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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shareholders Sue TEPCO For $67.4 Billion

Now that's a big effing lawsuit!

Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife isn't sure if the timing of all of this is coincidental or not, what with the one year anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake coming up on March 11, but the story below does smack of greed.

Let's take a brief look.

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) Inc.
- the private firm that owns and operates the Fukushima-ken Dai-ichi nuclear power generating plant - is being sued by 42 shareholders for ¥5.5 trillion (~Cdn/US $67 billion).

Let's look at that number for a second... wow. That is $1,595,238,095.24 (¥130,050,387,316) each. One and a half BILLION effing dollars. For each shareholder suing.

Granted 80% would go to the lawyers, but what greed!

The Dai-ichi plant, after a 9.0 Magnitude earthquake caused a massive tsunami to knock out power to it, nearly had three nuclear meltdowns over the ensuing weeks - arguably the worst nuclear accident in the past 25 years, causing TEPCO to incur huge costs to try and right the problem, clean-up, decommission the plant and provide slow-giving compensation to people and businesses affected by problems.

The filed lawsuit points to 27 specific current and former TEPCO directors, saying they ignored multiple warnings of a possible tsunami, and by doing so failed to adequately prepare for the likelihood of a disaster. And that is what well-dressed lawyers for the shareholders said in a released statement on March 5, 2012.

While this blog admires their greed (how do I get me some?), this lawsuit against TEPCO is akin to kicking a dog when it's already dead and run over on the street.

Yes... TEPCO will no longer be pumping electrical power out for the people of Japan because the plant is now ruined. That means shareholders won't be making any money.

Hell... I'd be pissed, too... but $1.5 billion pissed? I'm pissed off a lot lately and I still can't see myself being so bloody angry or greedy to even contemplate a number like this. Wow.

Just to give you a ,peek on what shareholders might be thinking: did you know that by March 15, four days after the 2011 tsunami et al, TEPCO shares dropped more than 62 per cent of its value? Owtch! Of course, two days after that, TEPCO stock was up 14.9 per cent after hopes were raised that the nuclear problem would be too bad at all - that everything would be contained. Needles to say, TEPCO stock has been up and down (mostly down) the entire year.

What? Did you think the people doing the suing were thinking about the Japanese people in the Tohoku region who have lost family, friends, life, business, livelihood, their way? Nah. But $1.5 billion should assuage the guilt.

By Andrew Joseph
 

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