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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Is Boeing going down?

Boeing just posted its first significant loss in a long time:
Boeing reported its first annual loss in more than two decades as costs from the 737 Max crashes rise sharply. Boeing said it lost $636 million in 2019, marking the company’s first annual loss since 1997 and in stark contrast to the profit it posted in $10.46 billion in 2018 — before a second crash grounded its best-selling planes worldwide.

The dismal results come as Boeing is struggling through the crisis stemming from two crashes of its 737 Max that killed all 346 people aboard the flights. The manufacturer this month suspended production of the planes, which regulators grounded in March after the second of the two fatal flights.

Boeing reported a loss of $2.33 per share for the fourth quarter of last year. Revenue in the last three months of the year dropped 37% to $17.91 billion compared with $28.34 billion in the year-earlier period.

The debacle’s costs to Boeing are rising to more than $18 billion, the company said, roughly double what it outlined in the previous quarter. That amount includes an additional $2.6 billion pretax charge to compensate airlines and other 737 Max customers because of the grounding. Boeing had taken a $5.6 billion pretax charge in the second quarter to compensate its customers.

The company recently reported its worst annual sales figures in decades and it handed the crown to the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturer to its rival Airbus.
For some reason, this article reminded me of when Enron reported a surprise loss of similar proportions back in 2001.

In October 2001, Enron reported a loss of $618 million— its first quarterly loss in four years. 

Due to the massive debt these megacorporations carry, it doesn't take much to take them down once things start to go south. Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy only two months later. I'm not saying Boieng is in anywhere nearly as bad shape as Enron was, but the synchronicity may be worth noting.

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95 Comments:

Blogger sykes.1 January 29, 2020 8:48 AM  

Right now Boeings debt exceeds its asset value (by a small amount), and it needs loans to pay day-to-day operating costs.

Blogger Shane Bradman January 29, 2020 8:59 AM  

The difference between Boeing and Enron is that Boeing actually produces something, but Enron was glorified money laundering.

Blogger dc.sunsets January 29, 2020 9:01 AM  

Estimates of "wealth" held in the form of IOU's (balance sheet "cash" for corporations is nothing but IOU's, mostly of other firms, most of which is "junk") are what? North of a quadrillion dollars now?

How much real wealth will still exist when the frenzy of Pathological Social Trust experienced these last 40 years turns to distrust?

For decades, we've lived like there was a shortage of nice real estate with good views, and it's 1979 and there's GREAT land available for home-building on the north face of Mount St. Helens.

This is a great metaphor for the reach for YIELD on the part of "savers" (including pension funds, corporations with nothing to do with their "cash," etc.) The ground shakes and the mountain steams, but hey, NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. Let's throw a block party.

We don't know what will be the first sign that the paradigm has shifted. It could be when one of the innumerable over-leveraged mega-corporations hits a hiccup and can't roll over some of its debt.

Blogger Seeingsights January 29, 2020 9:05 AM  

The Altman Z score is a formula that is a pretty good at predicting bankruptcy for a company. There are academic articles in finance about it. One caveat, the formula is not to be applied to financial companies.

Boeing Co has a Z-score of 2.22, indicating it is in Grey Zones. This implies that Boeing Co is in some kind of financial stress. If it is below 1.81, the company may faces bankrupcy risk.

Blogger ADS January 29, 2020 9:09 AM  

As an industrial engineer, I have worked for a major international tooling company that sells custom tools to Boeing. That company has a special taper shank profile with extra material on it to compensate for the worn out spindles of metalworking machines in Boeing factories. Tools which would normally have a black oxide finish are instead ground to a shiny reflective surface or painted white to aid in visibility in low-light conditions. This implies poorly-lit factories full of clapped out machines, which does not bode well for Boeing. That is the end of the information I know for fact, but I have heard rumors of shortages of skilled labor, farming out engineering and programming work to underqualified foreigners, and massive bribes to regulatory officials to fast track things without proper scrutiny.

Blogger roundeye January 29, 2020 9:12 AM  

Like Amazon, they are a major defense contractor. They own legions of lobbyists and have tried to spread operations into every important congressional district. They will be bailed out.

The funny thing is the know-how to build airliners is there. They just don't run the company anymore. They fired the finance ceo and replaced him with another finance guy. Put an engineer in there - And not an Indian.

Blogger CarpeOro January 29, 2020 9:18 AM  

Wonder how many government contracts Boeing has propping up profits. I recall Enron leveraging government contracts to build their tower of cards.

Blogger Johnny January 29, 2020 9:19 AM  

I don't look at this stuff much, but my prior expectation is that a large company will be around fifty percent debt financed. Maybe it is more than that now. Part of the driving force behind it is that companies pay a tax on dividends, but no tax in interest expense. As both are a return on purchased assets, taxes can be avoided by debt funding. Or the other way of doing it, repurchasing your own stock. In summary, the tax code encourages debt funding, part of why it is so common.

I thought sure Boeing's debt equaling its assets was a misstatement. But I looked it up and it is accurate. Just from the numbers it would appear the company is bankrupt. Apparently they understate the value of their assets or they would be in receivership already.

I don't know, are they like big banks, too big to fail so the gov rides to the rescue?

Blogger Chase January 29, 2020 9:27 AM  

The nefariousness of American corporations is astounding to behold, only exceeded by Americans' willingness to put up with it. When some Chinese companies were found to have put arsenic in baby formula, many of their executives were executed. That is how a sane company deals with criminal behavior, even by powerful people. In contrast, how many banking executives have been found even civilly liable for the mortgage meltdown?

Bankruptcy is the very least Boeing deserves. I would prefer much harsher penalties for a company that knowingly put so many people in danger solely to avoid re-designing the 737 body or AT THE VERY LEAST letting pilots know they were putting in a new software system to compensate for the workarounds they had to do to the 737 MAX.

Blogger nbfdmd January 29, 2020 9:34 AM  

I don't understand why anyone would be surprised if a defense contractor is in bad financial shape. What incentive do they have to keep the business afloat through legitimate means? It's like being surprised that the Post Office is bankrupt. Well, yeah...

Blogger dc.sunsets January 29, 2020 9:37 AM  

"I don't know, are they like big banks, too big to fail so the gov rides to the rescue?"

The very ability to "rescue" rests entirely on the willingness of the herd to trust in the bankability of IOUs issued by entities already drowning in debt.

When the paradigm shifts, it will be very much like the earthquake that caused the north face of Mount St. Helens to slough, so that the tremendous pressure within was no longer contained. The cataclysm in 1980 occurred in literal seconds.

