Congress to Pass $17 Billion Bailout of Airline Shareholders & Bondholders, to Top Off Prior Bailout. Industry Applauds, Airline Stocks Jump

Top 4 airlines burned $45 billion on share buybacks since 2012. If airlines run out of money, Chapter 11 bankruptcy works. Airlines proved it.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Airlines in the US will get another $17 billion taxpayer-funded bailout if the $748 billion “bipartisan” stimulus proposal that the four most senior Congressional leaders are discussing this afternoon makes it into law.

There is a commitment now to pass something. Many items that either party wanted but that the other refused to yield on have been trimmed out of this proposal, including the $1,200 stimulus checks. But their airline bailout is in it.

Democrats and Republicans may not agree on much of anything these days, but they both love to bail out airline shareholders and bondholders. And that’s what this is – dressed up as payroll protection and airline support program.

The Democratic-backed $2.2 trillion stimulus package that the House passed at the end of September but that was not taken up by the Senate included $25 billion to bail out airline shareholders and bondholders. The airline industry has been lobbying with all its might to get this money. So now, it looks like they will have to make do with $17 billion.

This new bailout comes on top of the original stimulus bill, which was passed in March and which came with $25 billion in so-called payroll support for the airlines, an additional $25 billion in loans for passenger airlines, and over $10 billion in grants and loans for cargo airlines and aviation contractors. The payroll protection provisions expired on September 30, under the assumption that by then the airlines would be operating more or less back at normal.

But they’re not. Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines have warned in recent days about once-again declining bookings following the Thanksgiving surge of Covid infections. Airlines have reported spikes in cancellations. Leisure travel had picked up, but the very lucrative business travel and international travel remain in a zombie state. The V-shaped airline recovery that Wall Street had promised in late spring and early summer has gotten crushed

The number of passengers going through TSA checkpoints to enter the secured areas at US airports through December 14 has dropped sharply since late November. The chart shows the number of TSA checkpoint screenings in 2020 (red) and 2019 (green) per day (thin lines) and the seven-day moving averages (bold lines):

The daily checkpoint screenings are now down 68% (seven-day moving average) from where they’d been on the same day in the same week a year ago, the worst levels since early September:

The airline lobbying group, Airlines for America, said on Monday when the bipartisan proposal was presented that it “enthusiastically” supported the $17 billion handout for the airlines. And airline stocks rallied. The WOLF STREET index of the top seven airlines in the US rose 2.4% today and is up 23% since mid-November:

Airline shareholders feel the money. And taxpayers feel the pain. This rally comes as revenues at the largest airlines have collapsed by 60% to 70%, and as debt has piled up in previously unthinkable amounts, and as airlines continue to report huge losses and – despite massive capacity cuts and layoffs – dizzying “daily cash burn” figures.

Taxpayer money props up those shares and is a basic transfer of wealth from the American public to airline shareholders and to airline bondholders.

This is the same industry where the top four airlines — Delta, United, American, and Southwest — willfully blew, wasted, burned, and annihilated $45 billion on share buybacks since 2012 to enrich their shareholders, including their own executives:

The other solution, if airlines run out of money to burn, would be to restructure their debts and their operations in bankruptcy court with a chapter 11 filing. Delta, American,  United, and other airlines already restructured in bankruptcy court, and it worked fine. They know how to do that.

I was on an international Delta flight when Delta filed for bankruptcy, and never noticed the difference. The plane didn’t crash, and the connecting flight was there, and everything continued as normal and my frequent flier miles remained intact. Airlines know how to do that.

The cost of restructuring the debt falls on shareholders and creditors – not taxpayers. If an airline filed for bankruptcy today, the ownership would be transferred from shareholders to certain creditors. Shareholders would be wiped out, or nearly wiped out. Unsecured creditors would get a big haircut. The airline would continue to operate through the proceedings and would emerge under new ownership, with less debt, and with a scale of operations that would be appropriate for the new environment, and it would allow the airline to thrive going forward.

But no. There is universal consensus in Congress that Shareholders and bondholders have to be bailed out. And since that sounds unpalatable, the bailout gets dressed up in payroll-protection and airline-support lingo. And so, there’s another $17 billion for a shareholder and bondholder welfare program.

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  161 comments for “Congress to Pass $17 Billion Bailout of Airline Shareholders & Bondholders, to Top Off Prior Bailout. Industry Applauds, Airline Stocks Jump

  1. Javert Chip says:

    I know Wolf Street does not like share buy-backs, so how much “rainy day cash” should an airline keep on its books in the event of a black swan?

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not over-enthusiastic about bailouts, but my question (above) is still valid.

    • Marbles says:

      If any company does not prepare for the future, the taxpayer should not be responsible for their future.

      • Mr. House says:

        ” Specially because it is largely due to the incompetence of the US government.”

        Yeah thats it. We are so screwedddddddddddddddddddd

      • Paulo says:

        Good comment Marbles, and the same for individuals if they have had opportunities to do so. Obviously, I’m not talking about the working poor.

        Excellent article.

        I wonder what happened to bus companies that serve rural areas? I guess they’re just not sexy these days. Charter buses have been parked for 11 months now. I guess they don’t count because they are mostly privately owned and/or family operations. But airlines…….. all those AC paint jobs and 5 lbs of buttons and zippers on every uniform…… now they must need a bailout.

        • doug says:

          The folks doling out the $ never ride buses. They fly planes.

          I am in agreement with Marbles.

          This conversation overlooks all the subsidies to airlines via airports, air craft controllers, other infrastructure such as crash investigation, on and on. Folks that don’t fly subsidize those that do.

    • RightNYer says:

      I’d say the same that I would say when asked about that with regard to any individual American or family. A year’s worth of expenses. Meaning that the airlines should have one year’s worth of expenses assuming zero revenue.

      • chaser says:


        2019 expenses no d/a:

        United 34 billion

        american – 32;

        cash on hand;

        united 5

        american 4

        what a joke american society and business has become and the ruling elite is working overtime to completely what remains of “small” business

      • WES says:

        The problem today is having that amount of cash lying around invites immediate trouble.

        Like a hostile takeover by someone desperate to get their hands on your cash!

    • andy says:

      $25 Billion + $17 Billion + money for rainy day, i.e. ALL of the money the blew on buybacks. To state the obvious.

    • MonkeyBusiness says:

      After 9/11, every airline should have an idea on how much would be required. After all that too could have been a termination event.

    • timbers says:

      Well, given that most medical breakthroughs, Covid vaccines, and beneficial drugs have been financed by govt taxpayer R&D, the answer to your question could be zero.

