Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 24, 2020

New Boeing CEO Insists On Moving The Company Towards Irrelevance

Shortly after we published our latest Boeing piece, asking if the company can survive, the new Boeing CEO and former board member David Calhoun held a call with the media. It confirmed our pessimistic take.

Calhoun said that nothing was wrong at Boeing. It is just that foreign pilots are incompetent, that Boeing workers lack practice and that its customers have no idea what they are talking about. Safety, he says, is just a prerequisite for shareholder value, not an inherent value in itself. Dividends must continue to flow, even when that requires the company to take on more debt. Boeing should not develop new airplanes as its derivatives of very ones can beat the competition. Calhoun also wants to stay in his new positions as long as possible even though he lacks the competence to fill it.

In short - Calhoun said all the wrong things he possibly could have said:

Speaking from Boeing Commercial Airplanes headquarters at Longacres in Renton on a two-day visit to the area ahead of Friday’s expected first flight of the 777X, Calhoun acknowledged the design of the MAX’s new flight control system was flawed, but insisted that was not a product of any deliberate decision to put cost factors ahead of safety.

Instead, he said, the flaws came from long-standing assumptions about how pilots would react to a failure —assumptions that proved fatally wrong.

We do have documentation from several Boeing employees who say the exact opposite:

“We put ourselves in this position by picking the lowest cost supplier [...] and signing up to impossible schedules,” wrote a Boeing employee. “We have a senior leadership team that understand very little about the business and yet are driving us to certain objectives.”

“Time and time again, we are inundated with Boeing material specifying quality is key — this clearly is not the case in any of the decisions that are made,” wrote another. “Until an open and frank discussion takes place, the same errors, wasted opportunities, and financial losses will continually be absorbed.”

The above exchange of Boeing engineers was not just part of a "micro-culture not representative for Boeing", as Calhoun claimed. It was and is a widespread sentiment throughout the company:

Investigators for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee looking into the design and certification of the 737 Max have received details of a three-year-old internal Boeing BA, survey showing roughly one in three employees who responded felt “potential undue pressure” from managers regarding safety-related approvals by federal regulators across an array of commercial planes. Workload and schedule were cited as important causes.

With Calhoun in the lead Boeing will never have the "open and frank discussion" it urgently needs. Instead it is back at "blame the pilots" who got overwhelmed with inconclusive alarms that had little to do with real fault on their planes.

Calhoun announced that he had stopped the development of new airplanes at Boeing:

Calhoun also disclosed he has instructed engineers to go back to the drawing board for Boeing’s next new airplane. That reset could have a significant strategic impact on the competitive balance with rival Airbus, a sign of how deeply the MAX crisis has damaged Boeing.

The new jet that Boeing was once expected to launch last year at the Paris Air Show now seems years away.

It takes at least 7 years and some $10 to $15 billions to create and certify an all new airplane. Airbus already has some 60% of the large jet market share with Boeing having some 40%. Pushing back the launch of the New Midsize Airplane (NMA) means that Boeing will have nothing new to offer throughout the next ten years. Without a new plane Boeing's market share will slip to 30% which is less than the minimum one third it needs to survive in the duopoly.

The MAX, though, is here to stay. Calhoun said he expects it to eventually reach parity with the Airbus A320neo. He dismissed a suggestion that the MAX may never fly again, or will be renamed to disguise its history, and said passengers’ confidence in the airplane will be restored.

“I believe in this airplane,” he said. “I’m all in on it and the company’s all in on it.”

Boeing's 737 MAX will not reach parity with the much newer A220 and A320neo series unless it sells its planes for less than it costs to produce them. The A320neo and its variants are already the better planes and they already have the higher sales numbers. There is no way to beat it with the 50+ years old design that the 737 MAX basically is.

Not renaming the MAX goes against the advice of some of Boeing's biggest customers:

The Max brand is damaged following two fatal crashes last year, and there’s no reason for Boeing to retain it, Udvar-Hazy, the founder and chairman of Air Lease Corp., said Monday at a conference in Dublin.

“We’ve asked Boeing to get rid of that word Max,” Udvar-Hazy said. “I think that word Max should go down in the history books as a bad name for an aircraft.”
Air Lease is one of the biggest customers for the Max, with about 200 ordered.

Calhoun continued to talk nonsense:

“If ever there was a moment to emphasize safety as … the most important part of shareholder value, it’s now,” Calhoun said. “Safety first. Without it, there is no shareholder value.”

Why the f**k is he talking about "shareholder values" at all? Neither the Boeing customers, nor its workers, nor the public care about that. They care about their safety. Full stop.

The new CEO, who was on Boeing's board for a full ten years, is not even trying to claim competence:

He said he and the rest of the board were unaware of the [MAX] problems “until too late in the game,” after the crashes.

Calhoun then goes off to insult foreign pilots which fly some 85% of all the planes Boeing sells:

Calhoun also said he wants changes to the broader company culture.

“It’ll be built around the level of light we shed on safety processes. It’ll be built on the engineering disciplines and what we do for pilots around the world, not just pilots in the U.S.”

There is zero statistical evidence that U.S. pilots are any better than foreign ones. With more than four-fifth of all flights taking place outside of the U.S. it is obviously a statistical given that there will be more crashes outside of the U.S. airspace than within. Blaming foreign pilots will not gain their confidence in Boeing planes.

Boeing had stopped the final assembly line of the 737 MAX because there was no more room to store the more than 400 produced but grounded new planes. It will take more than a year to clear that inventory. But Calhoun now wants to restart production even before the MAX is allowed back into the air. This is beyond silly:

He said Boeing plans to restart the 737 assembly lines in Renton months before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approves a return to service to ensure that production can be restarted with maximum efficiency.

“We’ll start it slow so we can practice and practice. That’s a bit of a silver lining in the [production] pause.”

That is an insult to Boeing workers. They do know how to build planes. They do not need more 'practice' but a management that is aware that pressuring workers will not produce better planes.

But Calhoun is not interested the gritty details of manufacturing good airplanes. It is all about the shareholders, the only group that counts:

Calhoun said Boeing is not planning to cut or suspend the dividend because Boeing has the “financial capacity and capability to do the things we need to do.” Calhoun said he “will stay on that path unless something dramatic changes.”

So Boeing will take on $10 billion of additional debt to pay dividends and will hike is lobbying spending even while it does not have the cashflow to develop new airplanes.

When Calhoun was named CEO analysts agreed that he was part of Boeing's problems and that it would be best for him to find a better man for the position and to step aside as soon as possible. Calhoun, who has no qualification in aerospace manufacturing, instead wants to stay on:

Calhoun also said he’s in the job for the long haul.

