13 Companies We Love to Hate

Standard Oil, Union Carbide, and other objects of our scorn
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2010 11:49 AM CDT
Three people look under the hood of an automobile in front of a Standard Oil gas station, circa 1918.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – BP may be the recipient of our collective scorn these days, but it's not the first company we've come to despise—and it doesn't even take top honors on the Most Hated list. The Daily Beast asked 10 financial historians to nominate and rank their picks for the worst company of all time:

  1. Standard Oil: The title of "most reviled among the reviled" goes to the John D. Rockefeller-led company, which was much-loved in the late 1800s, then went on to swallow small company after small company...until muckraking journalists got involved.

  1. Union Carbide: Infamous for being behind the biggest corporate disaster in history: a methyl isocyanate leak on Dec., 2, 1984, at a plant in Bhopal, India, that killed 2,000 people immediately and some 15,000 more who had been exposed in the following years.
  2. Exxon: Before the Gulf oil spill was Exxon Valdez, a March 24, 1989, tragedy that dumped 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound.
Click here to see where BP ranks, and to find out which tech company makes the list.

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