Seattle Times Systematically Misinformed Readers About Boeing Until It Was Too Late

Comments

1

The love of money:
Still the root of all evil.

3

It's
just
Business.

yay CAPITALISM
we prefer the Unbridled kind
SeaTimes

Can you say PAYWALL
mofos?

4

2

I'm curious -- when mgt / execs get shares of stock (part of a compensation package) do they not reap the Rewards when that stock's price goes up seven hundred and fifty percent? What am I missing?

They invested Billions in buying back their shares, whilst slapping some oversize engines on the 737, to beat Airbus, and then didn't bother telling the fucking Pilots about the computer program (required to keep it aloft) that'd take the plane's Destiny outta their hands?

Boeing's Board's gotta go. And/or fill half of it with
their largest Stakeholders -- their Union Employees.

Awesome article. Thnx Chas.

5

Crock of shit this article

6

More bad Boeing news, from today's NYT: "Federal Prosecutors
Investigating Whether Boeing Pilot Lied to F.A.A.

In questions before a grand jury, prosecutors have focused on whether a top pilot misled regulators about new flight control software in the 737 Max.

Mr. Forkner [Boeing's main pilot] never told the F.A.A. group in charge of training that a change had been made to the software, The New York Times reported last year.

Last year, the company made public an instant message chat between Mr. Forkner and his colleague Patrik Gustavsson. In the exchange, from November 2016, months before the F.A.A. certified the Max, Mr. Forkner said MCAS was acting unpredictably in a flight simulator. 'I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly),' Mr. Forkner said.

And in emails with F.A.A. officials, he said MCAS would only rarely activate. Two months after his experience in the flight simulator, Mr. Forkner emailed F.A.A. officials to ask that they remove mention of the software from official training materials because, he said, it was so unlikely that it would ever trigger in normal circumstances.

'Delete MCAS,' Mr. Forkner wrote, 'since
it’s way outside the normal operating envelope.'"

Is this the Death of Capitalism?
Or does it once again need
another Major Bailout --
another 'New Deal'?

plane.https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/21/business/boeing-737-max-investigation.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

7

@4: They do, but so do all the shareholders, employees, and the millions of families and institutions with mutual funds and assets that have Boeing stock -- including municipalities, schools, universities, and other institutions.

8

@1 pat L for the WIN. I agree; while I enjoy playing the lottery like anyone else, I know when to stop (gotta cover rent, utilities, car insurance & maintenance, phone, food, etc. first) am not after billion$. It's just as well---if I ever hit anything over $10,000.00 they'd have to call the paramedics, and I wouldn't want to have to answer to a new tax bracket.

@6 kristofarian: Consumer protection advocate and former U.S. Presidential hopeful (2000) Ralph Nader is on board to legally go after Boeing and other corporations hellbent on putting profits over people since the senseless death of his great-niece, Samja Stumo, who was killed with all pilots, crew, and fellow passengers of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019 [ "After the Crash: the Case Against Boeing", Alec McGillis, November 18, 2019 The New Yorker Magazine].

9

@4 kristofarian: According to Alec McGillis's article in The New Yorker magazine, in addition to oversized engines, lack of safety regulations, and poor pilot training contributing to the gross failure of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, a malfunctioning automated override system had been installed to force the plane noses downward in mid-air, causing turbulence and unintentional nose dives from 20,000+ feet. Pilots onboard Ethiopian Flight 302 had a mere ten seconds to try to manually correct what the machinery itself misconstrued as catastrophic. Add to this outrage all the Boeing CEOs (like Dennis Muilenberg up until December 23, 2019) so focused on getting their multi-million dollar annual bonuses that they fired engineers and FAA regulators merely trying to do their jobs in upholding passenger safety.

10

I know I'LL never fly in a Boeing jet again.

11

@7 -- right as rain. Also, not my Point.

12

I know, @auntie Gee. I've been following the snowballing Debacle and am astounded at the utter short-sightedness of one of our (still?) Major Puget Sound Employers, and their ineptness at digging themselves out of this Mess . . . beginning to wonder if they're even Capable. Staying the course does not seem to be serving them Well, I must say...

13

@11: Well, if your point was NOT to imply that the buybacks are done to primary just benefit the CEO and board - then you're right.