“I intend to work well past 65,” said Calhoun, who is 62. “The board can have me as long as they want me.”

It is sad to see a once great company going down over the incompetence of such men.

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on Boeing 737 MAX issues:

Posted by b on January 24, 2020 at 6:39 UTC | Permalink


So Boeing has found their yes man.
Congrats are in order.

Posted by: earthling1 | Jan 24 2020 6:44 utc | 1

Oh. I don't know. That is pretty old school thinking. Competence is irrelevant in
a global empire. Boeing still has a lot of lobbying power. The central bank can bail them out too.

Posted by: Goldhoarder | Jan 24 2020 6:56 utc | 2

Hmm, maybe he was offered something to say that which will likely cause a harsh reaction and then the stock value will fall, helping some entity for a coming buyout? It is either that or the guy is not too bright. I doubt that, so?

Posted by: Kali | Jan 24 2020 6:59 utc | 3

Sorry, but can someone help me out here? Why exactly is Boeing so interesting for this community? So they're being moved towards irrelevance - should I care?

Posted by: Martin MS | Jan 24 2020 7:12 utc | 4

@ 4 martin... boeing is systemic to the usa...usa is moving towards complete irrelevance... i am not sure if you need to care..

Posted by: james | Jan 24 2020 7:32 utc | 5

a lot of good workers are going to get laid off because of people like this. Shareholder value should not be coming out of the guys mouth right now. This company is in bad shape. Taking on massive debt right now just to pay dividends while you’re having a cash flow problem just adds to the shocking incompetence

Posted by: Danny | Jan 24 2020 7:39 utc | 6

@5 Thanks James, I see that - although I don't think the USA will ever reach total irrelevance - but looking at the speed of mine and B's country being moved in that direction I wonder why we're reading so much about Boeing ...

Posted by: Martin MS | Jan 24 2020 7:53 utc | 7

Please explain how runaway elevator can be sorrected when it occurs at very low altitude, which situation occurs regularly during takeoff or on landing final-approach.

Even at the low speeds, when there are not overwhelming aerodynamic counterforces, the repetitive pitch-down auto-commands of MCAS leave little time and altitude to recover even with knowledgeable pilots and simulator training.

This situation was already known to Boeing who approved MCAS despite the known hazards of very low altitude and, deliberately, forced the use of a single AOA sensor that governs MCAS even tho 2 were fitted on each wit, the program algorithm would only look at 1 sensor. This deadly flaw [of using single-sensor input] could not have gone unnoticed during development phase before its 1st flight. Employee communications, on this departure from standard practice, are still being suppressed from public knowledge. Never mind that bird-strikes occur regularly at takeoff/landing.

And it's not the 1st time. Turkish Air 2009 crash/737NG was earlier-similar failure, failure due to a different single-point sensor failure [also with a 2nd one available, but program only looked at one]. That truth was also suppressed for years [while the dead pilots were blamed]. Read up on that crash re suppression of known evidence.

Posted by: chu teh | Jan 24 2020 7:59 utc | 8

Perhaps the discussion about Boeing is important because a) it is a company central to the U.S. military-industrial complex, and b) we know something about it, in part because despite the former fact, U.S. corporate hacks tend not to care about manufacturing and therefore permit criticism of Boeing in a way that they wouldn't permit criticism of, say, Google or Goldman Sachs.

So discuss Boeing, and then extrapolate.

Posted by: MFB | Jan 24 2020 8:02 utc | 9

When a company buys its own shares back with borrowed money the market value of the shares goes up and so the executives get a bonus. Later the executives leave the company and someone else has to figure out what to do with the debt. This used to be illegal because it is inherently corrupt but that was got rid of in the name of something. This is why US share prices are booming. Its an economic miracle!

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Jan 24 2020 8:50 utc | 10

Martin MS -4
At a guess, I'd say: BecauseB has direct professional knowledge of the topic of airplane security and overall technology. I might be wrong, but that's definitely the feeling I had.

Oh well, sad to see a company that could have had a nearly hegemonic position commit economic suicide in such a stupid way.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 24 2020 9:03 utc | 11

"Safety, he says, is just a prerequisite for shareholder value, not an inherent value in itself."

If we add along with safety: "ecological necessity, human well-being, freedom, happiness, community", and take out "prerequisite", and just say: "These are worthless slogans while we work to destroy the essence of all of these", then we'd have a statement reflecting reality.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 24 2020 9:03 utc | 12

Boeing choose to act tough and zero humility even after much were exposed including the damning internal communication logs by employees. They think the wind is at their sail and will force the FAA to bow down to them thinking the US political clowns will back up certification in other parts of the world. Their strategy seem to force FAA to approve Max in US skies and then use political threats to european and chinese to certify it again.

they are miscalculating badly if they think trump will succeed in threatening EU and China


Boeing apologist and trolls are active again , purposefully blaming pilot as noted by pprune posters. it is safe to assume many boeing paid astroturfer will muddle the issue in MoA.

Posted by: milomilo | Jan 24 2020 9:08 utc | 13

I think I recognize some of Calhoun's thinking. First you start with the reasoning that unbridled capitalism is good and will take care of everything. It's a quite essentialist take. Then you followup up that safety is of course good but since capitalism will provide safety all you have to do is focus on capitalism and the rest will follow.
I don't want to make them too much alike but I am guessing a similarity with Al Gore. Al Gore is very concerned about climate change and also a sincere believer in capitalism. Hence, just put the climate in the hands of capitalism and they will save the climate.

You know. Like health care.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 24 2020 9:26 utc | 14

Um... NO! Just forget about the 'essential' nature of capitalism taking care of things. The people who now run Boeing have no sense of such philosophy. They are psychopaths that are only interested in slithering up the tree of success by any means necessary. They are not even very bright, and Boeing is directly on course for a very fiery crash landing because of them. And this is also the case for 90% of the collective Western 'economy'. The rest of us are merely passengers.

Posted by: blues | Jan 24 2020 9:51 utc | 15

Judging by the commenters on this site, there seem to be many people who either are interested in technical fields and or who have engineering backgrounds. Boeing is a pretty fascinating example of the current trend driven by declining profits (and especially due to the change in the way investments occur now that computers have taken over the decision making, compressing the time of gains and falls and making investments much more mercenary) of the bean counters and political schmoozers running wild and trying to squeeze blood from a stone, overriding the judgments of the engineers without trying to understand the risks that entails. Made even more tragic by the fact that Boeing used to be one of the companies where engineers played a key role in every step of the process, at every level up to the executive. It's kind of parallel in some ways to the OPCW thing where the team on the ground and their experts who analyzed their data saw one thing and reported it, only to have outside teams tied to political backers completely rewrite the story and then act like those teams were just throwing a hissy fit when they cried foul.

