S&P says don’t pay attention to our ratings: On the same day Delta Air Lines was named to the S&P 500, The Los Angeles Times had this article commenting on Standard & Poor’s legal defense of its investment grade credit ratings of companies involved in the 2008 financial collapse in the US that led to the global recession in 2008, affects of which are still felt today.
S&P’s defense included the argument that nobody should pay attention to its ratings, according to the article.
The ratings issue is important because airlines, lessors (and, of course, others outside aviation) covet investment grade ratings for the capital-intensive aerospace industry. Airlines and lessors need “cheap” money to buy airplanes. Air Lease Corp recently obtained its first investment grade rating, for example, something for which it issued a press release. Delta gained headlines for its return to investment grade status. Airlines have long used S&P, Moody’s and Fitch for rating equipment trust certificates used to finance airplanes.
The columnist for the LA Times is incredulous that S&P’s legal defense in the federal lawsuit is, essentially, nobody should pay attention to its ratings. It is indeed remarkable.
Final C-17 for US Military: Boeing’s C-17 program has been struggling to stay alive for the past several years and the challenge will get worse when Boeing hands over the final order to the USAF. The airplane’s survival depends now entirely on non-US sales, and these come few and far between. It’s also the last program of McDonnell Douglas; Boeing killed the MD-11, MD-80, MD-90 and MD-95 lines not that long after the two firms merged, though it did keep the MD-95 alive for a short time, renamed the Boeing 717.
The Long Beach Press-Telegram has a couple of additional stories here and here.
Why States opposes AA-US merger: Micheline Maynard writes in Forbes why she thinks states have joined the US Department of Justice lawsuit to block the merger between American Airlines and US Airways. The actions have nothing to do with consumer protection, the alleged motive of the DOJ, she opines. Rather, the states’ interests are far more parochial.
ElectroImpact competes for 777X work: ElectroImpact makes wings for the Airbus A380 and A350 XWB and it’s headquartered in Boeing’s back yard at Everett (WA). Now it’s hoping to build wings for the 777X. This Seattle Times report tells the story.
Washington State’s future in aerospace: The Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance hosts its second annual series of luncheons with members of the Washington State Legislature to talk about what needs to be done for the future of aerospace in this state. The first lunch is in Bellevue (WA) September 24 and the second is September 26 in Spokane, the other major aerospace cluster in the state.
Confirmed Bellevue Panelists
• Sen. Nick Harper (D), District 38 – Everett
• Sen. Paull Shin (D), District 21 – Lynnwood
• Rep. Mike Sells (D), District 38 – Everett
• Rep. Bruce Chandler (R), District 1 – Yakima
• Rep. Larry Springer (D), District 45 – Kirkland
Confirmed Spokane Panelists
• Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R), District 6 – Spokane
• Rep. Timm Ormsby (D), District 3 – Spokane
• Rep. Kevin Parker (R), District 6 – Spokane
• Rep. Mark Schoesler (R), District 9 – Ritzville
Information and registration for Bellevue is here.
information and registration for Spokane is here.
Clever headline: The Street.com column has a clever headline this morning in a post written by Ted Reed concerning the on-going sales battles between Airbus and Boeing.