BP holds enough oil in its reserves to single-handedly supply the United States for two years. It has little debt for a company of its size and makes more money than Apple and Google combined.
So when the White House arm-twisted its executives into setting aside $20 billion for the Gulf oil spill, investors weren't worried it would bankrupt BP. They barely batted an eye.
"The U.S. government will become insolvent before BP does," said Bruce Lanni, a stock analyst with Nollenberg Capital Partners.
$20 Billion? They Got Off Easy