Posted by: Yetanotheranon | Jan 24 2020 10:07 utc | 16

I daresay that in spite of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and in spite of the Turkish Airlines Boeing crash in 2009, in which that plane had similar problems in its technology despite the fact that it was attempting to land at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Boeing will only take the Boeing 737 MAX issue seriously when a third jet of that model crashes after take-off in the same circumstances as the Indonesian and Ethiopian jets and once again there will be a considerable number of deaths.

And when that happens, Boeing won't be able to do anything because it will be finished as an institution.

As an example in microcosm of the decline and fall of the US empire through its arrogance and refusal to see the reality of what it has become through an ideology whose usefulness, if any, is long past its time, Boeing is without peer. This explains in part why we MoA barflies are so fascinated by the whole sorry saga. Quite apart from the fact that following an issue as it develops is one indication of serious investigative journalism.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 24 2020 10:10 utc | 17

@15 Blues, the psychopaths are not operating in a vacuum, they are supported by a psychopathic ideology, namely that if everyone is simply pursuing their own self interested in the most psychopathic manner then the collective will work well. They are also supported by structures which make it their jobs to only focus on financial gain and the expense of everything else. Once you have the ideology and the structure in place the psychopaths are only a slight amplifier acting on the system.

I have savings. People who are overall nice people are doing things with my savings. They are doing their job which is to find ways to make more money out of the money that I give them. It is not their job to have ethical concerns about what happens with that money. If they let those opportunities pass them by then their direct boss may fire them. If that boss has ethical concerns that boss knows his job is on the line, or even his department. This guys boss makes the same reasoning. Evil wealthy people are a problem , but they are also a diversion from structural problems.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 24 2020 10:25 utc | 18

Who really cares about Boeing? Not the management as demonstrated above. Not the shareholders because they are in it for the money. I feel sorry for the workers on union contracts and that's about it.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 24 2020 10:37 utc | 19

@16 yetanotheranon organisations can go bad in quite different ways. The OPCW is a fairly healthy organisation where the top was replaced to make it work towards very different goals. That is quite an artificial situation. Replace a few people and the organisation can be fixed.
Boeing is more a matter of a natural evolution towards financialisation. It's past fixing and there is no direct interest in fixing it.
If you recall the Challenger disaster, the problems with NASA were more of a political type: managers living in their own reality which matched the public image of the organisation and losing touch with the engineers.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 24 2020 10:37 utc | 20

Jen: I think that Boeing will really face the harsh reality, and basically be finished, when the FAA allows the MAX to fly again and when a plane flying for a US company crashes inside the US. Then, no denial will be possible anymore. It might crash and burn down before, or due to other reasons, but this is the one catastrophe that will surely end their brand and their management style for good.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 24 2020 10:39 utc | 21

Well its like this, the CEO is looking at the $60 million golden parachute his predecessor got as a reward for killing two plane loads of people, and no doubt thinking about his. As killing passengers obviously doesn't bother management or affect payouts, then he is just charging straight ahead into luxury retirement with no changes.

Posted by: Rancid | Jan 24 2020 11:12 utc | 22

Perhaps ppl can read "I stood up to my boss, then he got promoted" by Ibrahim Diallo.
His own blog seems down, but it can be read form Wayback Machine.

Shows how CEOs like that bubble up

Posted by: Arioch | Jan 24 2020 12:17 utc | 23

Back in the 1970's when Theory X vs Theory Y books were in vogue, I read one which asserted that managers tend to be promoted until they achieved a status beyond the limit of their competence. At the same time studies(?) indicated that the most successful senior managers had one thing in common: they all practiced "management by walking around, talking to employees and customers, and listening to what they had to say."

Neoliberalism was beginning to rear its ugly head in the 1970s. It was marked by a logarithmic escalation in the value of "packages" offered to attract ruthless CEOs. This change in corporate culture came complete with the much-quoted epithet "Nice guys finish last."
And that's what went wrong.

Calhoun exemplifies the remote-control, top-down, Ivory Tower school of Tough Guy pseudo-management which has dominated Big Business since the 1990s. Until someone sues Boeing's ass off, it's unlikely that Boeing's longest-serving Board Members will even try to understand what was wrong with Boeing's CULTURE.

Oz's biggest banks and life insurance/ investment companies were recently forced, by a Royal Commission, to fess-up to their contempt for customers and the Law. But several of them have already been caught perpetrating OTHER, NEW scams.
So true and lasting reform is still a long way off...

Boeing will follow the path of Oz's banks and financial institutions unless the USG sends in some regulators with teeth and tells the Boeing Board what its new rules will be. And in Capitalist NeoLib AmeriKKKa that won't happen. So don't hold your breathe waiting for Boeing to mend itself...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 24 2020 12:37 utc | 24

The only sensible thing he said was that Boeing was not going ahead with the new plane it is building which according to what I read shares the same problems as the 737 Max.

This whole business of using older models to build new models which end up being aerodynamically unstable has to stop.

Now Boeing stands exposed. The Max 737 will never fly again. It cannot be merely re-branded as that will constitute fraud on passengers.

This all might mean as this Blog argues that Boeing does get split up into military and civil.

The US Government will of course have to act to safeguard technology as part of national interest.

Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Jan 24 2020 12:40 utc | 25

Boeing a "once great company"?

Hahahahaha hahahahaha

That capitalist vampire bird was never anything except a capitalist vampire bird. The only reason it still exists is because - unlike Airbus - it's an enthusiastic part of the Amerikastani Empire's military industrial complex.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jan 24 2020 12:43 utc | 26

It must be kept in mind that the 737 MAX was uniquely suitable for the Chinese market. In both payload and range it suited operations between secondary cities in China and SE Asia. It's only main stream competitor was the Airbus 320.

The US has gone full stop in it's efforts to cripple the Russian aerospace industries. First they opened a joint venture with Sukhoi for the Superjet 100, putting US parts into it, then they imposed sanctions which made it impossible for Sukhoi to sell the plane in foreign markets. The Russians were slow to wise up, and only this year is a 100% russian Sukhoi Superjet 100, operational. The CR-21 project was similarly sabotaged. Initially the Russians were lobbied to use carbon fibre sourced in the US. Once the plane showed promise, sanctions were imposed which cut off the supply of US carbon fibre and other critical US parts. This delayed the plane by 3 years. Only now is the CR21 on track to operational status this year, after the russians eliminated all US parts including the pratt&whitney engines, and the Raytheon avionics.

Ditto for the C919.....


Boeing's cost cutting caught up with it before the 737 MAX and Neo could take off and dominate the market.

