The $20 billion fund BP has agreed to for paying Gulf oil spill claims easily vaults it to the top of the list. Among other members of this shameful pantheon are Exxon, Union Carbide and Pacific Gas and Electric. A closer look at this group reveals that in most cases, the companies managed to reduce -- or even erase -- settlements through years of legal stalling.
When Toyota announced its massive recalls, it was making the same strategic mistake that derailed Starbucks and Coach in the past decade: thinking it could be a high-fidelity and a high-convenience company at the same time. Trying to be both is always a dangerous strategy.