Listen: Saudi Arabia, NPR, Audie Cornish discussed on All Things Considered
"From NPR news this is All Things Considered I'm Audie Cornish and I'm ari Shapiro a drug company owned by one of the wealthiest families in America filed for bankruptcy last night the company is produced pharma which makes the opioid painkiller oxycontin this move was expected as part of a tentative settlement between Purdue pharma and more than two thousand local governments and a couple dozen states the company says this deal provide relief to communities that are hit by the opioid crisis several state attorneys general have not agreed to the settlement and we're joined by one of them now Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is a Democrat and no relation to me welcome back to the program good to be with you all right this idea behind the settlement is the produce form a would be dissolved in a new company would be created to sell oxycontin and other drugs then proceeds would go to the plaintiffs your mind what's wrong with this arrangement the premise of it I think is incredibly faulty and and somewhat laughable the idea that we are going to profit off of continued sales of opioids the very product that is getting people hooked on heroin and fat Nolan leading to the loss of twelve lives every single day in Pennsylvania is problematic at best in addition to that the proposed settlement that was put forth dramatically under funds the need that we have here in Pennsylvania and across the country and then finally for many people it's less about money and more about accepting responsibility and transparency for what Purdue in the Sackler family did wrong all these years and this settlement comes up short on all three measures you're talking about the secular family which owns Purdue pharma and I wonder whether you would be more satisfied with the settlement if it involved a direct claim of responsibility by the Sackler family this settlement really has to do with the company and not the individuals in the family I want to see two things from the Sackler family number one an acceptance of responsibility for their role in this epidemic here in Pennsylvania and across the country and I want to see them dip into their billion. pockets and take out some of those ill gotten gains and deliver them back to the people who are most in need and so far under the terms of this settlement they're unwilling to do that they seem to have declared bankruptcy as a means to just run away from responsibility when you say they've declared bankruptcy you mean the company has well the company is declared bankruptcy I think to avoid responsibly but I understand this is in sort of a a traditional company what is happened over the years as they've made tens of billions of dollars on oxycontin the Sackler family has sucked those profits out of the company and put him into trust and put him in the off shore accounts and we estimate there personal fortune to be somewhere between thirteen and sixteen billion dollars a bankruptcy judge still has to decide whether the steel can go through and today the chair of pretty farmers board of directors his name is Steve Miller he made an argument on CNBC for why this settlement is in his view the best way forward there are some people who will never be satisfied but the only way to test that would be to revert to litigation and expand all of the resources that are available on litigation instead of on helping communities that have suffered what's your response to that claim that by dragging this out you withhold help from people who could get it sooner if the settlement goes through they're not putting a serious amount of resources forward that can have an appreciably positive affect on the people who are most in need the idea that we would be listening to the wrongdoer define the terms of the next steps here is really unconscionable but is there a risk that if litigation does go forward you risk seeing that money ten years from now if ever I think it is quite likely that as our litigation goes for both against Purdue the company and the Sackler's personally that it will take a longer period of time but remember under there this proposed settlement and I wish you could see the air quotes that are making a. around the word settlement produit proposed to make this paltry payment over the course of about a decade I believe that over the course of that same decade we can litigate this we can litigate it to an end that is far better for the people of Pennsylvania the people this country and that's exactly what I intend to do to not only recover for resources for those were need but make sure we've got real transparency in the process make sure that the Sackler's and Purdue face real scrutiny and that they do not get to dictate the terms of how this process goes forward that is Josh appear Attorney General for the state of Pennsylvania thanks a lot great to be with your thank you. Saudi Arabia has been planning to sell off a slice of its state owned oil company the money would be key for diversifying the country's economy but now there are this weekend's images of one of the company's key oil installations in flames and smoke after an attack that's making investors nervous NPR's Jacki north the reports for the past couple of years international investors have been tantalized by the hope of getting in on an initial public offering or I appeal of Saudi Aramco possibly next year it's the world's most valuable company turning a profit of a hundred and eleven billion dollars last year almost double that of apple Saudi officials predicted it was going to be the mother of all IPOs then came the strikes on the Aramco facilities at Saudi Aramco prepares for the largest IPO ever the physical security of its infrastructure is now when you question the investors are gonna have G. some board office the director of Columbia university's center on global energy policy he says Aramco always emphasized it security that helped create the perception its facilities are safe there's a new question about that I think for a successful IPO Aramco will need to take steps to show that the physical infrastructure is protected just as it did a few years ago in response to a cyber attack to show that it's a infrastructures protected comically as well. melt the head of Middle East and North Africa at the Eurasia group a global political risk consultancy says investor confidence will largely depend on how fast Aramco can repair the damage from the attacks eight or rom quick is able to recover quickly from us I think that the message you will send to investors is that. we are able to recover from the more significant attacks possible on our facility is so there can be here but what I see as room for damage control the attacks on the oil and gas installations come just days after a major shake up in the upper echelons of Aramco in in the energy ministry the chairman of Aramco was replaced with an ally of crown prince Mohammed bin Selmon who has no experience in the oil industry the new minister of energy is the crown prince's half brother who does have a long track record with oil markets comel says the timing of the shake up was not ideal as the markets like stability in leadership well I think the transition and a rom coal and then the energy ministry couldn't have come at a worse time this is certainly not the first thing you want to handle in the first week all on the job and and that this is a crisis that's very very difficult to manage for anyone the best and most companies leaders in Daniel's industry would find this difficult to manage the Columbia university's board off says Aramco still has what he calls an incredibly strong leadership team in Saudi Aramco is and incredibly capable an impressive company and it's going to be attractive to investors I think the around call I appeal is critical to the crown prince's long term strategy to diversify Saudi Arabia's economy in wean the kingdom office dependency on oil the crown prince valued around coal and two trillion dollars many analysts agreed that figure was inflated and that was before last weekend's attacks Jackie."