    • MarkinSF says:

      Not only does Wolf dislike share buybacks but they were considered a form of stock manipulation under FDR when they became illegal after the crash of 29. And then Reagan gets elected and boom, they rescind that law. They are still stock manipulation tactics.
      But there are more than 2 alternatives here. It’s not just cash or share buybacks. So while execs and the like get richer from providing basically nothing, services get dramatically cut. Like crunched seating, meal less flights, baggage fees, etc.
      So if you’re running an airline ethically and morally wouldn’t you want to create the best customer service experience that you can?
      At least by running operations in this manner you can at least claim the moral high ground when receiving your bailout money.

      • c1ue says:

        While the SEC did change the rules on share buybacks in 1982 – the actual rise of large scale share buybacks didn’t accelerate until after Clinton capped the tax deductibility of executive salaries at $1M.
        This caused executive compensation to switch over to options and shares – it is this direct link between stock buybacks and executive compensation which kicked off the spree.
        You can tell by looking at total shares outstanding – it has been falling for something like 20 years, not the 40 since Reagan.
        The Clinton executive salary tax deductibility cap was passed in 1993; it took a few years for the options/shares thing to catch on and from there, for share buybacks to become obvious as the quickest/easiest way to pump up the options/shares used for executive compensation..

        • MarkinSF says:

          I agree. Didn’t mean to come across as a political statement. Clinton also repealed Glass-Steagall and 9 years later?

        • Chris says:

          Comments like this one is why I “Stay” to read the thoughts of others. This web site has the best comments and replies. I always pick up a little extra. Thanks for the comment!

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Javert Chip,

      You don’t have to keep a lot of rainy-day cash. Just don’t carry a lot of debt (use cash flow from operations during good times to pay off debt) so that you can borrow when need arises. And if the S hits the fan, file for bankruptcy and wipe out your shareholders instead of lobbying Congress for a bailout of those shareholders.

      The airlines borrowed money to fund their share buybacks. And now they’re getting those shareholders a taxpayer bailout. Those CEOs and CFOs and the entire board should go to jail – but there is nothing illegal in what they’re doing, and that’s the real tragedy.

      • Wolf, it is just another example as to how our Capitalistic Democracy is morphing into a Centrally Controlled Oligarchy. First the Fed takes it as their mission statement to keep financial assets elevated way beyond any historical fair values, then Congress takes the ball, once again with our hard earned money or newly printed same, and chooses which industries get to feed at the Public Trough.

        This is such a distortion to the operation of the free markets that made our country great, it is a sign of a country out of control and, frankly, in decline. There are so many Conflicts of Interest in the double dealings of the Fed and Congress, I would be glad to drive one of the retired school buses to take these criminals to jail. You and I would be wearing orange jumpsuits if we embezzled public funds to give to our friends, no strings attached. Need an aspirin.

        • Trailer Trash says:

          Definition of Democratic Capitalism:

          One dollar equals one vote.

          So yeah, Uncle Sam Land gets more democratic every time the Fed pumps more money into the top of the machine.

          As for borrowing money to finance share buybacks, the managers are sabotaging the company more thoroughly than a worker shoving a wooden shoe into a gear, could ever dream of.

        • Dennis Kaye says:

          I’m watching this once greatest country in history decline so fast, that it sickens me.

        • rankinfile says:

          Just imagine how the wife and kids feel about the company liability shield after the breadwinner meatpacker father succumbed to covid,while providing essential food to America with blatent disregard to his safety on the line by company managers.
          They actually had football type pools betting on which particular employees die and what order in the overseers glassed in bubble above the lines.Makes me ashamed to be an American if such a thing is even considered,never mind passed.

      • MCH says:


        It actually makes an assumption that there is debt of the reasonable nature available at the time of need. I know it sounds ridiculous at this point in time considering you can get historically low yields for junk bonds and such. But that’s the opposite view.

        JC does make a good point regarding having rainy day cash on hand, but no body wants to keep on hand an instrument that is devaluing, because from the corporate side, it just means you’re no efficient with cash.

      • Fromks says:

        Isn’t interest on the debt deductible? Seems that debt has been incentivised.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Yes, it’s deductible. So you save 20% of the interest via a tax deduction. But first you have to pay 100% of the interest to deduct 20%, and now you’re net 80% in the hole. If you paid down your debt, your net savings (straight to the bottom line) would be 80% of the interest you didn’t have to pay on this amount. But then you couldn’t have wasted this money on share buybacks :-]

      • jm says:

        Exactly. People need to be aware that one entity’s savings must be matched by an equal amount of debt somewhere else in the economy. You “save” by making a loan to some other entity. A savings or checking account at a bank is a loan to the bank, which must lend the funds to some other entity in order to pay you interest and fund its own operations. The money doesn’t just go into a money bin somewhere. Saving money is not like saving garden produce in a root cellar.

        Generally speaking, money is just a means for making debts infinitely divisible and exchangeable.

        (Read Graeber’s “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”)

        For one entity to save, another must borrow. They can’t all save.

    • Old School says:

      In theory a company should not have to go begging for money, no matter what happens. But when you have a printing press down the street Congress can bail us all out and give us stimulus as well. The printing press solves the liquidity problem and creates a solvency problem.

    • roddy6667 says:

      They don’t even keep enough cash on hand for normal downturns in the economy.

    • Ed says:

      They should reorganize in bankruptcy. It’s hard to believe that would change the jobs picture so very much.

      Investment is *supposed* to have risks and rewards. $17 Billion could find much better uses and ones that might not pick winners and losers.

    • baldski says:

      Pay their employees more.

    • M says:

      Any business should keep enough money for foreseeable contingencies to survive. This was still being taught in business schools when I attended. A terrorist act, a pandemic, a natural disaster, a hurricane, a war breaking out in the oil producing states, so that their fuel prices skyrocket, etc., are foreseeable threats to an airline.

      The recent thinking of business “experts” that companies must be leveraged to the hilt to be well managed presumes that the government will bail them out if they go under. Recklessness may also be a cause of such behavior.

      I seriously doubt that all or even a majority of US businesses will be bailed out in 2020-2021. Only those of the right group with the right cronies and connections or who bribed enough politicians will be bailed out. Tens of thousands of small businessmen will not be bailed out and lose everything, because their lessors usually would have made them sign leases with personal guarantees.

      Thus, those corporate owners/executives who do not have connections to get bailouts will have caused the end of their businesses through over use of leverage. Like the “efficient-markets” theory, which factual evidence from the 1870s on establishes is nonsense, this theory of mandatory, over-leverage practice is only wise if cronyism is present.

