Audit Notes: Blankfein and Barber, Another BP OIl Spill, Box Offices and Onions

Wall Street Journal deputy managing editor Alan Murray has a good question on Twitter for the Financial Times:

So the Financial Times is joined by Goldman Sachs in judging the “Best Business Book of Year.” Lloyd Blankfein is a judge. Wadya think?

I think that’s not cool. Not only is Blankfein a judge, he’s the co-chair, with FT editor Lionel Barber, of the judging panel. Here’s the rest of the panel:

The other judges for this year’s prize are: Helen Alexander, president of the CBI, the UK business association; Lynda Gratton, professor of management practice at London Business School; and former European commissioner Mario Monti, president of Milan’s Bocconi University and the Bruegel think-tank.

Heavy on the Business. Light on the Book.

I’m guessing the winner won’t be Barron’s contributing editor Suzanne McGee’s Chasing Goldman Sachs: How the Masters of the Universe Melted Wall Street Down…And Why They’ll Take Us to the Brink Again. (Goldman Sachs is an Audit funder)

Too Big to Fail, anyone?

Point is: A newspaper shouldn’t have a CEO helping pick its journalism awards.

— When it rains, it pours—oil. Into places it shouldn’t be.

Now, Reuters reports the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, 47 percent owned by BP, was shut down today after spilling several thousand barrels of oil. And several thousand barrels would be the industry estimate, so take that for what it’s worth.

Meantime, the Guardian reports BP’s liability could hit $60 billion. And the oil keeps flowing into the Gulf, millions of gallons (forty-two gallons to the barrel) of the stuff a day.

(h/t Zero Hedge and Edward Harrison)

— Fun Fact of the Day goes to Felix Salmon, for this tidbit on the financial-reform bill:

Blanche Lincoln, whose sister is a Hollywood film director opposed to box-office futures, added movie grosses to onions as the two things that futures can’t be traded on.

Onions, huh? How’d that come bout? Fortune from two years ago:

The bulbous root is the only commodity for which futures trading is banned. Back in 1958, onion growers convinced themselves that futures traders (and not the new farms sprouting up in Wisconsin) were responsible for falling onion prices, so they lobbied an up-and-coming Michigan Congressman named Gerald Ford to push through a law banning all futures trading in onions. The law still stands.

Ah, the ever-powerful onions lobby. Is the great Bill Raftery in on that?

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.