The US and world economies are in such a condition. They are in avalanche condition, snow (more debt issued) is falling at blizzard rates, and people cite the fact that no avalanche has occurred as evidence that the danger is low. No one knows when the change will come, but the longer IOU's are added, it's not a sign of sustainability, it's signal of the magnitude of the conflagration to come.

Blogger Rakshasa January 29, 2020 9:39 AM  

One of the things not being appreciated properly is the 'oral' traditions of coding.

If you're a coder in the west and you haven't ever argued about tabs vs. spaces for indentation, or the other countless examples of theological arguments about coding style, it means you never bother to think about what makes good code good.

This is to some degree present in Japan where programmers traditions mainly evolved from hardware related industries, so not much sense of good style yet very correct.

The feeling I get from Indian programmers is that a few decades ago they got hold of some programming manuals and specs, then went with whatever compiled and passed the most rudimentary tests. And they still treat their code like they treat their streets.

On the other hand, any young geek in the west has probably spent way more time than good for a healthy youth on forums and in flamewars obsessing over coding-related topics.

You can't make specifications for good code, and you can't fake autistic obsession.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 29, 2020 9:40 AM  

Boeing's been Boomerated.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 January 29, 2020 9:40 AM  

If they do file for bankruptcy, there is a good chance that the government will bail them out. I'm not sure where President Trump would stand on that, but I know that Congress would pass legislation for it.

Boeing has a lot of corporate offices in the DC area, many of which are across the street from the Pentagon.

Blogger Aeroschmidt January 29, 2020 9:42 AM  

Too big to fail.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 29, 2020 9:47 AM  

Boomeration:

1 gain control
2 leverage every asset to borrow out the ass
3 fire the competent American workers
4 replace them with $9/hr 3rd world morons
5 take the money and run
6 watch from the sidelines as yet another American institution burns to the ground

Blogger Cinco January 29, 2020 9:51 AM  

For it is written, a man can not have two masters.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia January 29, 2020 9:57 AM  

Shane Bradman wrote:The difference between Boeing and Enron is that Boeing actually produces something, but Enron was glorified money laundering.

Right.

Even if Boeing goes into bankruptcy -- possible, but low probability -- they will still come out the other end.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out what the situation is -- the regulators are shitting in their pants. Imagine you were working at the FAA and you have to sign off of the 737 Max. Would you ink your name on the dotted line?

It is possible that the Max will never fly again, although that too is low probability. If the Max does get recertified, you know what? It may wind up being the safest plane in the sky.

However, do this thought experiment. The world is full of horses and buggies. You go to a regulator. You tell him you've got this great product. It will revolutionize the way people move about. It will spawn whole new industries that make it, support it, and service it.

"Sounds great," says the regulator. "Any downside?"

"Well, because people will be using it, and from time to time things won't work so well, we estimate about 40- 50 thousand people year will die using it."

"Oh, my, we can't allow that!! By the way, what is the product called?"

"It's called an automobile."

Blogger Shimshon January 29, 2020 10:08 AM  

We're really dealing with McDonnell Douglas in a Boeing skinsuit. It's easy to imagine a scenario where they go down. They probably borrowed a ton against the MAX. Given just what has been revealed, it could end up a complete writeoff, one of the biggest in history. If the relaunch is delayed much longer...

Blogger Newscaper312 January 29, 2020 10:13 AM  

The main consolation if there is a bailout, is that Boeing DOES in fact make things, w some of the remaining highly paid blue collar jobs, and mostly here in the US.
Situation made worse by all the consolidation in the defense industry that accelerate din the 80s IIRC. McDonnell-Douglas, Martin-Marietta, Northrop-Grumman, etc (all mergers themselves) etc got all rolled up into Boeing and Lockheed.
Torches and rope are required if a bailout happens w/o major management shakeup, and perhaps splitting the company.

Blogger Duke Norfolk January 29, 2020 10:26 AM  

Johnny wrote:In summary, the tax code encourages debt funding, part of why it is so common.

Gee, I wonder how that (((could have happened))).

Blogger carnaby January 29, 2020 10:29 AM  

Chase wrote:Bankruptcy is the very least Boeing deserves. I would prefer much harsher penalties for a company that knowingly put so many people in danger solely to avoid re-designing the 737 body or AT THE VERY LEAST letting pilots know they were putting in a new software system to compensate for the workarounds they had to do to the 737 MAX.

You are an idiot.

Blogger Doktor Jeep January 29, 2020 10:31 AM  

All because they didn't want to hire more American programmers.

Blogger Monotonous Languor January 29, 2020 10:37 AM  

Boeing deserves to be taken down. Along with the rest of the US economy, it engages in rabid finance capitalism. Finance capitalism is the overemphasis on short-term bottom lines to the detriment of everything else that actually holds a company together. Ever since repeal of Glass–Steagall legislation, we've seen that finance capitalism has exacerbated capital flows away from small-to-midrange firms, and increasingly towards huge corporations. This leads to a variety of ills including more globalization of multinationals, more oligopolies, regulatory capture, government bailouts, reduced innovation, etc. etc. Since economists aren't smart enough or creative enough to see this big picture, western economies will continue waltzing down the financial primrose path until they crash and burn, dragging the rest of us down with them.

Blogger Johnny January 29, 2020 10:51 AM  

The model so many years ago was for the management or some other third party to do a leveraged buyout. "Leveraged" meaning you borrow out the rear to get the funds to buy the stock. As the equity to do the borrowing comes ultimately from the company that was purchased, the outcome was a deeply in debt company with a new owner. Next, take whatever desperate measure is necessary to gain short term profitability. If it all works out the buyer ends up holding a major asset without putting out major funds. Functionally it is the equivalent of buying a house with a huge mortgage funding most of it. If the value of the real estate goes up you are a big winner, if not, let the mortgage holder foreclose and own the house.

As our current debt friendly environment makes leveraged buyouts workable, run a company with little debt and next thing you know a leveraged buyout comes along and the company has a new owner.

Blogger J Van Stry January 29, 2020 10:53 AM  

I'm sure the now former CEO went on at great lengths about the benefits of offshoring.
Just as he went on about the benefits of doing away with the pension plan.

Have to wonder how this guy got the job, don't you?

Blogger Iceeater January 29, 2020 10:55 AM  

A funny story out of Enron Bankruptcy.
Under Enrons direction my pipeline engr and survey did work for every subsidiary ofcenron- Northern, Florida Gas , etc. To protect Enron from any liability they made us sign agreements w the individual units. When Enron stopped paying we squalked but kept working with the belief that they were to big to fail. When they went bankrupt we were owed 7,000,000. The only real assets enron had were these original pipeline units so the judge said we needed to be paid immediately to keep the pipelines solvent.

