Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.
November 1, 2013 at 10:22 AM
Vote: Boeing’s future in the Puget Sound
It’s been a bad news, good news week. We learned that much of the detailed design work on the 777X will be done in North Charleston, Long Beach, Philidelphia, Moscow(!) and Huntsville, Ala. Then came word that 737 work will be significantly ramped up in Renton.
Decisions about the final design, manufacturing of the wing and assembly of the 777X will provide much more information about Boeing’s future here. But in other areas, the company has been drawing down its Puget Sound workforce and moving assets elsewhere, relatively small but unsettling. We have one of the last concentrations of major manufacturing by a single company left in America and it represents a giant portion of good jobs and export trade.
Benign explanations are available: The company wants to spread its risks. It has excess capacity elsewhere. The Puget Sound retains a world-class aerospace cluster and Boeing has huge sunk costs here.
Darker theories also abound: CEO Jim McNerney hates Seattle and the unions. There is no more loyalty to Seattle with the headquarters in Chicago. The old Seattle-centric engineering culture has been trumped by the bean counters and “shareholder value.”
Care to make a forecast for 10 years out?
Read on for some of the best business and economy stories of the week…and the haiku.
This Week’s Links:
• What will the ‘new normal’ for America be? | Brad DeLong
• The business of business is more than business | Laura Tyson/Project Syndicate
• The CTFC is drowning in market data | BusinessWeek
• Starbucks gets ready to go from tall to vente in China | BusinessWeek
• U.S. infrastructure spending plunges | Naked Capitalism
• The Amazon guide to tax dodging | The New Republic
• Getting rich at the expense of labor | Bill Gross/Pimco
• The myth of renewable energy | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
• The deficit is falling fast | Wonkblog
• U.S. manufacturing: Output steady, jobs slide | Tim Taylor
• Tapering might come sooner than you think | Fed Watch
Today’s Econ Haiku:
A new Nasdaq glitch
As the machines take control
We have no options