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Old 26th Nov 2019, 23:30
  #83 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hertfordshire, UK.
Age: 64
Posts: 9,333
Living in the UK, it was in the early 1980s that I noticed both print and TV move the Stock Market from the financial pages to the front page. I saw this happening as the UK went through a recession and the numbers of unemployed, and the FTSE100 were taken as benchmarks of progress.

By the mid 1980s, I was working in The City of London (in Telecommunications) with an up close view of the developing boom, hastened by deregulation. This was also the start of Outsourcing, I was working for an American Company and saw this at first hand.

It was during the 1980s that the company 'horizon' was moved ever closer. I saw the Stock Market become a gambling table - just as it had done leading up to the 1929 crash.

Then came the next (entirely predictable) recession in 1989/1991. THEN the bean counters were unleashed and they have never stopped. Also in this decade, we saw old regulations come tumbling down. Notablely (as already mentioned) the US govt thought that companies could regulate themselves. Well, in the 1940s, 50s and 60s - they probably could have done - but following the 1980s? Not a chance. We saw regulations being swept aside in the UK, as Thatcher and her successors followed Reagan and the neo-cons.

By 2000, the new rules had already been incorporated into popular culture as shared by senior mgmt in their clubs and bars, also in MBAs. The Stock Markets continued to get drunk on IPOs and the managers saw how to get rich. Since then, we have also seen the emergence of a whole new style of company - ones built on debt and the absence of regulation on the Internet companies. This particular train crash is still building up speed, so stand back.

Perhaps most critically, in the late 1980s (in the UK) Thatcher loved the idea that we would progress as a country by providing services - rather than making things. To date, the jury is out on this.

In this century, we have seen a succession of companies make hideous mistakes as they place short term profits for the shareholders in front of everything. One of the most notable being VW and Dieselgate (2008). In government circles, the pressure to please the shareholder (the White House to secure more funding) was provided by the Shuttle Challenger Disaster in 1986.

I grew up in the era of 'Look after the company and the company will look after you' and that share holding was a long term prospect. All of that has gone because humans do not read history. Sons do not listen to their father (leave alone their grandfather) tell them of mistakes made in the past. Each generation thinks it can reinvent the wheel.

(thread drift: it is for these same reasons that the 1929 Crash is going to be repeated. The difference will be that, as the financial world is now larger and the world more interconnected - it is going to be very considerably worse than 1929, so stand well back as the current strength of the USD will not last.)

So, I would suggest that the writing was on the wall for Boeing from the moment they abandoned their heritage and left Seattle. At the time, many in these forums warned of the loss of heritage and combined knowledge. Boeing will survive because the Pentagon and White House need it to.

However, unless there are wholesale resignations (ALL of the main Board) and a return of bonus payments and REAL apologies and understanding? Then the world will not forgive them.

We can but hope that other engineering companies whose products carry humans have spent this year examining their process in microscopic detail.
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