Blogger nbfdmd January 29, 2020 10:59 AM  

@14: Trump would 100% bail them out. He's not a nationalist right hero. He's a boomer who's slightly less retarded than average.

Blogger awildgoose January 29, 2020 11:16 AM  

On top of that, you have production managers and directors constantly signing off on waivers for product batches that couldn't *quite* pass production test requirements prior to shipment to the customer. But legally, those waivers confirm that this non-standard product is standard enough. Or something.

Blogger CS January 29, 2020 11:39 AM  

At this moment Boeing is up 1.69% on the day. Folks buying the dip?

Bankruptcy would be good if it resulted in a clearout of the Monkey Managers on the Board of Directors.

Blogger JamesB.BKK January 29, 2020 11:56 AM  

Becoming a national champion is a curse. Boeing would have never gotten the easy pass - its probable undoing - for calling a new plane with fancy but provably uncontrollable software to compensate a model modification without that status.

Blogger OneWingedShark January 29, 2020 11:57 AM  

ADS wrote:I have heard rumors of shortages of skilled labor, farming out engineering and programming work to underqualified foreigners, and massive bribes to regulatory officials to fast track things without proper scrutiny.
Once a company gets a hit of foreign cheap-labor, they tend to sacrifice ever more for their "next hit"… I would be unsurprised that the "shortage" didn't exist and was an excuse precisely to hire those "underqualified foreigners".

roundeye wrote:Like Amazon, they are a major defense contractor. They own legions of lobbyists and have tried to spread operations into every important congressional district. They will be bailed out.
I am against bailouts; I was against them for the airlines post-9/11, I was against them post-2008, I am against them now.

CarpeOro wrote:Wonder how many government contracts Boeing has propping up profits. I recall Enron leveraging government contracts to build their tower of cards.Chase wrote:The nefariousness of American corporations is astounding to behold, only exceeded by Americans' willingness to put up with it. When some Chinese companies were found to have put arsenic in baby formula, many of their executives were executed. That is how a sane company deals with criminal behavior, even by powerful people. In contrast, how many banking executives have been found even civilly liable for the mortgage meltdown?
I suspect that reasonable Treason cases could be made against major defense companies. Boeing has some interesting history:
Boeing Agrees to Pay $18 Million in Response to Allegations of Defense Fraud
Global Top 10 False Claims Act Offender: Boeing – Government Contract Schemes
Boeing: Corporate Rap Sheet

Snidely Whiplash wrote:Boomeration:
1 gain control
2 leverage every asset to borrow out the ass
3 fire the competent American workers
4 replace them with $9/hr 3rd world morons
5 take the money and run
6 watch from the sidelines as yet another American institution burns to the ground

Kissing-cousin to the tactics that slimeball, Romeny, did with his "Bain Capital".

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz January 29, 2020 11:59 AM  

Boeing is already dead.
With no aircaft ready to replace 777X and 737MAX (both are zombies, wings with 20yo stress marks after only a year of exploatation clearly signal "nothing is going to fix it") it will go down this year.
Boeing ate the North American civil aviation companies, with is fall the archived data will be deleted to cover CEOs backsides.
With experienced (and undiversed) engs already out of industry a next American airliner will be build be an Airbus Canada.
Pity.

Blogger Johnny January 29, 2020 12:03 PM  

Trump will bail them out if it comes to that. It is the smart thing to do on a political level, and it would not really be out of character for him to do it.

Blogger Lazarus January 29, 2020 12:05 PM  

I like syncronicity. It is history in poetic form

Blogger Dan in Georgia January 29, 2020 12:08 PM  

Would TGE bail out Boeing? Maybe, but it would be an opportunity to break it up and figure out how Boeing got that way. Maybe Durham is already looking into the Defense Dept part of The Swamp already.

Blogger nbfdmd January 29, 2020 12:13 PM  

@30: It has more to do with this:

https://science.house.gov/imo/media/doc/NASA_AUTH_01_xml.pdf

Lots of juicy contracts for Boeing. Like I said, the only thing that can kill Boeing is the US federal government collapsing.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( no need to be racist, Ratchets can Karen better than anybody ) January 29, 2020 12:15 PM  

9. Chase January 29, 2020 9:27 AM
a company that knowingly put so many people in danger solely to avoid re-designing the 737 body



avoiding the airframe recert wasn't the problem.

it was the half assed way Boeing chose to address the issues that created this whole situation.

hell, just the fact that the Max has *two* Angle-of-Attack sensors installed on every plane
BUT
Boeing only chose to wire one of them into the autopilot system should get somebody a seat in an electric chair.

then you have all of the software design stupidity they implemented.

all of those errors were completely unforced, and were probably the result of non-technical C*O level decisions from people who should not have had that level of decision making authority in an aerospace company.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 29, 2020 12:15 PM  

OneWingedShark wrote:Kissing-cousin to the tactics that slimeball, Romeny, did with his "Bain Capital".
It is the standard Boomer playbook at this point.

Blogger OneWingedShark January 29, 2020 12:22 PM  

KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia wrote:It doesn't take a genius to figure out what the situation is -- the regulators are shitting in their pants. Imagine you were working at the FAA and you have to sign off of the 737 Max. Would you ink your name on the dotted line?
It's honestly a perfect situation to use to clean up the FAA: investigate the incident, when/if corruption and/or incompetency is found, charge the people involved with murder. Put the Fear of God into regulatory agencies, letting them know they will be held to account. — Given Trump's "Drain the Swamp" campaign there's essentially no downside here, the only way it could go badly is if the process itself is carried out incompetently or corrupted.

Newscaper312 wrote:McDonnell-Douglas, Martin-Marietta, Northrop-Grumman, etc (all mergers themselves) etc got all rolled up into Boeing and Lockheed.

Torches and rope are required if a bailout happens w/o major management shakeup, and perhaps splitting the company.

This.
Lockheed in particular is way past the point of hubris at its own "too big to fail" -- the "adventure" with the F-35 is some proof of that.

Doktor Jeep wrote:All because they didn't want to hire more American programmers.
This.
It's easily observable in Tech; just take a look at the job-listings. It's not hard to find Entry-level jobs with 5/7/10-years REQUIRED experience, often on the exact (down to version-numbers) tech-stack being used. — The TL;DR point being this: companies are lying about what they want (or need), often in order to hire "cheap-labor" (often foreign)… I'm reminded of James 5 which starts: "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you."

