Slugcatcher on BHP's political signal from its shale exit 

POLITICS and business never mix well, but in the case of BHP’s faster-than-expected return of capital from the sale of its US onshore oil assets Slugcatcher reckons it’s possible to see a rare example of business using politics to achieve a quick end to a world class blooper.

Slugcatcher on BHP's political signal from its shale exit  Slugcatcher on BHP's political signal from its shale exit  Slugcatcher on BHP's political signal from its shale exit  Slugcatcher on BHP's political signal from its shale exit  Slugcatcher on BHP's political signal from its shale exit 

The terms and timing of BHP's US$10.4 billion capital return and special dividend contain an important clue to a major resources company tipping the result of an Australian political event, a change of government at next year's national election.

And by rushing the return of funds to shareholders BHP has also neatly dodges a close examination of exactly how much was lost on its US shale adventure, a number which could be as high as $30 billion.

Investors, who love cash, are so happy to get the $10.4 billion that they seem prepared to forget that another $30 billion was flushed away, and to also forget that all they're getting is a capital return, another way of saying returning funds they already own.

In fact, it's far worse than that because all shareholders ...