This now leaves the Chinese / Russian demand to be filled by Airbus or the CR21 or C919.

The Chinese market is the world's largest one.

Trump's trade war will have the following consequences.....

1. Most of the concessions will be obviated by the WHO dispute mechanism.
2. The Chinese will accelerate production of soybeans and barley in the russian far east.
3. The Chinese and Russians will make a deal dividing their markets between Sukhoi, CR21, and C919.
4. Iran will be offered concessionary terms on Sukhoi, CR21, Il96, and C919. Ditto Pakistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, etc.
5. China will indigenize production of Memory, MPU, CPU, and other ICs. TMSC will be cut off. Ditto Japanese companies.
6. China will stop buying US chips, aircraft, etc.

This will be evident by the end of the year...


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jan 24 2020 14:30 utc | 27

About the future of Boeing...I recall that many understand that Empire is making war on Iran and Russia and China in increasing degree. This process is well supported, I think, by the Strategy as revealed over time, by real events, as well as documentation too vast to enumerate here. The future of Boeing may be caught up in this campaign, and in ways no one wants to think about. Seattle, by the way hosts not only airplane maker factory, and personnel, but just up the creek is a big fat submarine base...and so very much more.

I am not the only guy to think about this.

Recently I saw @ Pravdareport this by a man about whose qualifications I cannot say anything. Anyway he's blunt>

"..."If the Americans launch a missile attack on Kaliningrad, then we will strike, say, Seattle, where largest US aircraft factories are located. Having destroyed those factories we will deprive the Americans of the possibility to build their aircraft. They will no longer be able to build up their fleet of military aircraft," said Mikhail Alexandrov.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 24 2020 14:31 utc | 28

This is beyond silly:

He said Boeing plans to restart the 737 assembly lines in Renton months before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approves a return to service to ensure that production can be restarted with maximum efficiency.

“We’ll start it slow so we can practice and practice. That’s a bit of a silver lining in the [production] pause.”

Silly, but necessary at this point.

As I've commented the previous post about Boeing, the company's accountancy technique didn't reflect the reality. Capitalism always operates in a linear logic of time, this being a condition sine qua non for human labor to be converted into value and from which surplus value comes, which is then realized in the free market as profit.

Investment is always - always - a loss for the capitalist, and should always be contabilized as such in his accountancy books. Capitalists don't like to spend money, the only situation where he does so being when it is the "necessary evil" to earn more money than before. Higher wages are bad for capitalism, investment in R&D and infrastructure is bad for capitalism: the capitalist only do such things in exceptional phases and historical moments of capitalism. There's a reason strikes exist (and work), there's a reason unions exist, there's a reason revolutions exist - they are not there as abortions of nature or of history, they are inevitable outcomes of capitalist historical development.

The moment Boeing begun to contabilize its investments (wages + means of work) as revenues instead of losses, then continuous production became a conditio sine qua non for the maintenance of its pyramid scheme, i.e. its register of profits in the sphere of fictitious capital. Now production cannot stop - even though it is obvious those planes will never be all sold.

Posted by: vk | Jan 24 2020 14:57 utc | 29

The company is the microcosm of everything wrong with US Corporations or right depending on your viewpoint. Yes we can and should talk about them here. The company changed from an engineering company, after the merger, to a sales company. It cut benefits to employees, raised dividends then got into buybacks to attract investors then its a treadmill to keep that flow of money going. Cheap money contributes to the buyback mania. Boeing has only designed 2 new aircraft since the merger (787 and T-X) everthing else is just a modification. What kind of peoduct innovation is that for over 20 years worth of time. The CEO is a private equity guy, we know they predominantly strip mine companies for cash although that does not look to be happening for now, but expect it to. An economic downturn n could spell trouble for this and many more companies. I think everyone in corporate offices know this but there is no incentive to stop it. Wall street penalizes companies that try to do something different. At some point total collapse is the only way for any change to happen. What makes this interesting - maybe awareness that corporate america is not that good for its citizens, that many us governement agencies are run by industrty insiders, corrupting the very purpose of government oversite, finally who should a new out of college graduate look at as a place to go to work? Do they share the companies values? How does a company get people to adopt values that maybe they do not share. Companies today do not want long term employees but wants the loyalty to them the baby boomers have. What a perfect example to look at exposed by the 2 crashes this is US Companies today.

Now who wants to talk about Americans misuse of Opoids. Its a bigger mess and has killed tens if not hundreds of thousands.


Posted by: Storm in Oz | Jan 24 2020 15:02 utc | 30

Here is why I think the Max 737 will never fly again.

Given what is now widely known
- about the defects in this plane,
-and of Boeing's and the FAA's responsibility in knowingly putting an unsafe plane in the air prioritizing profit over safety,
-and that there is no real fool-proof software fix to the aerodynamic instability of the plane,
- as any software can malfunction and no software can account for all possible inputs,
-and therefore the pilot will be key to correcting for the failure of the software to stabilize the plane,
- And the pilot's ability to stabilize the plane under unknown circumstances and under multiple variables cannot be guaranteed.

Therefore by certifying the plane as safe, FAA and Boeing will be taking an enormous risk. A crash is bound to happen sometime again. When it does happen, Boeing and the FAA will get crucified. There will then be a case for criminal prosecution for causing deaths.

The risk to Boeing, to the FAA, to other regulators who allow this plane to fly and to the airlines which fly the plane will be tremendous both monetarily and reputation-wise and will include the risk of criminal prosecution.

Given what we now know, it will be criminally negligent for Boeing and the FAA to even try to fly the 737 Max again.

Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Jan 24 2020 15:07 utc | 31

@vk | Jan 24 2020 14:57 utc | 29

I agree. Would add>

I am under the impression that the unsold airplanes are counted as assets rather than as what they are. I have seen this in another industry where they piled warehouses up with junk and kept the game going right up the the bankruptcy...of course they kept right up with bonus's and salaries. It was an obvious fraud. They kept me on because thy had to keep the machines going to make the worthless junk so they could pocket the loaned "capital"...which came back to the government's "guarantee" to the bank.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 24 2020 15:09 utc | 32

In reply to 29 on "Now production cannot stop - even though it is obvious those planes will never be all sold."

Continuing production at this stage will only postpone the day of reckoning (bankruptcy) and will foreclose more options making the day of reckoning even harsher.

The Boeing CEO needs to read the writing on the wall and face reality.

Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Jan 24 2020 15:16 utc | 33

30 points out what has been the problem with Boeing.

"Boeing has only designed 2 new aircraft since the merger (787 and T-X) everthing else is just a modification. What kind of peoduct innovation is that for over 20 years worth of time."

Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Jan 24 2020 15:32 utc | 34

@Chu Teh Please explain how runaway elevator can be sorrected when it occurs at very low altitude, which situation occurs regularly during takeoff or on landing final-approach.

There is no case of a runaway stabilizer, none, in the NASA database where pilots anonymously report such incidents.

Posted by: b | Jan 24 2020 15:52 utc | 35

To Hoarsewhisperer: It's called the Peter Principle, where a person rises up the corporate ladder to a position past his level of competence, then STAYS THERE.

We've all worked for these management clowns, who believe the corporate BS that all products are simply widgets and can be produced without attention to the finer technical details. Of course cutting costs is Job One, long-term safety takes a major back seat to short-term profits. Remember the exploding Ford Pinto/Mustang gas tanks? $11 per car to make sure it didn't happen, but the beancounters decided the cost of lawsuits/payouts would be less. Boeing obviously made the same calculation.

In my half-century of tech-based worklife dealing with at least a couple dozen bosses, only two had the sense to listen to the technical experts and do it the right way... the old question is "Why is there never enough time/money to do it right the first time, but there's always time/money to try to fix it later?"

Another engineering truism... If it takes more than 10% of the original budget to re-design something, the original design was probably unworkable from the outset. Boeing has been pouring cash into redesigning the 737 series, to the point even the original functional design is too corrupted ot be salvaged. AKA "improving something until it no longer works".

Posted by: A P | Jan 24 2020 16:02 utc | 36

The 737 Max may fly again, but they will be nearly empty. Nearly everyone I know that still flies says they don't want to get on a 737 Max no matter what they call it.

I decided when the full body scans came out I would not fly for non-esential reasons. Being retired with all the family I keep in contact with in Canada, no need for me to fly anywhere... and the airport gauntlet was too much a PITA 2 decades ago when I had to occasionally fly for my job.

Posted by: A P | Jan 24 2020 16:09 utc | 37

@ Posted by: A P | Jan 24 2020 16:02 utc | 36

In Marxism, those guys are called "managerial class" or "middle class".

Ironically, if you stop and think about it, you'll quickly reach to the conclusion the managerial class are essentially the commissars of capitalism.

Which is funny, since one of the most loud critiques the West makes on China nowadays are precisely the existence of CCP cells inside every factory. Well, now we know the critique is not against the existence of the commissar itself, but against the existence of communist commissars.

Posted by: vk | Jan 24 2020 16:34 utc | 38

It is not like US Fortune 500 companies have an undue advantage
because NSA/CIA engage in industrial espionage.
Notions such as these are silly, and will soon
not just be silly but anti-something as well.

Posted by: Mishko | Jan 24 2020 16:58 utc | 39

Not renaming the MAX goes against the advice of some of Boeing's biggest customers:

The Max brand is damaged following two fatal crashes last year, and there’s no reason for Boeing to retain it, Udvar-Hazy, the founder and chairman of Air Lease Corp., said Monday at a conference in Dublin.
“We’ve asked Boeing to get rid of that word Max,” Udvar-Hazy said. “I think that word Max should go down in the history books as a bad name for an aircraft.”

This is the solution to all of Boeing's problems: Putting Lipstick on a Pig ... I mean rebranding!

Instead of calling it the 737 MAX, Boeing should simply rename the plane.

That way, the firm won't have to spend all that unnecessary money on repairs, redesign, or those all pesky safety features.

Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing the All-New ... Boeing 737 DeathMax!

Posted by: ak74 | Jan 24 2020 17:04 utc | 40

b | Jan 24 2020 15:52 utc | 35

My error...should have said stabilizer [not elevator]. Runaway stabilizer occurs when MCAS "trims" the entire stabilizer when it should not be doing so, as in the 2 crashes.

[The elevator is a small, separate device, on the stabilizer, that exerts far less trim forces than moving the much larger, entire stabilizer.]

Posted by: chu teh | Jan 24 2020 17:20 utc | 41

Mon Dieu! He appears to have no experience in aircraft operations or manufacture! The reason he talks about shareholders is that is the entirety of his experience, something akin to investment banking. Wow. I wonder if he is a Trump supporter. He certainly fills the job description for that.

Posted by: Bill | Jan 24 2020 17:24 utc | 42

"So discuss Boeing, and then extrapolate." --MFB @9

Exactly this, except when performing that extrapolation do keep in mind that Boeing represents the crème de la crème of American technological prowess. These are the guys who won the Space Race for America. As incompetent as Boeing might appear to be at the moment, they are still #1. The levels of competence throughout the rest of American business and industry are in even worse shape.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 24 2020 17:27 utc | 43

"The people who now run Boeing... are psychopaths that are only interested in slithering up the tree of success by any means necessary." --blues @15

Is that not capitalism that you just described?

"Shareholder value" = "tree of success", or didn't you know that about capitalism?

The moonbeam Utopian ideas some people maintain about capitalism sure are weird.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 24 2020 17:41 utc | 44

@40 AK74

I like your suggestion, but I think MAX Death 346 would be the perfect name for this piece of garbage airplane

Posted by: Ali G | Jan 24 2020 18:53 utc | 45

The justification for b covering this topic, regularly, is that he knows what he is writing about. And that is rare in the media, of all kinds.
He understands the problems therefore he shares his understanding.
That is the great thing about MoA: apart from (some of) our comments there is very little wasted thought and uninformed speculation.
Then as WG points out, Boeing is a very important jewel in the crown of US Capitalism, a very important stock in the market and a bridge between the MIC and civilian manufacturing. Throughout its existence it has been, in effect, subsidised by the government.
Among its spinoffs have been Henry Jackson and the neo-cons.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 24 2020 18:54 utc | 46

All the new CEO has to do is a quick phone call with Trump who will then impose a 25% tariff on all Airbus flights to the US. Trump will find a reason. Problem solved.

Posted by: E Mo Scel | Jan 24 2020 19:02 utc | 47

Excellent piece, B. I also posted on this issue using your article here.

Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Jan 24 2020 19:14 utc | 48

Sen.Henry"Scoop"Jackson...the senator from Boeing!! I remember him :)

Posted by: Gregory | Jan 24 2020 19:21 utc | 49

Seema Sapra #25

The US Government will of course have to act to safeguard technology as part of national interest.

Ha ha ha That was just too good Seema Sapra. Protecting the technology of a 50 year old aircraft design platform with a 286 chip as its flight control computer is like protecting the patent on a garden fork.

Boeing has just had its first requiem enunciated by the CEO. I guess he is psychic and just had to get it off his chest.

I note with a wry grin that he did this in response to the requiem recently uttered by the mourner in chief's recent 'disappointing' tweet.

Investors back this stock?? f#ckwits!