I would much rather that the US wake up and rediscover its love of Justice, before God sets things right Himself… IOW, no nation was destroyed for pursuing Justice, but God destroys those that countenance injustice.

Blogger carnaby January 29, 2020 12:48 PM  

You guys are fucking idiots. Boeing has an army of American programmers.

hell, just the fact that the Max has *two* Angle-of-Attack sensors installed on every plane
BUT
Boeing only chose to wire one of them into the autopilot system should get somebody a seat in an electric chair.


This is not correct.

then you have all of the software design stupidity they implemented.

This is closer to the truth but even then, in the end, pilot error crashed those planes.

Blogger WillBound January 29, 2020 12:51 PM  

@40. OneWingedShark. Wow! I thought I knew the Bible pretty well, and I didn't realize that passage from James was there. I shall be quoting it!

Blogger ar10308 January 29, 2020 1:08 PM  

@Carnaby: "This is closer to the truth but even then, in the end, pilot error crashed those planes."

100% this.
Those planes were crashed by Indonesian and Ethiopian culture. The FAA was under massive foreign pressure to declare that Boeing was at fault because 3rd World retards, with poor pilot training and antiquated flight procedures can't pilot their fancy avionics and any implication that Pilots were at fault is tantamount to speaking too much truth.

Blogger Storm Rhode January 29, 2020 1:15 PM  

This is what happened to Walgreens. Walgreens bought a smaller company and bingo! The sketchy CEO of the smaller company, Stefano Pessina, is now running Walgreens. Walgreens goes from very little debt to swimming in debt. Pay capped, hours cut, benefits cut etc... It's the story of American business.

Blogger Newscaper312 January 29, 2020 1:28 PM  

Local upside for Boeing's civil side taking a dump...
Airbus assembly plant here in Mobile should become busier.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd January 29, 2020 1:35 PM  

Johnny wrote:... run a company with little debt and next thing you know a leveraged buyout comes along ...
Privately owned companies are safe from this.
ar10308 wrote:The FAA was under massive foreign pressure to declare that Boeing was at fault because 3rd World retards, with poor pilot training and antiquated flight procedures can't pilot their fancy avionics and any implication that Pilots were at fault is tantamount to speaking too much truth.
Any pilot will tell you that the default position for the NTSB and FAA is pilot error. It's easy and safe to blame the pilot, but if you blame anything else, a regulator might share part of the blame. Blaming the A&P is a decent second choice, if there is no way to blame the pilot.

Blaming design defects is an absolute last resort, because a regulator signed off on that design. So, if the regulators are saying it's a design issue, it's a HUGE design issue and there is no rug big enough to sweep it under.

Blogger Akulkis January 29, 2020 1:43 PM  

My bet:
.gov (especially .mil) subsidizes Boeing until things turn around, because we have so few domestic aircraft producers (due to decades of mergers. Prior to WW2, we had over a dozen aircraft companies, all of which provided aircraft which performed front-line duty.

* Bell Aircraft (P-39 Airacobra, P-63 Kingcobra)

* Boeing (B-17 Flying Fortress, B-29 Superfortress)

* Brewster (F2A Buffalo, SB2A Buccaneer, F3A Corsair (licensed version of Vought F4U Corsair)). (Dissolved by shareholders, 1946)

* Consolidated (B-24 Liberator, B-32 Dominator, PBY Catalina, PB2Y Coronado, PB4Y-2 Privateer, TBY Seawolf) Merged with Vultee => Convair (1943)

* Convair (Consolidated and Vultee products)(absorbed by General Dynamics, now part of McDonnell Douglas)

* Curtiss-Wright(SBC Helldiver, SB2c Helldiver, SOC Seagull, C-46 Commando, C-76 Caravan, P-36 Hawk, P-40 Warhawk)

* Douglas (A-20 Havoc/P-70 Havoc, A-26 Invader, C-47 Skytrain, DC-3, TBD Devastator, SBD Dauntless, BTD Destroyer, B-17s as part of the Boeing-Douglas-Vega consortium (Merged with McDonnell, 1967) (Last produced in 1950, the DC-3 is still in commercial service, oldest airframe still in service, # N133D, built in 1936)

* Glenn L. Martin Company (A-22 Boston, B-26 Marauder, PBM Mariner, JRM Mars, Martin 167 (RAF & French), second source of Boeing B-29 Superfortress) (Merged with Lockheed => Lockheed Martin)

* Grumman (F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, F8F Bearcat, TBF Avenger) (Merged with Northrop 1994, last product as Grumman F-14 Tomcat)

* Lockheed (P-38 Lightning, PV-1 Ventura/PV-2 Harpoon/B-34 Lexington/B-37, Hudson ) Merged with Martin Marietta => Lockheed Martin

* North American (B-25 Mitchell, P-40 Warhawk, P-51 Mustang/A-36 Apache)(Merged with Rockwell, 1967)

+ Northrop (P-61 Black Widow) (Merged with Grumman 1994=>Northrop Grumman)

* Republic (P-43 Lancer, P-47 Thunderbolt) (Bought by Fairchild, 1965)

* Vega (Second source for B-17, Hudson, and Ventura bombers)) (Merged into Lockheed 1943)

* Vought (F4U Corsair, OS2U Kingfisher,TBU Seawolf)

* Vultee (A-31 Vengeance) (Merged with Consolidated => Convair, 1943)

Now we're down to about 5

Blogger Brick Hardslab January 29, 2020 1:46 PM  

Boeing has always been poorly lit. It used to have good men. The problem hit when GE management style too over. They deliberately cut ties between workers and management so that strip mining the company could happen.

Blogger carnaby January 29, 2020 1:58 PM  

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeings-emergency-procedure-for-737-max-may-have-failed-on-ethiopian-flight/

Read that in its entirety, it contains most of the truth. Boeing certainly bears responsibility and Muilenburg was an ineffective leader. But the regulatory burden in the industry is also partly to blame, as is the retarded mainstream media, and you and me as the flying public ceaselessly complaining about the cost of flying.

Nobody would have died if Boeing could have released the 737 Max without the stupid MCAS system in the first place. It's ONLY real function was to overcome regulatory hurdles.