14

13

Boeing Execs are Altruistic?
Wow.
Tell that to the Survivors.

15

Oh, wait
They're all DEAD.

16

@14: That word first appears in comment 14.

17

@6 here's a link past the NYT paywall

http://archive.ph/jmgAS

18

Share buybacks are not "normal," although they are intrinsic to the neoliberal shareholder value business model, popular in America for about 20 years.

Boeing's share buybacks started with $1.3 Billion in 1998, shortly after the merger with McDonnell Douglas. Buybacks were suspended for 2 years after 9/11 and for 3 years after the financial crisis. The total absorbed so far is about $73 billion to date, adjusted for inflation.

This was mentioned in a Seattle Times guest editorial last summer, so the Seattle Times may have been largely, but not totally, silent on the this.

19

So if Boeing wouldn't have made those stock buybacks, like the other big corporations all were doing, it would have instead built a safe, crash-proof 737 Max? How could you not see this connection, Dominic Gates? Go now, Dominic, interview the software engineer they laid off who otherwise would have noticed the problems, said "Hey, everybody, wait a minute!" and saved all those lives. Rescue yourself, Dominic, from "self-willed ignorance."

20

OR, instead of slapping oversize engines on an inefficient 50 year old bird (while hoping a computer'd be enough to 'fix' it) invest a few Billions -- in an all-New Plane.

Which would have taken Time, and more than just a Next Quarter's Profits at all costs (well, not Monetary costs -- we got our own Stocks to inflate) mindset.

So their boneheaded move cost them
HOW many (tens of) Billions MORE.

Short term, Shareholder Value FIRST thinking
How's that working out?

Boeing's Board is Busted.
Right there's The Problem.

22

@21 -- I think you (finally) hit the nail squarely on the head:

Boeing builds planes
OR
Shareholder "value."

Currently, they're doing Neither.

23

@13 - Yes, you missed the point. Management-Exec compensation with a financial instrument (shares), of which ~they themselves~ can increase the price, creates a perverse incentive. One that clearly detours the company's core mission in order to put money in the hands of rich people (share holder speculators). It's economic grotesquerie. But you can be an apologist, that's ok too.

But Wait! ...you guys... hold on: Reagan told us that if the rich were richer, then their excess riches would "trickle down" to the rest of society. So Boeing execs were just doing what they were expected to do, make the rich richer, who will in turn benefit ALL society, someday.
They were really acting out of compassion -- for us, the little people -- and exercising the most altruistic option they had to improve our collective lot. It's really capitalist socialism! The capitalist donate-to-the-poor campaign. So trickle! Much riches! Many benevolence! Wow!

24

Hmmm... @22 do-over:

Boeing builds planes
AND, thru doing so, successfully,
Shareholder "value."

Currently they're doing Neither.

25

@Treacle
KUDOS
gracias!

26

@7, @13, @16 -- so now, with Boeing's stock plummeting (not punny) exactly HOW have those "millions of families and institutions with mutual funds and assets that have Boeing stock -- including municipalities, schools, universities, and other institutions," fared, lately?

How bout with the Benevolence MGT Team (net worth: don't ask) now having shut Down MAX production?

And all those workers, what are they supposed to do, park planes all day? And what about all those tens of thousands of ancillary jobs, so many workers, and all good little Capitalists, ready at a moment's Notice to whip up a little something, for the Good of the People (and Boeing mgmt)? Including municipalities, schools, universities, and other institutions, Is their stock up? Or down? Asking, for a friend.

Profits First is what got us here.
Will that get us out?

yeah right

And now, we got us a Virus and
The Market is Tanking.

What's next?

27

I, myself, prefer treacle-down capitalism.
You can donate to my goFundMe campaign here [link redacted].

28

New olde fake prez prefers
the Tinkle-down method:
piss on 'em, tell
'em it's Rainin'.

29

Stock buy-backs were actually illegal until 1982. I'm glad this article mentions the negatives of them. I see buy-backs as a way to artificially increase the price of stocks. You could have dividends, you could invest in your company, or buy other companies. Buy-backs juice the price, but the gains are capital gains. I think we should go back to stock buy-backs being illegal

30

@27: I like your self promotion idea!
@28 kristofarian: Trump, Pence, and the Entire GOP for Prison 2020.