us what you really think, Mr. Feinberg

Kenneth Feinberg has had an amazing career as a "special master" -- an expert entrusted to make decisions on financial and other matters in a legal dispute. He's served as the Obama administration's "pay czar," helped resolve the value of the famed Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination and of Holocaust slave labor, and administered the 9/11 victims fund.

And now he's in charge of divying up the $20 billion BP has surrendered to recompense victims of the oil spill. (I photographed him here testifying on this before the House Small Business Committee.) What's it worth if your seafood business is destroyed by the spill, or your beachfront rental property becomes a depository for tar balls? Or suppose the property is just fine, the beach pristine, but nobody's renting because it's on the gulf coast? It's going to be the job of Mr. Feinberg, this disaster's King-Solomon-in-Residence, to figure it all out.

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