Blogger The War for the West January 29, 2020 2:02 PM  

Yeah man, the "synchronicity", lmfao. My biggest problem with so many self-styled info-tainment dudes is that they talk about shit they haven't looked into carefully. Boeing has just released the 777 X and it has 327 solid orders. The current problem is about the 737 Maxx which was flown into the ground by incompetent and poorly trained 3rd world pilots. I spoke with 4 U.S. pilots and current captains all of them said a U.S./Western trained pilot never would have screwed the pooch the way these pilots did. Yes, the MCAS was problematic but this angle doesn't get mentioned.

Blogger awildgoose January 29, 2020 2:12 PM  

OneWingedShark wrote:This.

It's easily observable in Tech; just take a look at the job-listings. It's not hard to find Entry-level jobs with 5/7/10-years REQUIRED experience, often on the exact (down to version-numbers) tech-stack being used.


Current job requirements are even more insane for mid/senior-level engineering positions.

I've seen postings that will list the following areas under required skills:

- RF Circuit Design
- Microwave Design
- PCB Layout/Drafting
- C/C++ Coding experience
- FPGA Development experience

Those are five separate, very specialized areas of electrical and computer engineering.

It is rare to find a person that is very good in two of those areas. Hell, a guy I used to work with that was excellent at RF circuit design struggled to use a Windows PC and MS Office.

The experienced person that is excellent in three of those areas is known as a unicorn.

Blogger Cloudswrest January 29, 2020 2:17 PM  

Based on reading the technical reports, the software adaptions to map the new engines is not the real issue causing the crashes. This is a straw man. The real issue is the industrial design of user/pilot interface.

Imagine you're "driving" a new Tesla on auto-pilot and you see it's about to crash, so you try to steer it away from the obstruction, but the Tesla won't let you. Instead of just overriding with the steering wheel you have to, in this sudden emergency, REMEMBER to disengage the autopilot before it will relinquish control to you. And when you fail to do this the results are blamed on driver error. I'm not sure who's the lame brain that came up with this.

Blogger ADS January 29, 2020 2:21 PM  

Pilot error and/or insufficient training in the new system was a contributory factor, but the root cause of both crashes was a single point of failure system malfunctioning and overriding pilot control input. No redundancy on a system that could crash the plane is criminally negligent. Having the other sensor verifying readings and disabling the MCAS system if they disagree would have saved all those lives. At the very least the feedback to the pilots was completely insufficient. A single light indicating MCAS operation is easy to overlook in a high stress situation. My automobile sounds an audible alarm and a flashing warning on my dash when it overrides my throttle input with the traction control. Aircraft have stall horns and stick shakers to alert pilots to impending stall conditions. Although MCAS is not a stall-avoidance feature, overriding pilot elevator input to adjust angle of attack brushes against stall avoidance in importance to pilot awareness. Terrible engineering, and heads should roll at both at Boeing and the FAA for letting that pass.

Blogger Gulo Gulo January 29, 2020 2:23 PM  

Boeing is marginally private . So it shouldn't come as a surprise that they're on the brink of insolvency. No bid government contracts and a monopoly moat turns a lean mean corporation into a bloated corpse - quick.
We've reached peak govt. and with the inevitable systemic collapse of public pensions all faith in large govt. will evaporate overnight.
Any parasites attached to the beast will go with it. That includes companies like Boeing et al..

Blogger kurt9 January 29, 2020 2:24 PM  

Boeing's descent started with Philip Condit in 1995. Prior to him, Boeing had always been run by "airplane" guys. Guys who were either engineers or involved in production and sales of airliners. Condit was the first finance CEO. They bought McDonnell Douglas in '97 and rolled all of their "MIC" managers into similar slots at Boeing. This, of course, was a total disaster from an airliner manufacturing standpoint, but positioned Boeing to become the top DoD contractor. Then, they moved HQ to Chicago. Everything has been a decline from that point on.

Its this whole private equity leverage financing game that is the root of the problem and its everywhere in corporate America. Boeing is just the current poster child for this problem. I think a lot of the private equity finance game has been fostered by the Federal Reserve with their sub-normal interest rates they have done since Greenspan in the 90's.

Blogger kurt9 January 29, 2020 2:34 PM  

CS wrote:At this moment Boeing is up 1.69% on the day. Folks buying the dip?

Bankruptcy would be good if it resulted in a clearout of the Monkey Managers on the Board of Directors.



The linked article describes what I call the cult of management. The cult of management is the idea that the knowledge specific to a particular line of business (the engineering and building of airliners) is not necessary to effectively run a company. Instead, there are theoretical management concepts that, once mastered, can allow on to run any company in the world, no matter what its product or service is.

The cult of management dovetails with the financial-drive gamesmanship that is a result of the Federal Reserve's cheap money policy and the take down of Glass-Steagall.

Blogger The Course of Empire January 29, 2020 2:36 PM  

This guy argues that diversity is a big part of the reason why: http://irishsavant.blogspot.com/2020/01/boeing-boeing-gone.html

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( no need to be racist, Ratchets can Karen better than anybody ) January 29, 2020 2:43 PM  

41. carnaby January 29, 2020 12:48 PM
This is not correct.


in what regard?

while normal reporters are complete incompetents without technical knowledge, i believe it was Blancolirio / Juan Browne reading an FAA release that i got the information about the AoA sensors from.

he's a pilot who does regular reporting on aircraft issues.


41. carnaby January 29, 2020 12:48 PM
but even then, in the end, pilot error crashed those planes.


the major bottleneck with putting the Max back into service is going to be pilot training.

https://youtu.be/Gs4qTqn0Rok?t=3m15s

ie - you can assert that it was "pilot error", but if Boeing isn't issuing proper training to avoid a software loop which results in complete loss of life and craft
...
that's NOT actually pilot error.

that's a fault which was CREATED in the design and production of the aircraft.

the existence of the software loop WITHOUT ERROR CORRECTION / CATCHING, is, of itself, inexcusable.

failed sensors are a normal part of aircraft operation. they have found a Max, still taxiing, showing bad AoA readings ... which is no surprise. sensors are designed to be replaced.

how can one single sensor, in contradiction to Altimeter, Airspeed and *both* control yokes induce a software loop which will force the aircraft into ground at hundreds of knots?

how can the software not recognize that a +400 knot "stall" is not physically possible for the flight envelope OR the airframe?

you can blame the pilots all you want, if a street car had been designed this way ( say, to floor the throttle and steer left into oncoming traffic because a faulty sensor thinks you're running into a ditch ), that manufacturer would be looking at a major class action law suit.

and they should be.

Blogger Akulkis January 29, 2020 2:50 PM  

"I don't understand why anyone would be surprised if a defense contractor is in bad financial shape. What incentive do they have to keep the business afloat through legitimate means?"

