Tag Archives: Export-Import Bank

Shelby blocks Export-Import Bank nominee

In a move that is preventing the recently renewed Export-Import Bank from functioning, Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) has been blocking the nomination of a new board member.

Until the board position is filled, the bank cannot finance any deals greater than $10 million, which essentially prevents it from doing much.

I find this story quite surprising. It says that Shelby has opposed the Ex-Im Bank because he considers it the worse form of “crony capitalism”. Yet, Shelby is also the king of aerospace pork, pushing NASA to fund SLS (thus pouring money into Alabama and the Marshall Spaceflight Center), despite the fact that SLS is a gigantic boondoggle that will never accomplish anything in space.

I suspect that Shelby’s real goals are twofold: 1. He doesn’t like the deals the bank has been financing, and wants to apply pressure on them to instead give deals to his own corporate buddies. 2. He is trying to extort campaign contributions from the parties involved.

Sadly, I can’t believe for an instant that Shelby has altruistic motives.

Ex-Im bank: Crony capitalism at its absolute worst

Republican pigs: Not only is this Republican Congress pushing to reinstate the Export-Import Bank so that the federal government can provide cheap loans to their corporate buddies, several senators are pushing to require that there be political litmas tests before those loans are granted.

[S]enators from both parties are pitching a condition: that applicants for loans essentially vouch support for the Israeli economy in order to be approved. The move, described by multiple sources, is meant to counter a pro-Palestinian campaign to undermine Israeli exports because of its occupation of the West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Specifically, the Ex-Im Bank would have to consider whether applicants for loans oppose “policies and actions that are politically motivated” and meant to inhibit “commercial relations specifically with citizens or residents of Israel.” In the past, Ex-Im has taken into account applicants’ stance on human rights and terrorism, prompting advocates of the new language to propose the new qualification.

It is obscene for the federal government to be in the loan business, picking favorites among private companies. It is even more obscene for these elected officials to demand that those favorites adhere to their political whims (no matter that I might agree with those particular whims). The Ex-Im bank should go away, along with the senators who are now pushing for it.

Boeing lobbies for renewal of the Export-Import Bank

Boeing on Monday told its satellite workers that it will eventually lay off hundreds because of lost contracts due to the failure of Congress to renew the Export-Import Bank.

Boeing Co (BA.N) on Monday told its workers that it expected to cut as many as “several hundred” jobs in its satellite business through the end of 2015 due to a downturn in U.S. military spending and delays in commercial satellite orders. Multiple commercial orders were being delayed by recent failures of launch vehicles and uncertainties about the future availability of financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank, whose government charter lapsed on June 30, the company told key managers in an internal communication.

Boeing spokesman Tim Neale confirmed the reductions and said the total number of people affected would be finalized in coming months. Some could find work in other parts of Boeing, he said. [emphasis mine]

This announcement is pure lobbying, no more. They might have to lay off workers, but they haven’t done it yet, and when they do the numbers are likely to be far less than they are implying. And even so, the layoffs will probably be good for the company, making it more lean and efficient.

The reason they have made this public now is to generate support for a renewal of the Export-Import Bank, which Congress allowed to expire last month. Boeing wants it back, because the company uses the low interest loans it provides (using government money) to get contracts abroad. However, they really don’t need it to do that. They could trim costs, work more efficiently, and get loans in the private sector, as every other private company is expected to do.

This announcement is really no different than the doom that was predicted prior to the arrival of sequestration. Those budget cuts were going to cause the destruction of the defense industry and the American military, while causing the airline industry to collapse because the TSA and the FAA wouldn’t have the staff to keep the planes in the air. Twas all a lie. Nothing happened, and by some miracle the government still had plenty of cash to keep things running smoothly. Similarly, Boeing can compete without the help of the government. They just have to stop whining and do it.