With the flow of oil from BP's blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico apparently stopped for good, the U.S. government's attention turns to fines and penalties for the company responsible for the spill, according to The Economist. A customary $1,100-per-barrel fine might become $4,300 if it is determined that the spill was caused by gross negligence. "Avoiding such a finding could ... be worth some $13 billion to the company," the magazine notes.

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