      Businesses doing these share-buy backs are businesses (or more likely their control-group, made up of enough shareholders who get enough pensions’ proxies, etc., to control a corporation) that fail to keep necessary reserves for foreseeable dangers to please the control group. As a result of this recklessness, which was endemic among many companies in the US, the innocent, small shareholders may lose everything.

      We are about to see examples of such incompetent, corrupt business management in banks, if the congress does not again step in and bailout their crony financiers. Their “Federal” Reserve bankster cartel already bailed them out by their purchasing $2 TRILLION in uncollectible, mortgage backed securities (“MBS”) in 2019-2020, so the “Federal” Reserve (and US taxpayers who foolishly allow it to print US legal tender to benefit the banksters) will suffer the MBS losses, not the banksters, but remember that their capital cushion is remarkably thin.

      See Forbes’s “How The Federal Reserve ‘Broke The Internet’ – Everything You Need To Know” and’s “Fed reduces reserve requirement ratios to 0% – effective March 26.” (Incidentally, I read various versions of these news but do not recall now the source, so I merely cite to a readily located if obscure source.)

      Consequently, I would wager that the upcoming downturn in all real estate related derivatives, etc., not just MBS has probably eaten away the banksters’ miniscule reserves: i.e., they became legally insolvent, even if they were legally solvent before. See “The recovery mirage” in The underlying tenants cannot sell enough, so they cannot pay their rent and therefore, the lessors cannot pay their mortgages fully.

      The dominos will then fall one by one. (By the way, if anyone in power cares, a possible solution to this over-leverage problem would be to make control group shareholders and all officers PERSONALLY liable for the full amount of any insolvent entity’s liabilities if any entity becomes legally insolvent within a year of a share buy back or dividend distribution. After all, they should at least plan a year ahead.)

      Therefore, I suspect that is why it has now suddenly become politically urgent to get a bailout passed. As Simon Johnson’s “The Quiet Coup” indicated, the financiers now control our government. Thus, their needs may be met, not ours.

      Most businesses will have to be left to sink on their own to funnel all government funds to the banksters. The planned payments to individuals will not even let renters who are months late and owe many months’ rent pay for one month’s rent.

      • Karen says:

        Would love to compare notes at some point M

        • Wolf Richter says:


          “Karen” is Karen Parker Feld, an author here. She’s real. You can see her articles here:

        • M says:

          Dear Karen,

          I would not mind discussing anything online with you at Wolf Street. However, while I saw your website picture and you and your team seem to be a nice group of people, I do not believe that I have any “notes” that I can compare with you privately.

          Most of what I know is based on readings or possibly, prior information that I learned. This website, Forbes, Wall Street on Parade, and many, many other websites have most of the same information.

          If I were to know anything confidential, ever, I would not trade on it and could not disclose it privately, even inadvertently. Securities laws are quite clear on liability if an insider gives an attorney information and that insider or the attorney or his agents later trade on that confidential information.

          If any coincidental trades ever occurred after someone had told me anything, the Society for the Enablement of Corruption might want to make another Martha Stewart out of me. I would not want to give them the satisfaction of covering up their ineptness and corruption by finally prosecuting another unconnected person, while they enable the rest.

          Keep in mind that if person X (a theoretical person, which I do not state exists or ever existed) told me a particular thing confidentially but made it clear that I could disclose it publicly, I would have to follow such instructions. Corporate officers and corporate attorneys (which I was once) are much more decent people than corporate control-group owners, who are happy to encourage those would-be-fall-guys to engage in improper conduct with the corporations. On the other hand. those officers and attorneys need to vent and a few wish that some corruption were publicly known.

          Though no compensation is required where I am, in case of later, adverse court decisions, people have paid me a payment before discussing anything that they wish to be kept confidential, so that the confidential attorney client communications privilege would apply. Whatever I know theoretically that might be based on such conversations, would be legally protected and I could not even legally waive that privilege, even if I wanted to waive it. I can only make public comments protected by the First Amendment.

          I can say that my own mother was a loan officer with a bank, and was pressured to approve loans that she knew would definitely never be repaid after its management reportedly changed. She repeatedly refused.

          This went on for a long time. Reportedly, threats to put her on a commission basis, so she would not be paid if she did not approve some loans, were made. She fell and severely injured herself after being under severe pressure and sleepless for many days.

          Thus, I have motivation to tell whatever I know. Laws should be changed to compel corporate lawyers and corporate officers to make public disclosures or be personally liable and to protect them after that. Instead, our current system is designed to protect the bankster crooks and enable them to use fall guys: corporate officers and corporate attorneys, who are pressured to formally approve illegal decisions (for the corporation to commit crimes or torts) to enable the attorney advice legal defense.

          Moreover, I knew a bit about the banking business for other reasons, even from before I became an attorney. Thus, I know that the US will face a new disaster soon and thereafter, for years, repeated financial disasters until FDR’s wise Glass-Steagall Act’s protections are re-enacted.

          That is why I often sound like a broken record as to the oncoming financial disaster of the banks. I also know that the banksters seriously do not want the “weaknesses” of the financial protection system, e.g., the FDIC, to be widely shared. Based on what I know, I prefer to be safely anonymous and confine myself to public comments.

        • Mr. House says:

          Here Here M! Some people just can’t seem to accept that a bad system produces bad outcomes.

    • Lawefa says:

      Disgrace. Let the adjustments come with bankruptcy. Covid has changed the whole face of the travel industry. Poor “investment” for our tax payers.

      • Mr. House says:

        Now why would they do that when they didn’t do it in 2008? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

  2. Robert says:

    Did anyone suggest that the government should get a future share of airline profits? Or do we have to maintain the pretense that these are private companies at all costs?

    • FinePrintGuy says:

      Future Profits? Why waste energy negotiating a claim to something that will never happen? Or could be gamed away through accounting legerdemain?

  3. Beth E. says:

    Taxpayers will be responsible either way. Which is better? The airline payroll protection plan or the unemployment to be paid to 33,000 industry professionals? With potentially another 15,000 unemployed after January 1?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      10s of thousands of employees were laid off with retirement packages or buyouts funded by the bailout packages. Those jobs are gone. The employees left “voluntarily.” That money didn’t protect jobs. It just paid for the “voluntary” separation packages. Shareholders should pay for those, not taxpayers.

      • Beth E. says:

        And your response to all those who were given no buyout, no package, no benefits, no voluntary leave? No problem. Our tax dollars are supporting them anyway by way of unemployment and Medicaid.

        Before you respond, I invite you to provide the actual percentages of how many received buyouts, how many retired, and how many left voluntarily, and how many are wondering what they are supposed to do in the midst of a global pandemic with none of the above.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Beth E.