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 24 2020 19:46 utc | 50

ak74 #40

Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing the All-New ... Boeing 737 DeathMax!

Very good, made my day.

I nominate Boeing 737 Mad Max.

All that death and destruction. Fighting with remade botchy welded up old vehicles and lunatics on a death wish in charge.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 24 2020 19:53 utc | 51

Calhoun is focused on 'shareholder value' because he was pitching for $$$ and

Perhaps this was why:

Financier doubts add to Boeing's MAX headaches

DUBLIN (Reuters) - To restore faith in the 737 MAX, Boeing needs to prove its flagship jet is not just airworthy but also a safe investment.

At a gathering in Dublin this week of the titans of the multibillion-dollar aircraft leasing industry, which finances half the world’s fleet, cracks were appearing in that effort.

Boeing said on Tuesday its troubled workhorse - grounded last March after two crashes in which 346 people died - should receive approval by mid-year from U.S regulators, paving the way for hundreds of jets to resume service later this year.

But in scores of high-stakes negotiations in the background, it is trying to convince banks, leasing firms and airlines that the investment case for thousands more of the jets - worth hundreds of billions of dollars - remains intact.[.]

Not to worry. Congress and the FEDs have Boeing covered from the funding of last resort.

Union Reserve Bank of America - 33 Liberty Street, AnyTown U.S.A
Joe Taxpayer, CEO
Jane Taxpayer, CIO

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 24 2020 19:58 utc | 52

Clueless Joe @ 21:

Yes, I had in mind Southwest Airlines, one of the main regional airlines, as being the US airline most likely to suffer an incident with massive fatalities involving a Boeing 737 MAX.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 24 2020 20:01 utc | 53

Its a marque problem now, not a model.
How not to handle a crisis,by B Oeing.

Posted by: winston2 | Jan 24 2020 20:27 utc | 54

The rest of the world may be spared from flying on Boeing, but not in the US. This is how it will work: either fly on the half-empty repainted and rebranded 737 or fly on standby on overbooked Airbus flights. The hard part will be finding flight crews, who still have relatively strong unions. The threat of permanent poverty will probably bring most of them along.

US peons will resist, for a few weeks or months. Then it will be back to business and the media machine will have something new to frighten us into continued consent. We will soon be distracted by bigger crises like the next financial panic or a new attack on Iraq/Iran.

As for the 737 flight control computer, have we seen a creditable explanation for using only one AOA sensor? I'm wondering if maybe the computer ran out of COM ports or some equally stupid limitation of the obsolete hardware.

A competent programmer would have to be desperate to work on this stuff. I recall that b described it as "optimized". That means it's spaghetti code with lots of GOTOs that jump into the middle of routines. And the documentation will be, umm, "inaccurate". Good luck fixing that.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 24 2020 20:52 utc | 55

Trailer Trash #55

A competent programmer would have to be desperate to work on this stuff. I recall that b described it as "optimized". That means it's spaghetti code with lots of GOTOs that jump into the middle of routines. And the documentation will be, umm, "inaccurate". Good luck fixing that.

Yes to that. What is needed is one additional interrupt request that jumps to the "delete the board of management" subroutine. Of course the old 286 might find one more IRQ as fatal.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 24 2020 20:59 utc | 56

This change in corporate culture came complete with the much-quoted epithet "Nice guys finish last."
Comment 24 Hoarsewhisperer
I think this is very much a problem in leadership not only in the corporate world but in politics. Boeing is making an analogous mistake to what Trump did in caving to and going neo-con (and neo-cohen)with the assassination of Soleimani.
Having planes drop out of the sky is going to tarnish Boeing's reputation long-term. People will start choosing flights factoring in the risk of flying Boeing. I'm betting it is already happening. I have some travel plans that I want to complete over the next couple years. It has crossed my mind to research carriers with a view to not flying Boeing. I remember a plane of French/European tourists coming back from Brazil several years ago that just dropped into the ocean. I will now have to research that, and other crashes, to decide how I should fly in future. I don't fly that often and I'm using up an important resource, time, because I value my life and there are things I want to accomplish while I'm alive. Avoiding dying in a Boeing crash is now part of my future planning. This could kill this company long-term. I have, peripherally, heard nothing but negative press on Boeing for nearly a decade now. The brand image of Boeing is going to continue to deteriorate, imho, with Calhoun's 'leadership' style.

Trump has done something very similiar; he has tarnished the 'end to endless wars' theme of his campaign and early period in office for a very short-term gain achieved in lowering the bar in the international arena. I don't get how killing Soleimani did anything to help America. I believe it threw allies, who clearly had no idea it was coming, for a loop. Foreign policy, intelligence and economic analysts in government and industry now have to factor for what they perceive as irrational outputs from Trump and the American political 'system'. This type of unpredictability creates fear and uncertainty. I imagine that some Europeans will now begin to think of how to decouple from the U.S. (trade, NATO,etc.)because they have had concerns for years that US foreign policy was becoming more and more unstable; often in proportion to another actor, Israel, who inspires a great deal of concern in foreign capitals worldwide. As Europeans see American foreign policy devolve further -Mike Pompeo and team are viewed as dictatorial, capricious and irrational- they will seek partnerships with more rational actors like Russia and China. I see Trump as a fool who was used by Israel and the neo-con artists then thrown under the bus by Esper and Bibi's comments. Trump played tough guy but, to me, fell victim to the classic mistake President's make: using foreign policy to get a domestic bump before an election, to change a media narrative and/or to lash out because of upcoming impeachment proceedings. Long term, self-serving and irrational actions erode and destroy trust; America is viewed as agreement incapable by allies. This is a further destruction of brand America. If Trump was trying to accomplish that he has certainly succeeded to lower the bar.
Now I see that casualty estimates from the Iranian airstrike of the American base in Iraq is now up to 34 just as b predicted. It is sad to watch America committing suicide.

Posted by: dorje | Jan 24 2020 21:13 utc | 57

This is my first time commenting on MoA, long time reader. I have a lot of family involved with Boeing, and my family is deeply died to the airport complex at Paine Field in Everett. Blaming the workers is a terrible strategy and may well result in another crippling strike on them (the workers at the Seattle area plants are heavily unionized skilled laborers, and the attempts to use non-union unskilled workers in the South Carolina plant has been riddled with failures). Nobody in the company likes or trusts management. It's been a management trainwreck since the old McDonnell-Douglas board took over and moved corporate from Seattle to Chicago following the big merger.

Many long time employees are still baffled that the board of the *failing* company of the Merger is the one that took over, and they have been slowly driving Boeing into the ground just like they drove McDD into the dirt. Every single major program post-merger has been a mess, and it is almost all rooted in the incompetent management. The Airlines need to start calling for Management's heads to roll.

