Rules required if Boeing needs coronavirus bailout
Boeing’s stance against taking a full federal bailout offers a long-awaited signal that the company sees a path out of its financial doldrums and production stall.
A large part of its way forward may still come through federal aid. The $2.2 trillion stimulus deal the U.S. Senate passed includes deep funding to boost the company’s business directly and indirectly. A $17 billion loan fund for businesses critical to national security can be tapped by Boeing and its suppliers. In total, the stimulus bill contains $85 billion in loans and grants for aviation-related businesses. Any lift for the sector overall stands to help Boeing.
“With supply-chain layoffs already happening, it’s important for the aerospace industry — which employs 136,000 Washingtonians — to have access to capital and liquidity,” U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said after the deal passed.
But federal money that could flow directly to Boeing comes with strict requirements. CEO David Calhoun said in an interview Tuesday that the company wants to forge ahead without such help. If this is not unduly optimistic, both Boeing and American taxpayers will be better off for that decision. Boeing should nonetheless consider measures to increase accountability.
Calhoun wants Boeing to work its way back up without having to give up stock to the federal government, which is a necessary condition for giving stimulus money to a publicly traded company. History provides a precedent: In the 2008 bailout of General Motors, the U.S. government took a 61% share as a condition of ...
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