The Airbus meltdown keeps getting better. Or maybe worse. It depends what you're rooting for.
If there’s one thing French history teaches us it is: don’t become the focus of “vitriolic exchanges” in the French National Assembly. And if we were Noël Forgeard we’d start to worry that about that vaguely familiar scaffold and steel structure being built up outside* the offices of EADS, the 80% parent of the troubled Airbus plane-maker. Forgeard is co-chief executive of EADS.
More after the jump.
Socialist leader François Hollande today demanded that the government publicly declare its position on Forgeard. During the exchange, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin accused the Socialist leader of cowardice, prompting a walk-out of socialist ministers (presumably to apprehend Forgeard and strap him beneath a heavy blade.)**
Yesterday, while Forgeard defended himself in a meeting with other top EADS executives and board members, investigators from France’s stock market regulatory agency searched Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France as part of an insider-trading inquiry related to earlier privy to inside information when he sold EADS shares in March.
Even the good news is bad news for Forgeard. First piece of good/bad news: EADS is denying its German bosses are demanding Forgeard step down. When you have to publicly deny your board members are trying to throw you out of the executive office, well, it might be time to dust off the resume. Second piece of good/bad news: EADS’s stock price is up. On rumors that Forgeard will be forced to go.
Forgeard on brink as political allies waver [Financial Times on MSNBC]
* Not really. Come on. Just because they are French doesn’t mean they’ll really lop off his head. Right?
** Again: not really. We just got carried away with the metaphor.