Aircraft manufacturers that want to stay in business for the long term have civilian airframes and military airframes. No matter what's going on, they should have a steady cashflow, as the demand shifts between the two sides of the house.

This is why McDonnell and Douglas merged for more McDonnell-Douglas. McDonnell was all civilian aircraft... so Douglas merged up with them to have a strong civilian-side income, rather than trying to get into the airliner business from scratch. And this gave McDonnell assurances that a run-up in military aircraft wouldn't kill their income stream.

Blogger cecilhenry January 29, 2020 2:51 PM  

Every company that makes a commitment to 'diversity™' a cornerstone of its business plan inevitably goes down.

Boeing started pushing its diversity™ bona fides just a few years ago.

Here's another UK company with the same 'success'.

Every. Single. Time.





There are few things more reliably predictive of things about to head south than a commitment to diversity™.



https://irishsavant.blogspot.com/2020/01/john-lewis-get-woke-go-broke.html

Blogger Dangeresque January 29, 2020 2:53 PM  

Makes me wonder what level of social justice they are on...

Blogger Akulkis January 29, 2020 2:59 PM  

"Once a company gets a hit of foreign cheap-labor, they tend to sacrifice ever more for their "next hit"… I would be unsurprised that the "shortage" didn't exist and was an excuse precisely to hire those "underqualified foreigners".
"

The shortage does not exist. There are 4 MILLION Americans who used to work in IT who can't even get into entry-level positions... not even the "Need 5 years of experience" entry-level positions.

I hope every single on of these H1-B addict companies burns to the ground.

Blogger Zastavnik Džemo January 29, 2020 3:38 PM  

The whole IT management of Boeing deserves capital punishment. Those plains crashed and people died because some idiot decided javascript is sane technology to use for flight control.
The number of deaths from software will only rise until at some point people figure out and pass laws and punishments against shitty code.

Blogger Oswald January 29, 2020 3:38 PM  

I hear they have a diverse force of engineers looking into the Max's problems. But seriously, whats taking so long to fix the problem? Must be more to it then thought. Maybe this is where "the Masters" are going to start the crash of the economy. A big business failure always seems to take place when the economy has a major down turn. I think these economy cycles are rigged anyway.

Blogger Lazarus January 29, 2020 3:49 PM  

ar10308 wrote:@Carnaby: "This is closer to the truth but even then, in the end, pilot error crashed those planes."

100% this.

Those planes were crashed by Indonesian and Ethiopian culture. The FAA was under massive foreign pressure to declare that Boeing was at fault because 3rd World retards, with poor pilot training and antiquated flight procedures can't pilot their fancy avionics and any implication that Pilots were at fault is tantamount to speaking too much truth.


Completely false.

These tweaks changed how the jet handled in certain situations. The relocated engines caused the jet’s nose to pitch skyward. To compensate, Boeing added a computerized system called MCAS to prevent the plane’s nose from getting too high and causing a stall. MCAS is unique to the Max jets, and isn’t present in other Boeing 737s.

MCAS is activated without the pilot’s input, which has led to some frustration among pilots of the 737 Max jet. At least half a dozen pilots have reported being caught off guard by sudden descents in the aircraft, according to the Dallas News. One pilot said it was “unconscionable that a manufacturer, the FAA, and the airlines would have pilots flying an airplaned without adequately training, or even providing available resources and sufficient documentation to understand the highly complex systems that differentiate this aircraft from prior models,” according to an incident report filed with a NASA database.

Both jets that crashed lacked safety features that could have provided crucial information to the crew because they were sold as options by Boeing, according to The New York Times. This was previously reported by Jon Ostrower on The Air Current, who said that a warning light that would have alerted the crew to a disagreement between the Max jet’s angle of attack sensors wasn’t part of Lion Air’s optional package of equipment.


link

Blogger Akulkis January 29, 2020 4:23 PM  

"I hear they have a diverse force of engineers looking into the Max's problems. But seriously, whats taking so long to fix the problem? "

Having to re-write it from scratch.
I'm willing to be a LOT of time was wasted trying to figure out what the Indian-written code was supposed to be doing, before whoever is in charge finally said, "screw it, dig up the spec sheet, and restart from square one."

How much you want to bet that the Indian-written code is in an interpreted language ... because over 50% of Indians graduating from Indian programming schools CANNOT WRITE CODE THAT COMPILES. Note that I didn't use the word "correctly"... most of them, given adequate time to write a program, finish with code that's still throwing compiler errors.

If you can't write in a compiled language, you have no business working on something such as an aircraft flight control system.

Blogger OneWingedShark January 29, 2020 5:07 PM  

awildgoose wrote:Those are five separate, very specialized areas of electrical and computer engineering.

It is rare to find a person that is very good in two of those areas. Hell, a guy I used to work with that was excellent at RF circuit design struggled to use a Windows PC and MS Office.

Yep and what's so frustrating is how insultingly lowball such postings are WRT pay. It's so bad that there was a (I think) joke going around about the next "big thing" being not unpaid interns, but internships where you pay the company…

ADS wrote:Terrible engineering, and heads should roll at both at Boeing and the FAA for letting that pass.
Yes, this.
We should not let either Boing or the FAA get away with "well you're wrong, too!"-style avoidance. (I've seen that in government one person gets in trouble for violating some protocol, points out how the accuser/authority is violating some other protocol and both sweep it all under the rug.)

Akulkis wrote:I hope every single on of these H1-B addict companies burns to the ground.
Vote for me and we can make it happen!

Zastavnik Džemo wrote:The whole IT management of Boeing deserves capital punishment. Those plains crashed and people died because some idiot decided javascript is sane technology to use for flight control.

The number of deaths from software will only rise until at some point people figure out and pass laws and punishments against shitty code.

Wat, really? JavaScript!? I…
Where did you see this? (I've not been able to dig up what programming language the were using.)

Blogger carnaby January 29, 2020 5:33 PM  

in what regard?

Both are connected to the computer, but only one is used at a time, the pilots have to select which is used for flight control. Agreed that this is dumb.

the major bottleneck with putting the Max back into service is going to be pilot training.

It will be a major bottleneck agreed.

ie - you can assert that it was "pilot error", but if Boeing isn't issuing proper training to avoid a software loop which results in complete loss of life and craft

...
that's NOT actually pilot error.

that's a fault which was CREATED in the design and production of the aircraft.


