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Boeing agrees to plead guilty on conspiracy charges

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  • Boeing agrees to plead guilty on conspiracy charges

    File this under "I'll believe it when it happens", which is still weeks away, but Boeing has agreed 'in principal' to an admission of guilt on a very serious charge of defrauding the government, which is, ladies and germs, defrauding the public: you, me and 3WE.

    So, is this a victory? Yes, for Boeing. Is this justice-in-action? Well, consider the foundations of justice, 'an eye for an eye' and 'crime doesn't (shouldn't) pay', the scope of punishment must deter the criminal motive... In the case of the more ancient foundation, Boeing would have to cough up, by my count, 692 eyes. In the deal, they cough up zero eyes, not even an eyelash. In the deterrent category, there's the agreed-upon monetary punishment which amounts to a $487.2M, minus what they've already paid on previous litigation, and an agreement to invest another $455M in themselves to strengthen compliance and safety, two things which they have done famously well in the previous century without needing a half-billion-dollars of encouragement.

    So, combined, that's around a billion dollars of punitive injury. Put that into perspective. The 737-MAX debarcle has thus far cost Boeing around $20 billion, and the admission that the debarcle was a calculated and intentional fraud only makes up 5% of that 'breakage'. Then consider that the 737-MAX program is still projected to reward Boeing with profits. And thus, crime pays. In corporate morality, it was still a good deed. No deterrence, just more confirmation that too-big-to-fail wrongdoing can't lose.

    This is the hard truth. If Boeing, the company, faced the full brunt of justice (i.e suffering a significant loss rather than a profit in the end), it would cripple their finances, cost many jobs, dent the economy and deprive us of valuable source of (otherwise) safe air travel. So, it's not hard to see why justice must allow Boeing to slip the noose. It is in everyone's best interest that Boeing does see a healthy profit. But there's another way to deal with this, the way justice treats common people who commit willful crimes:

    Prosecute the individuals involved, all the way to the top, with hard prison time. That's a deterrent! Claw back bonuses and salaries paid to those reckless wealth-drunken executives who made their millions by pillaging a once-revered company for their own selfish ends. Hold people accountable, because people did this. On purpose.

    And that's not gonna happen. I'm not at all convinced any of this is gonna happen. Nor, it seems, is a 21st-century Boeing single-aisle airframe going to happen in my lifetime.

  • #2
    We discussed this in the past. A company should not be criminally liable. Now people is. Put a few executives behind actual bars, even for a few months. You know, the kind of things they cannot fix just by throwing dollars at it.

    --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
    --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---


    • #3
      Well, as we’ve seen with Trump, executives can also fix criminal acts by throwing money at them. Money buys legal immunity. But at least it would be coming out of their own stolen money bags. Money is why these people do everything, so take back the profits and they wouldn’t do it.