          There is nothing wrong with employee buyouts. But shareholders need to pay for them, not taxpayers. That’s what I said.

          ALL of the airline employees who were separated before Oct 1 were buyouts and early retirements — they were all “voluntary” layoffs because they were offered some package to induce them to leave and they were told it they didn’t take the package they’d likely be laid off “involuntarily” after Sep 30. The CARES Act bailout didn’t allow “involuntary” layoffs through Sep 30.

        • Dennis Kaye says:

          I am sick and tired of every time some company or its employees is in trouble financially runs to the government (TAXPAYERS) and expects help because of life’s ups and downs.

      • Old School says:

        I agree with this. It fits my theory that the costs of the virus are very large and it’s going to be very important who has political power because they are going to determine who does and does not pay the bill for the economic damage.

        • Ed says:

          By and large, the investors don’t need the bailout as much as Joe Schmoe who lost his job at the bar or the entertainment venue or, soon, at a state job.

    • FromKS says:

      Do you think 350k per job is a prudent way to spend borrowed money in a crisis?

    • LC says:

      Let them get other jobs…

  4. FinePrintGuy says:

    I think share repurchases are legit capitalism. But I wish the SEC would require listed companies to go through a ‘safety and soundness’ checklist before they can do it.
    -D/E below a certain threshold
    -Min credit ratings
    -Max CEO Pay, min worker pay
    -Fully funded pension, min 401k contr, min healthcare bene
    -X num months expenses in liquid investments
    -Vendors paid on timely basis

    Might not have saved the airlines this time around, but certainly would provide some comfort in normal times.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      “I think share repurchases are legit capitalism.”

      Yes, they certainly are now. But they used to be an illegal form of market manipulation until they were made legal in 1982.

      • Cas127 says:


        On a semi related note, you may want to opine in a future analysis on how much harder it is to prop up your share price via buybacks when you are trading at a 45 PE than a 15.

        If the macro economy has gutted your cash generation…at the same time Fed policy has exploded your share price…something has gotta give.

        I haven’t seen much discussion of this necessary dynamic.

        Perhaps the first steps are to get the full yr aggregate earnings for 2020 along with the 2020 aggregate buybacks. Then compare them to the same 2019 and 2018 numbers.

        Somebody on the internet may have already done some preliminary work.

      • C says:


        Mine burned over 15 billion! I’m so torn on this topic as I have been a direct recipient of tax payer bailout money!

        My “Air Line” was doing well before COVID-19 but could certainly have used that extra 15B. I agree that we failed our fiduciary duty to maintain a sufficient war chest. I believe that sentiment is shared by my colleagues.

        My inner Libertarian screams foul but my empathetic side is exposed to the destruction that has once again beseeched our industry and that of others.

        I struggle daily trying to reconcile this inner turmoil but have yet to find an agreeable answer that might pass muster.

        If there is an answer it lies with providing aid to industries and businesses effected by the mandatory shut downs, restrictions etc…. How can anyone run a business when New York has travel bans on those entering from (I think) 33 states. We can’t neuter industry and then blame them for being infertile.

        This aid must come with enormous strings attached such as warrants, direct repayment (such as a percent of profits), bond holder haircuts (as in outside of BK restructuring), zero share holder dividends, mandatory sale of company stock back to the public, accessing private credit markets first (which has mostly been done to the extent possible with regards to Airlines but might not be possible if bond holder haircuts are on the table), executive compensation restrictions and even employee pay and benefit freezes until repaid.

        I would be interested to hear yours and others thoughts.

        Specifically, can we as a nation impose unilateral restrictions on industries that ultimately lead to their demise in the name of the greater good. If so do we have an obligation to try and assist these businesses? Where does the line of Capitalism get drawn and how do we reconcile government imposed restrictions in this capitalistic argument?

        Thanks as always for providing the platform for this great community.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          The government can provide Debtor in Possession (DIP) financing in a bankruptcy if no private lenders are found to provide this financing. This will assure that the airline can continue to operate during bankruptcy and will emerge from bankruptcy – and will be in better shape when it does.

          This pandemic is like a natural disaster. During natural disasters, activities are shut down and things are flooded or disappear, and the government puts on restrictions what can and cannot be done, and there is no universal bailout of shareholders after a natural disaster.

    • MattF says:

      Share repurchases are legitimate capitalism, but so is bankruptcy. Capitalism on the way up, socialism on the way down (if you have the right lobbyists).

      • Ed says:

        Indeed. It’s good Bizness.

        Much less is paid on the way up than was paid 40 or 80 years ago — in order to reward risk, if I recall rightly what I’ve heard many times over the last 40 years to justify capital gains tax cuts — but then the risk goes *poof* for the intrepid investor and lands on the public.

    • roddy6667 says:

      A simple method would be to require ALL businesses to use GAAP, with non-compliance treated as a crime.

  5. edmondo says:

    This is obscene. People are being evicted in three more weeks and they are supposed to go live in an airplane?

    EVERY member of Congress should be voted out if this passes. EVERY LAST ONE!

    • MCH says:

      Term limits for career politicians????

      Are you crazy, what are they going to do for a living, become lobbyists in DC? How degrading and humiliating.

      We cannot let great American institutions like the airlines fail. They should be put in the category of TBTF, just like certain banks.

      • Gordian knot says:

        All politicians should be limited to two terms, one in office and one in prison.

    • josap says:

      100% THIS.

    • andy says:

      Voting is done with. Please read the news. Congress seats are life appointments.

  6. Reyn Blight says:

    Shouldn’t we (US Gov.) be at least getting stock options for all this bail out money? After 4 years of Trump, aren’t we tired of “heads I win, tails you loose” government assistance?

  7. Sir Eduard R. Dingleberry III says:

    The Fed and Congress are in cahoots on this. Fed has to print money coz Congress doesn’t get elected by saying no. Fed’s goal must be to land somewhere in between Argentina and Japan on the money printing (for their dream of moderate inflation), so they are looking for pet projects like this. Just send them an email: “Need Trillion for Lemonaid Stand.” Might just get a response…

  8. Duane says:

    I’m hopping into a time machine, setting it to the year 1978. Mission; stop the Airline Deregulation Act. But seriously, the economy will not be fully healed until another couple trillion in stimulus pumps stocks up another 25 percent. When you have a financial system as fundamentally sound as ours the sky is the limit.

  9. Mad Dog says:

    The next thing you’re going to see is the airlines taking the bailout money and using it to beef up their freight hauling business and paring passenger service to the bone. Now with Covid they have more incentive than ever to do just that.