Well, not exactly. There are an unknown number of ways that the jackscrew can go bananas and the pilots are *supposed* to know how to deal with that. It's been like that since the plane was new back in the 60's. The real problem is that they changed the training.

the existence of the software loop WITHOUT ERROR CORRECTION / CATCHING, is, of itself, inexcusable.

In my opinion the whole thing is ridiculous. The MCAS system is only needed because of burdensome regulation. Should never have been required in the first place. Serves no useful purpose.

Blogger carnaby January 29, 2020 5:35 PM  


Having to re-write it from scratch.
I'm willing to be a LOT of time was wasted trying to figure out what the Indian-written code was supposed to be doing, before whoever is in charge finally said, "screw it, dig up the spec sheet, and restart from square one."


There is no Indian written code involved. What makes you think that there is?

Blogger map January 29, 2020 5:37 PM  

There are so many lies spread about the financial health of companies, that it's worth getting a financial trading platform to check for any of these lies.

My suspicion is that the 737 Max has software designed to hijack the plane. The software allows the plane to be remotely piloted, meaning the remote can pilot it into the ground. The 737 Max accidents were tests of this remote-piloting system.

A similar system exists in the Tesla automobile.

If this really is a system designed to interfere with the pilot, then you would expect the accidents to occur in US flights as well as third-world countries.

The current effort exists now to remove the rogue code.

Blogger carnaby January 29, 2020 5:41 PM  

These tweaks changed how the jet handled in certain situations. The relocated engines caused the jet’s nose to pitch skyward. To compensate, Boeing added a computerized system called MCAS to prevent the plane’s nose from getting too high and causing a stall. MCAS is unique to the Max jets, and isn’t present in other Boeing 737s.

See the problem here? The dope who wrote this is using loaded language, much like the idiots who report on global warming. Pitch skyward eh? This a poor description of the what and why for MCAS. What it actually does is augment the handling characteristics of the aircraft at very high angle of attack so that it feels like an ordinary 737 in that part of the flight envelope. The idea being that this would reduce or eliminate pilot training to move from any other 737 to the MAX.

MCAS is activated without the pilot’s input

MCAS is always active. Lots of stuff on the plane opperates without pilot input, so what?

At least half a dozen pilots have reported being caught off guard by sudden descents in the aircraft, according to the Dallas News.

Was that due to MCAS? Is there any way to know? Is this just bullshit reporting we've come to expect from the news media?

One pilot said it was “unconscionable that a manufacturer, the FAA, and the airlines would have pilots flying an airplaned without adequately training, or even providing available resources and sufficient documentation to understand the highly complex systems that differentiate this aircraft from prior models,” according to an incident report filed with a NASA database.

You can always find at least one jackass willing to say anything. So what?

Blogger carnaby January 29, 2020 5:43 PM  

I hear they have a diverse force of engineers looking into the Max's problems.

You hear wrong. However, SJW/Diversity stuff is apparent at Boeing but mostly on the business side. It's annoying but not yet affecting engineering. Management maybe, HR for sure, PR definitely. See how this works?

Blogger carnaby January 29, 2020 5:43 PM  

I hear they have a diverse force of engineers looking into the Max's problems.

You hear wrong. However, SJW/Diversity stuff is apparent at Boeing but mostly on the business side. It's annoying but not yet affecting engineering. Management maybe, HR for sure, PR definitely. See how this works?

Blogger map January 29, 2020 6:08 PM  

kurt9 wrote:Instead, there are theoretical management concepts that, once mastered, can allow on to run any company in the world, no matter what its product or service is.

The cult of management dovetails with the financial-drive gamesmanship that is a result of the Federal Reserve's cheap money policy and the take down of Glass-Steagall.


See, this is wrong-headed thinking. A businesses is a complex set of complementary skills...all have to work together for it to succeed. Thinking that an engineer should run and engineering firm seems obvious, but it really isn't. Why? Business data is more important than engineering data. It's not an accident that those who manage and control business data end up running the firm.

Want to see what engineering boneheads do? Take BMW. BMW decided to get into the high-end luxury market, so they bought Rolls Royce. After buying everything....tooling, factories, employees, etc., and paying billions, they realized they made a mistake: the Rolls Royce name is not owned by the Rolls Royce motor company. It's owned by the Rolls Royce aircraft company. So, BMW ended up buying everything except the most valuable property...the brand name.

So what did they do? They bought Bentley so they could still use a luxury brand name under which to build their cars. They later licensed the Rolls Royce name from Rolls Royce.

That's what happens when engineers run a firm...but hey...that's ok...they know calculus.

Engineers think that what they do is the most important thing in the world...except they only make money when they sell to non-engineers. Those non-engineers don't care about about engineering. Engineers that can't sell to non-engineers will soon end up homeless.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 29, 2020 6:10 PM  

carnaby wrote:There is no Indian written code involved. What makes you think that there is?
Don't be an ass:
Boeing’s 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Engineers

Blogger carnaby January 29, 2020 6:16 PM  

Snidely, did you read the article?

Blogger Hammerli 280 January 29, 2020 6:19 PM  

I've spent the last 40 years in military flight testing, which gives me a bit different perspective.

It's now clear that Boeing screwed up the 737MAX badly...and browbeat the FAA into giving them a Type Certificate anyway. Then toss in the Starliner flop. Things are NOT going well for Boeing.

Hovering over all this is the lawsuit that will be brought against Boeing by the various airlines that bought 737MAXs.

My forecast? Chapter 11 bankruptcy, possibly followed by breaking up the company. No Chapter 7 sheriff's sale, Boeing is a major defense contractor and the only game currently in town for several significant capabilities.

I've been saying for months that if I were running Northrop-Grumman or Lockheed, I'd have a back-pocket plan to make an offer for parts or all of Boeing.

Blogger Newscaper312 January 29, 2020 6:33 PM  

@56 Kurt 9

"The linked article describes what I call the cult of management. "

Only time I *ever* saw things work out in spite of that "all you need to know are principles of sound management" BS was when Lou Gerstner was brought in to turn around IBM in the early or mid 90s. His background was freakin Nabisco IIRC.

Blogger The Pitchfork Rebel January 29, 2020 6:49 PM  

@73

And here is the money phrase of your link:

"Increasingly, the iconic American planemaker and its subcontractors have relied on temporary workers making as little as $9 an hour to develop and test software, often from countries lacking a deep background in aerospace -- notably India."

Programmers are not fungible. They need to be familiar with whatever the program is intended to be applied to-I learned this when my employer installed a new ERP. The lead analyst (an American at a major consulting firm that's often sarcastically "Toilet") decided that instead of just sticking with standard convention of all debits negative/credits positive or all credits negative/debits positive, he'd make a few "adjustments", because he didn't understand that what he didn't understand is second nature to accountants.

