Friday, June 23, 2006

Buy Dreamliner, Sell Airbus

And so it begins...

The all-seeing eyes of AngloAustria strike again.

I predicted in an earlier piece, that the Airbus A380 was a shambolic statist dam waiting to burst. Airbus is usually portrayed by politicians as a triumph of international cooperation, but if you examine the slush funds and soft loans which make up its financing, its true nature becomes clear as that of a Great White Elephant crushing the growth potential of millions of small private businesses. Corporation taxes are sucked from these private operations, crippling their investment futures, and then pumped into this gargantuan beast so that Airbus can continue building the wrong products for the wrong markets. If in the process the pockets of various politicians and cronies involved in this wretched shell game operation become lined with money or votes, or both, so be it; this is the nature of the art of politics.

Yes, I predicted the A380 would be a financially corrupt shambles, which would never break even. I just thought it might take a little while longer before the symptoms appeared:

Crisis over A380 deepens with leasing threat

Oh dear.

Let's take a look at that, perhaps, in a little more depth.

Airbus faces a mounting crisis after the world's biggest leasing company threatened to axe orders worth up to $3bn for the A380 superjumbo, a move that could trigger an exodus of customers.


International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) said it was "not happy" about fresh delays in the delivery of the $300m double-decker and believed it now had a legal case to scrap its 10 orders.


"We are considering cancelling all or some of our A380 order," said the group's chief executive, Steven Udvar-Hazy.

It keeps getting better.

ILFC, based in California, has the fourth-biggest order for the A380 after Emirates, Lufthansa and Air France.

Air France has a large order for Airbus A380s? What a remarkable coincidence that EADS, the maker of the Airbus A380, is also based in France. Here's an interesting snippet. A major shareholder of Air France is the French Government. I know, it's remarkable isn't it?

The blow comes days after Airbus stunned investors with a €2bn profit warning and an admission of delays dragging on until 2010.

Oh look, a government-led program is over-running with costs and time delays! Program staff are also complaining about unreasonable quality demands from customers! Who'd a thunk it?

In Paris, there was continued fall-out yesterday from last week's crash in the share price of EADS, which owns 80pc of Airbus.

And who is a major shareholder of EADS, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, with at least three separate arms holding different share blocks? Yes, that's right. The French government. Amazing.

The French prime minister Dominique de Villepin erupted in fury in the French parliament after Socialist deputies called for the head of 'Monsieur Airbus' and co-chief of EADS, Noël Forgeard, a protégé of the ruling elite.

Pots. Kettles. Black. Etc. I wonder if Monsieur De Villepin has a private bank account in either Geneva or Luxembourg?

"I denounce your cowardice," he screamed at the socialist leader, François Hollande.

I always find it so refreshing to see ones masters and betters behaving in such a civilised way, in a manner to which we mere tax-paying proles can only aspire.

M Forgeard is under investigation by French regulators for possible insider trading after cashing in stock options for himself and his family for €6.7m last March, shortly before the A380 problems came to light.

Corrupt? A political favorite of the French government? Shurely shome mishtake, m'lud.

His position has become untenable after his German counterpart, EADS co-chief Thomas Enders, said he had chosen not to sell his stock. "Of course it would have been lucrative to exercise the options in March but I decided it wouldn't be opportune to do so," he said.

Well, at least one person in this whole sorry mess has been brought up by decent parents.

Yesterday's warning from ILFC confirms the worst fears of Airbus executives that customers will exploit the legal loopholes caused by the delays to pull out of a project already losing appeal due to higher oil prices.

And higher oil prices are due to the American government, no doubt. Therefore it's all George Bush's fault. Sacre Bleue, mon ami.

Airbus has racked up just 159 orders for the A380 so far, with almost no new takers since crude prices began to surge. The company needs at least 250 sales to cover the €11bn launch costs.

Not forgetting what €11bn could have earned just sitting in the bank collecting base interest rates, or what it could have earned if corporation tax around Europe had been slashed by €11bn Euros and then re-invested or spent on other private products by all of the small private businesses which generated it.

But here's the best bit:

Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner, a super-light design of carbon composites, will use far less fuel.

You see. All you billionaire air moguls out there, yes you, the ones morally bankrupt enough to do business with government, I did warn you. But did you listen? No. You just had to let the taxpayer-fed €-signs floating in your eyes spoil your long term view. Should've listened to your Uncle Jack.

There is still a way out, however. All you need to do is get hold of a copy of Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson, a book inspired by the greatest Frenchman who ever lived:

Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)


Julius Blumfeld said...

Good post. I had been alarmed by the apparent success of the Airbus project but it seems I was wrong to worry !

Jack Maturin said...

Never fear. AngloAustria is here.

Though I must admit, I'm beginning to worry about my own terrible predictive powers to bring down huge tax-fed industries in the face of all other 'sensible' and 'realistic' commentators.

Obviously, now I know I have this power, it'll never work again.

But all you have to do is read Rothbard, the hysterical idiot who predicted in the early 1980s that one day the Berlin Wall would come down, and sooner rather than later! ;-)

I bet all those air tycoons who put the early orders in for this fat heavy gas-guzzling Leviathan are desperately trying to get their lawyers onto the get-out clauses, so they can get into Dreamliner instead. If they don't, they'll be eaten alive by Dreamliner competitors. Though no doubt they'll use lobbyist power and political bribes to keep themselves in the air game through government protection.

The 747 has possessed an inefficient air wing drag angle for decades, as it was built to fly at slightly higher speeds than most operators fly it at, and it survives, so I'm sure we'll still be seeing this revolting Airbus for several decades yet, but let's hope it really does prove to be an outright financial disaster to help stop horrible projects like this being attempted again in the future.

And don't you think it's funny that the evil American plane is the one that burns far less carbon dioxide producing fuel than the saintly European one, per passenger, per mile? And that in resorting to a hub-and-spoke transport system, with saintly European Airbus, each passenger will also have to travel more carbon dioxide producing miles to reach their destinations, compared to the lower mileage direct flights of evil American Dreamliner?

Not that I believe in this global warming cant for a moment of course, but it is all rather amusing that the Eco-Europeans are now hoist by their own petard, having built this useless heavy plane, out of what appears to be lead-bolted steel girders! ;-)