Boeing Wants to Write Their Own Bailout

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

There's hubris and then there's Boeing.

Like many other corporations and companies, Boeing is asking the federal government for a bailout, but Boeing apparently wants to dictate the terms of their bailout.

Appearing on Fox Business, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun says he would not agree to the federal government taking a stake in Boeing in exchange for a bailout.

“I don’t have a need for an equity stake,” Calhoun said in an interview Tuesday with Fox Business. “I want them to support the credit markets, provide liquidity. Allow us to borrow against our future.”

He indicated that the Chicago-based company wouldn’t accept aid in exchange for the government owning a share. “If you attach too many things to it, of course, you take a different course,” he said.

If they aren't willing to accept a bailout if the government takes a share of equity in the company, then they don't actually need a bailout. They aren't as desperate as they first appear if they want to dictate their own terms.

The Great Recession's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the Obama administration's bailout of the American auto industry included equity that former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner eventually resold and returned a profit for taxpayers who were asked to bail out these companies. And if you're going to do a bailout, that's the way to do it. It's the only responsible way.

It's especially galling for Boeing to attempt to set their own terms because the company drove itself into the ground before the novel coronavirus even existed. No company should try to attach strings to their own bailout, but at least the restaurant industry didn't ask for this. Boeing was already circling the drain because a culture of arrogance and expedient profit-chasing led to two crashes, hundreds of deaths, and the failure of their flagship product line, the 737 Max.