The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is one of disastrous proportions immediately, and into the long term as the environmental impacts become clearer.

However, there are other consequences not talked about yet, that of the impact it will have on the willingness of enterprises to undertake risk, the costs of insurance, and the impact of renewed regulatory zeal on the operations of enterprises in the pursuit of zero tolerance of risk.

The impact of any renewed regulatory zeal goes further. Last week, in a conversation with a local council officer  about the absurd imposts before a simple enhancement of a public space in the local municipality could proceed was , “If there had been better regulations in the Gulf, the oil spill would not have happened, I am just trying to ensure nothing like that happens here”.

 Hello…..wake up, the simile is nonsense, but perhaps it just provides another excuse to avoid the responsibility to do anything, together with the horrible possibility, from a public bodies perspective, that something they do, or condone, does not work out as planned, and somebody must  be held to account, and it better not be them!.

Managing the balance between risk, reward,  and the consequences of a failure just became much harder.