    • Trailer Trash says:

      I remember when the railroads did this. US passenger rail service never recovered, while “backwards” China has how many miles of high speed rail?

  10. MonkeyBusiness says:

    As I’ve said multiple times. This country is toast without its stock market. No country in the whole world is more fragile. It’s like the entire financial world is super afraid to see what would happen if stocks were to fall 10%, God forbid if they were to fall 30%, it would wipe out the whole country!!!

  11. Aaron says:

    This issue isn’t a defect in the system. It is a logical result of a monetary and fiscal system where the US issues debt that is purchased with irredeemable debt instruments (for the average citizen who uses them as currency) that the Treasury previously issued to the Federal Reserve System. Truth be told, the only thing that should be surprising is that the number of billions wasn’t higher.

  12. Mad Dog says:

    I lived under the flight path of planes flying into National Airport in Downtown Washington DC. They were so loaded up with freight that they were overweight and in violation of FAA regulations and would face severe fines if they got caught. So they would dump all their excess fuel in mid air just before landing. You could go out onto my front lawn and smell all the toxic gasoline in the air. This was the worst on Sunday evening when Congress came back from their weekend junkets. I made numerous complaint to my Congressman and got zero response. Congress is in the back pocket of the major airlines via campaign donations. The taxpayers and the passengers are the suckers paying the bill.

    • Winder says:

      There is no plane that flies into Reagan that even has the CAPABILITY to dump fuel.

    • C says:

      This is not true!

      • Winder says:

        Look. Only heavies can dump fuel. No heavies allowed at DCA. 35 year airline pilot, I think I know what I’m talking about. Can’t fix stupid.

  13. Mad Dog says:

    Dec 15, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Total BS. The bond market is far more important to the health of the economy than the stock market. If the market dropped 30% nothing would happen except a lot of investors would lose some money. If the bond market dropped that amount it would be a disaster.

    • MonkeyBusiness says:

      You know you could have just hit the Reply button right?

      I actually agree with you that the bond market is more important. But the Robin Hood crowd does not know that, heck most Americans and “investors” don’t know that. Psychologically, a big stock market drop is worse in the minds of most people.

      • RightNYer says:

        Right. For some sick reason, the stock market has become the de facto economy.

      • Mad Dog says:

        I don’t own any stocks or investments that depend on the stock market. Frankly, I don’t give a s$it about the stock market.

    • andy says:

      Hi-yield bonds dropped 25% in just 3 weeks as recently as March. And.. wait for it.. nothing happened.

      • Cas127 says:

        “Nothing happened”

        Well…the Fed *did* leap into action like a clubbing teen on poppers…

        It may have turned out to be almost all talk…but it did beat the interest rate spike into ZIRP-mission.

      • Mad Dog says:

        Hi yield bonds are a hybrid investment that follows the stock market. That’s why I got rid of them. I lost money every time I invested in them, and paid taxes to boot. What a crappy investment. I was greedy and got what I deserved.

  14. Satya Mardelli says:

    The FAA has granted air traffic controllers who have co-morbidities to stay home during the Covid pandemic to protect their life. They are in full pay status receiving full pay (150K) doing absolutely nothing. What is the co-morbidity these government employees have that allow them to participate in this scam? They are fat. That’s right, they’re too fat to work in a closed environment like a radar room or control tower so the controller’s labor union convinced the FAA to let them stay home on full pay.

    It just not airlines and aircraft manufacturers that are on the gravy train. Controllers have their snouts in the public feed trough as well.

    • Paulo says:

      And in Socialist Nirvana free medical with universal coverage Canada….ATC employees work for a private ‘not for profit’ corporation as opposed to the much vaunted free enterprise USA.

      Go figure.

      From Wiki (Nav Canada): The company employs approximately 1,900 air traffic controllers (ATCs), 650[1] flight service specialists (FSSs) and 700 technologists. It has been responsible for the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic in Canadian airspace since November 1, 1996 when the government transferred the ANS from Transport Canada to Nav Canada. As part of the transfer, or privatization, Nav Canada paid the government CA$1.5 billion.[2]

      Nav Canada manages 12 million aircraft movements a year for 40,000 customers in over 18 million square kilometres, making it the world’s second-largest air navigation service provider (ANSP) by traffic volume.[3]

      Nav Canada, which operates independently of any government funding,[3] is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario.[4] It is only allowed to be funded by publicly traded debt and service charges to aircraft operators.

      I almost became a traffic controller about a zillion years ago. Passed all the screening tests, interviews, and was slated for ‘the course’ back in Cornwall Ontario. Instead, I delayed a year as a friend who owned an airline in Yukon needed a driver. Then, a hiring freeze hit and that was the end of that career; finished before I started.

      Good job, though.

      I just thought it was funny that our ATC is private and funded by user fees, and the US system has a trough to rely on.

    • Harrold says:

      There is a reason ATC has to retire at age 55.

  15. LifeSupportSystem4aVote says:

    The US political system has devolved to a state that the only time fiscal restraint/prudence is utilized is when it is used to hurt the opposing party. Other than that, incurred debt is just considered numbers on a chart…

    • andy says:

      ‘.. fiscal restraint/prudence is utilized is when it is used to hurt the opposing UniParty.’

      Fixed it for you.

    • Nathan Dumbrowski says:

      Growing up in the 90s I honestly thought SS and other government programs were going to run out of money. My retirement was all on me to setup and plan for. However, we now all have seen that these were all just fear tactics and stall tactics. When we the US of A needs money we just add more 1’s and 0’s to the electronic cash register. Sad but true

      • RightNYer says:

        That obviously can’t work long-term. And we’re not going to get a warning as to when its time is about to run out.

        • char says:

          Sorry,the economy is not a morality play. It can work in the long run while saving for your old age does not work in the long run because once, twice a century you get war or depression or covid

        • RightNYer says:

          Char, what exactly are you talking about?

        • char says:

          Private pension plans, like saving or buying a house are much less safe than government programs like SS. In the (very) long term SS will explode but before that pension plans will exploded much more often

      • MarkinSF says:

        Growing up in the 70s we all thought the same thing.

        • cas127 says:

          On the day it all ends, it will take no longer than it takes to type a few keystrokes.

  16. Raymond Rogers says:

    Absolutely sickening.

  17. Didn’t McConnell say socialism would never take root in the US? If this bailout is a dressed up {payroll protection} and airline support program then the upcoming evictions are nothing but a voluntary migration, a modern day exodus, and they will get no bailout..

    • roddy6667 says:

      When an industry, or all industries are regulated, taxed, subsidized, and manipulated like they are in the US, it is not much different than government ownership.