Posted by: TokyoMorose | Jan 24 2020 21:20 utc | 58

How about Boeing 737 Tomb Raider?

Posted by: Biggles | Jan 24 2020 21:21 utc | 59

Does anybody remember the old Bob Newhart routine about the "Grace L. Ferguson Airline (And Storm Door Co.)"

At 150 ..."and one ad read "take a chance..."" It's on youtube.

I don't know what the new name might be, but I do see an advertising slogan, eh?

Posted by: Walter | Jan 24 2020 22:11 utc | 60

Good idea Biggles @59 but I suspect 737 Tomb Filler might be more appropriate.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jan 24 2020 22:33 utc | 61

Love Bob Newhart. Especially the way he had the Grace L. Ferguson Airline eliminate the non necessities like maintenance.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jan 24 2020 22:35 utc | 62

So, it's damn the torpedo's; and full speed ahead...
Surely a winning strategy...for losers...
Boeing sums up the U.S. perfectly...

Posted by: V | Jan 24 2020 22:53 utc | 63

You don't need no 'fancy' 16-bit 80286 microprocessors (from 1982) to run your stupid airliner.

Just get about 12 of these multiplexers: ADG732BSUZ Multiplexer Switch ICs 32:1 18MHz 4 Ohm CMOS ($11.23 each):


And a dozen of these microprocessors: M68LC302CAF20VCT Microprocessors - MPU 68K INTGR COM PROC DMA ($46.38 each):


And you are good to go!

Posted by: blues | Jan 25 2020 1:07 utc | 64

Walter #60

At 150 ..."and one ad read "take a chance..."" It's on youtube.

I don't know what the new name might be, but I do see an advertising slogan, eh?

Fly Boeing, it may be the last chance you get.

Sky divers fly Boeing why not you.

Boeing is for brave hearts.

But I am hooked on 'Boeing, unsafe at any height'.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 25 2020 1:18 utc | 65

It is just amazing that because you went to business school you are entitled to stock options and perks of millions and and to run things your way.. maybe why US has very few qualified people in the field to do any actually productivity that does anything other number moving numbers.

This is how the entire corporate structure is. People who have no knowledge of engineering or design are put in charge to getting the job done. They also get 10x the pay of the ones doing the actual work. The workers have no say in how the work gets done or how it is done.

This is what 100 years of wall street have done to the industry.. any industry.. It still amazes me why a CEO gets 100 mil while the workers get their pensions sold off and wrote off.. And the workers dont do anything???? In case there is any doubt, that 100 mil for the CEO was to get the workers pension written off.. Its the same or similar with slight variations in every nook and craney.. If someone has assets, it gets stripped and they get thrown into the street.. How is this a better culture or living than say communism? "as long as it does not happen to me".. ??

I see a lot of whites complain blacks dont work and they make life hard for themselves.. All the while never looking at why blacks end up the way they do and it might have a lot to do with, no matter how hard they try, they end up in the same place..

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Jan 25 2020 1:30 utc | 66

A suggested name I saw, maybe on this site, for the rebranded Max was:


Posted by: Alan | Jan 25 2020 1:32 utc | 67

Blues #64

Good offer of the mux and microprocessor but way too expensive.

Here is what Boeing can do for less than the price of the mux: and save $47. The bean counters will be proud of me as I have saved them all that redesign and approval costs.

Might even get a promotion. Just think I saved them $47 per plane. WOW! beancounters orgasm.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 25 2020 1:35 utc | 68


I nominate Boeing 737 Mad Max

I have to admit--this is funny;)

Posted by: Smoothiex12 | Jan 25 2020 1:46 utc | 69

@ uncle tungsten | 68

Everything from Intel at least since the 8086 has been just basically a 737-MAX in drag. Only recently has it become obvious what clunkers their microprocessors are. I would prefer the Motorola 68xxxes any day.

Siemens is even worse! The massive reliability, speed, and throughput of microcontrollers is only necessary for 5th generation jet fighters (if even then), and their true strength is that the profound straightforwardness of their architectures precludes any possibility of their being infected with malware. Except the Siemens somehow managed to make one that could retain and conceal malware very efficiently. Thus was born Stuxnet! Analog computers with operational amplifiers programmed with differential equations are much safer than Siemens microcontrollers. It's pretty damn sad.

By the way (I am nowhere near an aeronautical engineer) I have some knowldege of the 737-MadMax hardware situation. They increased the size of the outer 'nacelles' (metal enclosures) of the engines in order to accommodate lager turbofans, so as to significantly increase gas mileage (but diminish speed), so as to save on fuel. So they needed to mount the fronts the engines above, therefor in front of the wings. But these enormous nacelles have lift of their own when the plane approaches stall pitch, which instantly causes total loss of stability and a guaranteed hard crash. This looks like the exact same effect as were the wings moved forward along the fuselage.

So the 'smart kids' at Boeing decided to add a hidden computer system that would hide this peculiar effect from the pilots, so that they would never have to deal with this strange 'phantom lift'. But this hidden system just happened to 'work' by simply crashing the plane at low altitude, so the pilots really never had any need to know it was there anyway. Genius.

Of course, they could have moved the wings back, or probably better, just simply upward. But they were terribly worried about red tape and lost profits.

Am I correct here?

Posted by: blues | Jan 25 2020 2:46 utc | 70

Why is this important for a site like this? That's actually an excellent question.

I think it's because it's a symptom of the rot in our society. Geopolitical strategic failures can be hard to pin down exactly. Planes falling out of the sky are pretty obvious. The deal is that the rot in Boeing's management is the same as the rot in the federal government, or the big banks, etc., it's just that the unforgiving nature of trying to have tons of metal actually FLYING at hundreds of miles an hour for thousands of miles, makes it that much clearer that there is rot.

Posted by: TG | Jan 25 2020 5:32 utc | 71

To Hoarsewhisperer: It's called the Peter Principle, where a person rises up the corporate ladder to a position past his level of competence, then STAYS THERE.
Posted by: A P | Jan 24 2020 16:02 utc | 36

Thanks for the reminder :-)
Yes that's the book to which I was referring.
I tried Googling 'Theory X & Theory Y (management)' but the search results didn't ring any bells, although Google's brief definitions of Theory X & Theory Y certainly did.
I can recall enjoying it as an amusing read, but a bit too close to reality to be dismissed as a joke.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 25 2020 6:54 utc | 72

Smoothiex12 @ 69:

I like Boeing 737 MAXWELL SMART.

The advertising motto: Wow, we missed hitting the runway by THAT much!

(Pronounced with forefinger and thumb held apart by one centimetre.)