Now, we have to change the sign of the accounts he tinkered with rather than just running a total on our accounts and getting zero balance on a general ledger and proceeding.

Now certainly this is inconsequential relative to software that controls the destiny of lives, but it is instructive.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 29, 2020 7:20 PM  

carnaby wrote:Snidely, did you read the article?
Carnaby, do you believe a corporate spokesman? Or an Indian?

Blogger carnaby January 29, 2020 7:24 PM  

Snidely, let's put it this way, should I believe you or my own lying eyes?

There are no Indians, or anyone else for that matter, writing flight critical software for Boeing at $9/hr.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 29, 2020 7:26 PM  

That wasn't the accusation, and you know it.

Blogger Meng Greenleaf January 29, 2020 8:01 PM  

Re: How much real wealth will still exist when the frenzy of Pathological Social Trust experienced these last 40 years turns to distrust?

--o--

When distrust turns to disgust, that's where I'm at and what I'm waiting for.

Distrust is cognitive. We need a gut-level wretch.

Blogger Meng Greenleaf January 29, 2020 8:07 PM  

* retch (darn android ... sigh)

How much longer before the feeling something may be off, turns visceral? Then, and probably only then, will people react. For now people are satisfied, full, satiated and our instincts are dull.

This is going to change. And it'll happen in the USA first.

Blogger RedJack January 29, 2020 8:28 PM  

For a good manufacturing company, you need people who know BOTH business AND the product. Put a bunch of pure MBA guys in a firm like Boeing, and they will make bad choices that lead to bad results. Give a bunch of engineers control of the pocket book, and you will have a shiny plant but be broke.

Case in point. In my current company we are running 20% more production, in budget costs, and disposal costs are low. The MBA at corporate is convinced that the byproduct is being landfilled, when I have been selling it for a while now. Why? Because as a MBA from an Ivy school, he assures me that the check from the customer is actually a cost more than me writing a check to the landfill.

He can't read the reports. So we had to reconfigure the reports in SAP so this guy could understand basic accounting.

Blogger The Pitchfork Rebel January 29, 2020 8:51 PM  

@84

"He can't read the reports. So we had to reconfigure the reports in SAP so this guy could understand basic accounting."

Bet he's kickass at diversity.

Blogger Unknownsailor January 29, 2020 8:52 PM  

It should be noted that Boeing kept the Max line open for more than a year after the 2nd crash, with the line shutting down only this month. That means Boeing kept building planes for nine months after the air frame was grounded. All those air frames cannot be delivered to end customers, and all of them will have to be fixed once a fix is approved.

Boeing is in a hiring freeze ATM, too, one of their recruiters came over to my college and gave her pitch last November.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( no need to be racist, Ratchets can Karen better than anybody ) January 29, 2020 10:00 PM  

86. Unknownsailor January 29, 2020 8:52 PM
All those air frames cannot be delivered to end customers, and all of them will have to be fixed once a fix is approved.


that's going to be trivial from a mechanical / wiring perspective. which is part of why Boeing is going to have massive liabilities wrt these crashes.

all of the engineering is done. all of the airframes are already equipped with two AoA sensors with all attendant wiring.

Boeing is just not going to be able to "offer" an optional, more expensive upgrade to have both AoA sensors serving the MCAS controller. that's almost certainly going to be mandatory.

there will also, i'm sure, be major changes to the MCAS code. adding such basic items as error catching and fail SAFE modes for sensor errors.

adjective
designed to return to a safe condition in the event of a failure or malfunction

Blogger JamesB.BKK January 29, 2020 11:23 PM  

Boeing sold hundreds of these aircraft to customers with third world pilots, often with below market financing terms because the customers operate in the third world. It's lame to argue Boeing or FAA moat protectors and lackeys can blame pilots for its tricky and obviously crappy software system due to they're being poor (supposedly). It may be Boeing that finally finishes off the US Eximbank.

Blogger Lazarus January 29, 2020 11:24 PM  

carnaby wrote:You can always find at least one jackass willing to say anything. So what?

Can't argue with that, carnaby.

Blogger Akulkis January 30, 2020 1:05 AM  

"There is no Indian written code involved. What makes you think that there is?"

The fact that the MCAS code was outsourced to India.
This has been public knowledge for many months now.

Blogger Up from the pond January 30, 2020 9:33 AM  

A friend of my father ran a large chain of clothing stores, then sold it. The new managers squeezed everything they could get out of it, then went out of business. The friend said that's what business is supposed to be, in his opinion: a temporary vehicle to get personally wealthy.

Maybe the owners of Boeing rode as far as they could, got all the "paydays" they could get out of this business, and are ditching it.

Once all the juice is gone and there is only ice left in the cup, why continue to suck?

Blogger Johnny January 30, 2020 10:00 AM  


My understanding is that lots of airplanes have small defects in how they fly, and that is usually taken care if in a manner far less drastic than having the autopilot seize control from the pilot. Perhaps a new AoA censor if desired, but reconsider the whole concept of transferring control to the machine.

And really, if we are going to have to big to fail companies, then we should also have a category of bankruptcy for them. As the word bankrupt is apt to upset the public, change the word. Lets call it receivership. Two new rules for it. One: if the public at large has to input funds or accept financial risk, then the public owns the company. Tough luck stockholders. The other rule would be the expectation that one way or another the major functions of the company remain in operation, and that eventually the stock is resold to the public. The assets become privately held again.

Blogger Akulkis January 30, 2020 12:38 PM  

Not far enough.

If there is evidence that the demise of the company was due to decisions by the senior executives to cut corners in ways which were harmful to the long-term viability of the business (such as lowering product quality, laying of skilled people and replacing them with barely competent people at lower pay rates, etc.) then all corporate officers of said company are stripped of all personal wealth, and prohibited from holding any job as management, position of trust, including public office, for the remainder of their lives. They can spend the remainder of their lives working for $9/hour, asking randomly appearing strangers "do you want fries with that?" Ditto for anyone who executes a "golden parachute" out of chaos caused by their own incompetence or greed at the expense of shareholders and/or their employees.

No such rule for privately held businesses, as such businesses are not subject to the perverse incentives which we've seen with publicly held corporations.

Blogger RedJack January 30, 2020 5:25 PM  

@85 Dot, not feather.

Odd thing is the CEO is also, and was righteously PISSED when he became aware. Seems big boss has an accounting degree.

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