  18. char says:

    The airline networks are public transportation just like the NY metro and just as important. You can’t just let them go bankrupt and hope everything will be alright.

    ps. This is the rational reason but we are talking about the highly militaristic USA. You need them to move troupes.

    • andy says:

      You do realize the airlines still operate during bankruptcy?
      Have they not went bankrupt multiple times?

    • Jeremy Wolff says:

      If all the airlines went broke, an enterprising American would say, hmmm, there is a massive opportunity here. And write a business plan and get a loan and start a new airline… In fact, many people would do it. There world would be in the same place in 5 years.

      • Mr. House says:

        Yes but if 2008 should have taught you anything, or even the last two Dem primaries, only the “right” people are allowed to be in charge. Heck if WEF gets its wish with the great reset, only the right people will be allowed to own anything.

      • char says:

        No, not true. To many network and second order effects outside of the fact that the hubs will be different.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Newsflash: Delta, American, United and many others already filed for bankruptcy before, as I pointed out. And it worked just fine. There was zero interruption in service.

      I was flying a lot internationally at the time when Delta filed for bankruptcy. As I said, I never noticed the difference. I kept booking flights, and I kept my frequent flier miles, etc. A chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is a debt restructuring where the creditors get the company, and the old shareholders lose the company. And that’s essentially it. It’s carried out in the courtroom, not on the tarmac.

      • Tanstaafl says:

        I agree. But I guess it’s still cheaper than Wall Street going cold turkey in lieu of free taxpayer’s money.
        The fear of another Lehman Brothers moment ist obviously greater than any concerns about billionaires getting richer. The opposite of trickling down is now shoveling up. Make billionaires rich again.

        • nick kelly says:

          Glad someone mentioned Lehman. Maybe it was the familiar example of US airlines operating smoothly in bankruptcy that caused the US FED make to make its stupidest, most irresponsible and most costly decision EVER: to let Lehman enter bankruptcy.

          Before the cry goes up: ‘let those bankers sink’, you can fire ALL the execs without putting it into bankruptcy.

          Did the Fed think it could keep operating like an airline? Maybe in the US, but in the UK where Lehman had I believe 30K employees, a FINANCIAL co, must cease trading the second it enters BK. So if you were another bank trader who had just sent them 100 million dollars, you were now a creditor not a depositor.

          Soon banks would no longer lend to other banks and the GFC crisis was on. Goldman almost followed, but was quickly made a bank holding co, so it could access Fed funds.
          A week prior, the Fed had tried to get Citi, etc. to take over Lehman but they all wanted Fed financial backstopping.

          The decision to not provide those billions would cost the Fed trillions. This began the era of Fed activism and we’ve never recovered.

        • RightNYer says:

          Nick, if that’s going to be the case, then the banks need to be much more heavily regulated. If they’re too big to fail, they’re too big to exist in their current form.

      • char says:

        They went bankrupt in name. Not in deed.

        Akin to what happen with Air Italia

  19. WES says:

    Maybe the politicians in DC were worried about losing their frequent flyer miles?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      They’re more worried about their shareholdings. Insider trading I believe is legal for them. They can trade in advance of laws being formally proposed.

      • Winston says:

        The STOCK Act of 2012 was supposed to end that, but I wouldn’t doubt that they left themselves loopholes.

        • Correct, Winston, trading ahead of pending legislation that a legislator is privy to is illegal and prosecutable. It is the same as front running trades with inside information on trade bids/asks made on the Comex and on all of the equity exchanges, but many of the big boys have methods to go undetected (and generate a lot of exchange fees!!).

          Once again, we have two sets of laws in this country: a very loosely or ignored set for the Privileged In Power Set, and the enforced to the hilt with fines and possible jail time. THIS HAS GOT TO CHANGE. If it does not, many of us are going to pick and choose what laws we are going to obey!! Good for the Goose, good for the Gander.

  20. Shiloh1 says:


  21. Shiloh1 says:

    I’m tuned into some kid from the western Chicago burbs podcasting about this now.

  22. Ted says:

    If the airlines went bust the airplanes wouldn’t disappear, the airport gates would still be there, hell the pilots wouldn’t go away either. A little paint, some new uniforms, bingo! Wolf Airlines!

    • char says:

      Does not work with a hub & spoke system. Or how a low cost operate. It is not hundred times one route you have to replace but one optimized route system with a big feedback loop

  23. AbstractSyntax says:

    Well played airlines. Pilots on primary routes get serious salaries and benefits– not quite sure why the taxpayer needs to sustain their six figure paychecks when they have about 1/3 of their normal workload right now. Even flight attendants (with seniority) can do shockingly well. And then there are the bond and shareholders…

    This latest bailout curiously leaves a number of other industries to twist in the wind. For example, Disney plans to lay off +30k employees, and no one in Congress bats an eye. Perhaps minimum wage earners are assumed to have sizable nest-eggs, or better job prospects right now.

  24. MonkeyBusiness says:

    A lot of people will be thrown out of their homes and Congress instead bailed out the airlines.

    Revolution just went from 0% probability to 3%.

    • MarkinSF says:

      Man. Aren’t you the optimist

      • MonkeyBusiness says:

        This is Murica, We take it at the back and say thank you for the privilege.

    • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

      I don’t think so. Our fellow Americans are unfortunately too apathetic and uniformed to ever do anything unless their cable TV, fast food, draft beer or NFL is turned off.

      • Trailer Trash says:

        Recent record-high voter turnouts suggest they are not apathetic after all.

        Standing in line for hours to get a box of food, standing in line for hours to vote, standing in line for hours to get a virus test, standing in line for hours to get unemployment checks. I recall that endless queues for everything was a big irritant for former Soviet citizens.

        Dear Leaders should be very afraid of all that standing in lines, ‘cuz peons might start talking to each other instead of hating each other. They might discuss more than just the weather…

  25. timbers says:

    “Democrats and Republicans may not agree on much of anything these days…”


    Democrats and Republicans agree on tax cuts for the rich, corporations, cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, reducing wages for Americans, massive subsidies to rich gigantic corporations like
    FakeBook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, monopoly drug pricing for Big Pharma subsidized by US tax dollars that pays for they patents, importing cheap foreign labor, bailouts for Wall Street, airlines, Wars in Iraq Afghanistan Libya Syria Yemen Somalia China Russia Venezuela Iran Crimea Ukraine North Korea…well I or any one on Planet Earth could go on and one and on and on…but one just can’t no can one?

  26. Choose:
    — Be too big to fail, like the government. or
    — Be too small to succeed, like commoners,
    squatting on the streets, sick and dirty.