Posted by: Jen | Jan 25 2020 8:34 utc | 73

uncle tungsten #50

Boeing's military division would have some technology that the US Govt would do anything to protect. Am I wrong?

Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Jan 25 2020 11:20 utc | 74

In a financialised entity, does someone in Mr Calhoun's position even really need to be aware that Boeing has up till now operated as a manufacturer of aviation hardware and related technology? Perhaps, but this would be of far greater relevance at lower levels of the organisational hierarchy.

The term 'military - industrial complex' is frequently used in discussions of related topics. I wonder if that term had become somewhat outdated, at least from the the intra-group perspective of managerial elites.

It seems to me that the industrial element retains its importance primarily through its function as an input for the maintenance and ongoing development of military capability. Has the role of 'traditional' production-focused industry therefore been relegated to that of one more input commodity among many, and has financialisation effectively transformed (reverted?) the MIC to a military-financial complex, in the western world at least?

Posted by: Johnf | Jan 25 2020 14:57 utc | 75

Perhaps someone bellied up to the bar knows a higher up in Boeing or one of the directors. May I suggest that patron could print out b's columns here and pass them on?

Upon reading b's analysis, the board might decide this Calhoun is not right for the job

Posted by: Morongobill | Jan 25 2020 15:20 utc | 76

I don't think just renaming the airliner is enough. Clearly, Boeing itself needs to be revamped wholesale. And that means a takeover.

Disney-Boeing will have a hit with the 737-Baby Yoda Edition.

Pilots that voluntarily retrain (without compensation) will be awarded the cool "Jedi" designation and be allowed to don capes.

Passengers that fly on 737's will be addressed as "paduwan" when given their Baby Yoda crackers and the frequent flyer miles flown on 737 will earn them discounts to Disney Theme Parks.

While "safety nuts" cringe at the crass marketing of this clunker, Parents will melt as their loved ones scream, "Daddy daddy can we fly on Baby Yoda's plane?"

Problem solved (by American corporate standards).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 25 2020 16:35 utc | 77

>Boeing's military division would have some technology
>that the US Govt would do anything to protect. Am I wrong?
>Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Jan 25 2020 11:20 utc | 74

Governments already know each other's secrets. It's the public that must be "protected" from knowing the truth. That's why the phrase "Speak Truth to Power" is just another empty and meaningless slogan. It's the powerless that need to hear the truth.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jan 25 2020 17:06 utc | 78

Might have already been stated...

I think one reason why Calhoun is saying they'll restart production soon is because they cannot have their suppliers closing down. It's meant to keep the suppliers from closing their doors; they'll be kept on the bleeding block. Obviously, once key suppliers have closed down Boeing will be screwed.

Posted by: Seer | Jan 25 2020 19:16 utc | 79

Boeing Management blew USD 45Bn on share buybacks. The same thing was done in GE. This is nothing but money being siphoned off. In GE's case at least, an investigation will show that the super wealthy like Warren Buffet were the beneficiaries of the siphoning off of funds through buybacks at inflated prices.

Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Jan 26 2020 9:57 utc | 80

At 27% BA's short ratio is already pretty high...

Posted by: Christoph | Jan 26 2020 12:38 utc | 81

Boeing knows that the root of its ill is that the engineers became hierarchically inferior to financials and tradesmen.

This diagnosis was made a few weeks after the second crash.

b. ignores this fact.

There is no use for this current analysis of the Calhoun's speech, because it's only corporate bullshit for media's consumption. The purpose is to keep the Boeing share flying high on the stock exchange.

One must look elsewhere for the actual actions that Boeing will try for keeping alive.

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Jan 27 2020 2:05 utc | 82

@ 82 parisian guy... read previous b posts to get a proper perspective on what b is or isn't ignoring... reading this doesn't give you the full picture..

Posted by: james | Jan 27 2020 4:31 utc | 83

Seema Sapra #74

Boeing's military division would have some technology that the US Govt would do anything to protect. Am I wrong?

You could be right, I would have to check with my Israeli contacts and the Awan family data center on that. I recall boeing has an instant fuselage seal system to respond to situations where the in-flight refueller connector pokes holes in fuselage or cockpit canopy.

Also I do recall something really innovative to do with a round wheel. Said to be better than the old octagonal type.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 27 2020 5:04 utc | 84

blues #70

Of course, they could have moved the wings back, or probably better, just simply upward. But they were terribly worried about red tape and lost profits.

Am I correct here?

Apologies for delay in responding, I am not aeronautics engineer but I recall that was one solution discussed at blancolirio who does interesting analysis. He is a Boeing pilot and gives a good explanation. He posts on all sorts of engineering things from busted Boeing to leaky dams and other disaster stuff.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 27 2020 5:18 utc | 85

Seer #79

I think one reason why Calhoun is saying they'll restart production soon is because they cannot have their suppliers closing down. It's meant to keep the suppliers from closing their doors; they'll be kept on the bleeding block. Obviously, once key suppliers have closed down Boeing will be screwed.

The Boeing supply chain fracture would make the Carrier air conditioner plant 'salvation' look like a cake walk. In an election year the last thing Trump needs is a reminder of his failed promises from 2016.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 27 2020 6:03 utc | 86

Jackrabbit #77

"Daddy daddy can we fly on Baby Yoda's plane?"

And the safest response will be: 'Not right now Jedi darling. We have to wait until Sith Lord Darth Sidious is removed from the flight deck. Maybe next year would be a good idea and while we wait the Obi-Wan Kanobi from Landing Strip One has an airbus thingy that has great inflight movies and the smoothest landing ever. Plus complimentary chocolates from Belgium."

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 27 2020 6:14 utc | 87

The military industrial complex may fear that civilian production might want to take over resources, personnel etc, in order to render the US competitive instead of relying on useless wars.
Thus Boeing's civilian side acting irresponsibly might be welcomed by the MIC.

Posted by: Peter Grafström | Jan 27 2020 13:37 utc | 88

@james (83)

I'd read most of b's posts on the Boeing saga. Therefore, you are the one who made an irrelevant comment.

Posted by: Parisian Guy | Jan 28 2020 0:37 utc | 89

Perhaps Boeing has been lying about and covering up problems with its new 777X as well. See

Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Jan 28 2020 12:30 utc | 90

Two very relevant links


Why is Boeing going for folding wingtips just to maximize profit. Fuel efficiency should not come at the cost of abandoning fail-safe designs. For civilian aircraft at least.

Posted by: Seema Sapra (@SeemaS | Jan 29 2020 15:17 utc | 91

The first money pump operation commences with the purchase of 80 F-15EX.

Posted by: Muellet | Feb 8 2020 23:32 utc | 92

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