  27. SpencerG says:

    I appreciate the point about airlines shouldn’t be the special beneficiary of taxpayer bailouts. But I think the argument that $45 billion was misspent on stock buybacks by four companies over eight years is pretty weak. Stock buybacks are a means of rewarding shareholders in a tax friendly manner. Dividends are (often) taxed as ordinary income while increased stock prices are taxed at the lower Capital Gains rate… to say nothing of the control a shareholder has over when they sell a stock and take the tax.

    I have been following Delta Airlines for the past five years or so and I can only say how impressed that I was with their debt reduction program over that time frame. They went from $15.25 billion in Long Term Debt at the end of 2010 to just 7.3 billion at the end of 2016. It started to rise again in 2017 as they used their better credit rating to borrow money and catch up on their pension plan obligations… a move that paid off bigly when the stock market took off that year. Delta went from the second worst underfunded pension in the S&P 500 (with a 10 billion dollar deficit) in 2016 to one of the better funded plans at the end of 2019 (75% funded with only a five billion dollar deficit).

    It is hard to argue that Delta’s management wasted money. They fixed their underfunded pension plans AND wiped out so much debt that they got an investment-grade credit rating from all three corporate credit rating agencies… absolutely unheard of in the volatile airline industry. Only then did they start upgrading their airplane fleet.

    But if you are a shareholder… it gets hard to sing Hooray! when you see ALL the profits of the company you invested in going to bondholders, employees, and pension plans. So Delta’s stock withered on the vine for years… stuck in a trading range of $35 to $60 since December of 2013 even WITH eleven billion in stock buybacks.

    I don’t follow the other airlines closely enough to know what they did. Some went for new aircraft before Delta did in order to take advantage of historically low interest rates. But it is hard to fault them for that.

    My point in all of this is that it is hard to blame the airline management teams (particularly Delta) for not foreseeing that THIS would be the year of a once a century pandemic. Paying down debt, fixing their pensions, upgrading their fleets, AND rewarding investors is what we WANT airline management teams to do. Far from “wasting money” over the past eight years, they seem to have been spending their profits wisely… although you could make a pretty good argument that dividends would have been better than stock buybacks at holding the share price up even if investors prefer the latter.

    • dr spock says:

      Is it better to declare bankruptcy like Delta did in 2005 and let the stockholders , bondholders, and its older pilots and other workers lose their higher pay and pensions or give the airlines bailouts? That is the question. Which one is capitalism? Was it a good idea for the airlines to fly during the Thanksgiving and now the Christmas holidays along with bailouts? Start getting use to the words “global economy” again.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Share buybacks have been legal in the US since 1982. So airlines did them, they borrowed money and used those funds to buy back their own shares. Now they have this debt from those share buybacks, and there is a crisis, and they’re wanting those same shareholders that benefited from share buybacks to get bailed out by the taxpayer.

      No!!! Bankruptcy should be the solution, and those shareholders that benefited from the share buybacks need to pay the price for taking that risk of those share buybacks and get wiped out. Capitalist lesson learned.

      • monday1929 says:

        Whenever I begin to doubt you Wolf, you always come through with some moral consistency.

      • SpencerG says:

        I understand that Stock Buybacks only became legal in 1982. The question is… so what? Corporate management has a fiduciary responsibility to SHAREHOLDERS to maximize stock value. If Delta’s management thought share buybacks was the most useful tool for achieving that goal (vice increasing dividends massively)… then it is hard to fault them for using them since they had no way of knowing that a once a century pandemic was about to strike instead of a once a two-century pandemic. The shareholders who took a risk on buying these companies out of bankruptcy deserve SOME return on their investment when the companies are profitable.

        Moreover, is it really correct to say that they borrowed money to fund the buybacks? It seems to me that they rolled over long-term debt on their capital assets while using profits to fund the buybacks. As I showed… long term debt at Delta is down by half since 2013 while the company’s fleet of planes has been reduced in age and the revenues have increased 33%.

        If we want to fault Congress for creating a less than perfect capitalist model…fine. Personally I have bigger complaints about that model than Stock Buybacks… but you can ride that Hobby Horse if you like. If we want to criticize Congress for spending three percent of the pandemic bailout money on airlines… have at it. But remember that in a perfect capitalist model Congress wouldn’t have bailed out ANYBODY in the wake of this pandemic. We could ALL be declaring bankruptcy.

        As the saying goes, “Hindsight is 20/20″… the Airline leadership was doing pretty well for most of the 2010s in fixing the problems of the industry. And let’s face it, Congress did a pretty good job of saving the economy with their first COVID Stimulus Bill.

  28. Double Bluff says:

    Airports should be closed for the holidays to reduce virus spread. Or is airline revenue more important than saving lives?

    • josap says:

      The money is always the most important, always. Regardless of the type of business.

      • Sam says:

        “The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.” ― Terry Pratchett, Jingo

  29. historicus says:

    “Amtrak in the air” will be the final final.
    Regarding stock buy backs followed by black swan events necessitating bailouts….

    There must be some type of window where claw backs should be in conjunction with the bailouts. A 5 year window, monies in escrow or some other arrangement, where in the bailout taps into this sequestered pot of money set aside by the company. Hit and run stock buy backs to kick in executive stock options must come with a condition and a consequence… no bailouts…unless certain parameters are met.

  30. dr spock says:

    In other news,

    • Harrold says:

      Big deal, the Catholic Church received $2 billion.

      Even the Scientologist ended up with $200,000.

      • dr spock says:

        How much did the synagogues receive?

        Up to 4.4 million per church or synagogue?? Or more??

        Let’s face it. A lot more than what we’ve been told has been doled out by the fed. Economics is harder than we think or as Yogi use to say: It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.

    • Trailer Trash says:

      Osteen preaches we just need to pray for money and it will fall from the sky. Looks like he was right.

  31. DR DOOM says:

    Airline bail-outs, 1100+ P.E. For Tsla, IPO’s in 100’s of billions for companies losing money, etc,etc ad-nausem are all part of the bigger picture of the death of the fiat dollar. The lack of economic value due to productivity in any real since is always paralyzed by end stage fiat and its hand maiden ,de-basement. DXY started at 103 in March and is now 90.22 .We are drowning in fiat and this article is describing the water.

    • Trailer Trash says:

      It’s good to know about water; that makes it easier to survive a flood. If one knows the signs of rising water, moving to higher ground in time is also good.

      Many of my neighbors and their farming operations were swept away by the economic catastrophes of the 1980s. I definitely want to know when the water is rising.

      It’s just about time to start loading the Ark…

  32. Andrew Coventry says:

    They should issue $17B worth of shares to be distributed equally to all U S taxpayers.

  33. The airlines as well as the cruise lines as well as the hospitality industry are going to have to downsize as they see their markets shrink significantly in the months and years ahead. I had to belly laugh when analysts forecast a V-shaped recovery for the U.S. economy and these very Covid-affected industries.

    We were very late cycle in the 2009 moribund economic “recovery”, which was one of the weakest recoveries in U.S. history to begin with. The Marginal Utility of Debt in this debt saturated country only translates to about 30 cents of new GDP for every $1 of new debt thrown at it because the system has debt service out the gazo to begin with. Even if you give me this debt for rates well below the Man-on-the-street inflation rate (pick any number much higher than 2%) , I still have to amortize it and pay you principal each and every month unless it is a killer balloon loan. Income growth has not matched the growth in debt in this Banana Republic Country (love banana bread).

    It won’t be just because of Covid or any other bug exposure, it will also be because Americans will not have as much discretionary income as they have had in the past. Taxes will undoubted go up at all levels due to Governments’ abject resistance to downsizing its own operations at the beginning of a downturn; taxing us Proletariats more is much easier than biting the bullet.

    We are also going to have higher inflation to fight to make ends meet. A country printing money to buy its own debt and to bail out Wall Street, the Greenspan Put of yore, still very alive, will create an Excess Demand environment where we will have higher prices, esp. from imported goods (which we Love!). Not a pretty picture.

    I agree 100% with Wolf. NOT THE TAXPAYERS’ RESPONSIBILITY TO BAIL OUT INVESTORS IN FAILING INDUSTRIES’ STOCKS AND BONDS. Investing is all about managing risk. Man up, airline investors. You are eventually going to get a haircut that actually hurts!!! Congress just delaying the inevitable in the world we face going into 2021 and beyond. The Grinch.

    • char says:

      Government downsizing at the start of the epidemic would be the dumbest thing possible. In fact they should have spend more. Macro economics is simply not the same as micro economics. And inflation is good in a situation like this. Remember all money is debt and most debt is owned by the central bank. So everybody that is not central bank has in total much more debt than money

  34. Matt says:

    When will the everything bubble burst

    • Matt, I think we are very much in the 9th inning. January should prove to be very cold on Wall Street.

      • Tom S. says:

        My parents and their financial advisor are convinced next year will be the beginning of the new roaring 20s.

        So, yes, it does feel like the 9th inning, doesn’t it.

    • Heinz says:

      “When will the everything bubble burst …”

      When you least expect it. Period.

      Since it has been postponed by hook and crook for so long I believe our long anticipated reset/correction will be the mother of all financial calamities.

      I’ve taken to wearing both a belt and suspenders figuratively during these ‘interesting’ and unparalleled times.

    • c1ue says:

      Not until a credible alternative to the USD is found. Or we hit $100T deficit.
      It is around that number where the cumulative impact on the ginormous USD float will be visible to the foreigners.
      I am fairly certain it will be the former though.

      • RightNYer says:

        I don’t think there has to be a credible “replacement.” It can be a mix of assets, including precious metals or crypto.

  35. Crush the Peasants! says:

    Given the above, under what circumstances, if any, could interest rates rise?

  36. I just wonder why do we spend so much time on airlines (maybe the 737?) and not the BANKS which are far more important and in far deeper debt to government and their overseers at the Fed. Pre 2007 my broker asked me why I didn’t own any financial stocks? I said, I don’t know how they make their money. I called him during GFC and said, see I was right, I didn’t know how they were making their money!

  37. Ron says:

    Simple Simon,s this is about Boeing airlines go away boeing bankrupt half of company is government defense no weapons chinas slaves

    • Sam says:

      BA’s revenue streams: 15% is Comm. aircraft, 85% is military & satellite/intelligence (w/emerging data analytics) contracts.

      C (Comac) 919 [older gen 737 knockoff) is so far behind the operational curve as to be deemed irrelevant.
      Comac = “dumpster fire of an organization*”

      Source: Scott Kennedy* [DC thinktank report]

      • char says:

        Calling a C919 a 737 knock-off is not real. Thy don’t look like the same plane outside that a car has a steering wheel and 4 wheels. But it is not surprising to hear this from a thinktank. They write what the payer wants to hear.

        • Sam says:

          Thinktank report did not term C919 a “knockoff”.
          That premise came from acquaintances who drive variations of 737’s and A320’s.
          I respect their abilities/knowledge and type ratings.

  38. FatManCometh says:

    This is not an airline bailout – it is a Wall Street bailout. It is bailing out the off-balance sheet operating leases.

  39. LouisDeLaSmart says:

    My mom is in a COVID team, and said that some (I don’t have percentage or knowledge of precondition) patients , once no longer considered infected, are redirected to other wards due to pancreatic, liver, kidney and heart problems. In other words, once this mess is over, the long term consequences of the virus will result in a significant debt increase for the affected patients. It is my opinion that these people should be bailed out, and their medical expenses pardoned. Now that would be a true BAILOUT! Everything else is just a subsedee to industries that have fallen a long time before this virus ever came to haunt us.

    • Trailer Trash says:

      The Long Covid people will be thrown under the bus, treated with contempt, and denied benefits, just like so many other chronic illness people. In the US, it is Work Or Starve.

      It is permitted to be sick for a week or two. After that, the ill person is judged to be morally deficient, a lazy slacker to be denied access to resources.

      Long Covid people are already reporting that doctors are telling them that they are just anxious and afraid of exercise. Instead of being allowed to rest and convalesce, they are being pushed to exercise.

      Many Long Covid people may be developing myalgic encephalomyelitis (the original name for “chronic fatigue syndrome”). If they are, then forced exercise is absolutely the worst “treatment” they can try, as the hallmark of ME is “post exertional malaise”, i.e., relapse brought on by even trivial amounts of physical, cognitive, or emotional activity.

      It is simply stunning that Dear Leaders have failed to stop the virus, succeeded to wreck the economy, killed tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands more may be severely impaired for the rest of their lives.

    • Patients hospitalized with Covid should not have trouble proving disability. I wonder about those were weren’t. Like many things, say Agent Orange, (for which the US government was 100% responsible) fighting for help has become a lifetimes work.

  40. Lawefa says:

    Bailouts like this can only be classified as criminal behavior. There is no bbn other logic to this nonsense.

  41. Beardawg says:

    $350K taypayer-funded pilot buyouts. My local Chop house closed 4 months ago due to COVID and 10 Servers used to earn $40K+/- annually. Why don’t they get $100K+/- severance packages?

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