Yes, yesterday was fun for several reasons, not in the least that some people (referring to themselves as a member of the Anony Mouse population) are in the misgiven idea that I could be Mr Theodore Raitor. Nothing could be further from the truth!
In the First
In the first the arms industry is a business. I did not make it that way, the American did that during the Vietnam war. They made it a business and less than a dozen boards of directors took home billions in all kinds of manners. I am not opposing that, I am not offering another view, I could but there is some wisdom in taking that route, it comes with successes and it also comes with failures.
In the second
Following the first, I have at all times the direct believe that ANY sovereign nation is allowed its ability to defend itself, that includes Middle East and Far East Nations. The ability to arm and defend itself should be open to any nation. The Belgium Fabrique National in Herstal founded itself on that premise and for them in the 80’s (optionally 90’s as well) business was good, really good.
These two rules are there out in the open, the media tends to not report on that side of it all. You see the media relies on ‘click bitches’ and their reporting is centred around that premise. National defence is a well trusted stage for emotional reporting and I am not objecting to that, they merely made a choice. Thats also where I drew the line to failure. Ford created the Edsel and for 3 years they tried that but after year 3 they stopped it, their losses came down to what would now be regarded as a $2 billion loss. They quietly let this failure die, which is what they were allowed to do and yes, we all (the older people) make jokes on it and Hollywood added to that in Peggy Sue got Married. It was all good. Now we see that the Lockheed Martin boys (girls also) are trying to continue their stage after making an investment well over 1000 times and they want it to continue. Losses a thousand times bigger than Ford had, is anyone seeing that marker? Now it is up to Lockheed Martin to do whatever they need to do, because it is their right (and other people’s money) and that is the larger stage, the US taxpayer is paying for that failure.
For me there is a simple setting. There is a customer (the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) that has a right to defend itself, so I would happily sell them the BAE Typhoon, but there the UK cut themselves when we see the CAAT (Campaign Against Arms Trade) with all these grannies with signs telling the UK government that Saudi Arabia is evil, it cannot have weapons, but they do not hold that candle up to Iran who is funding Houthi attacks on civilian populations. So there is an alternative, China has an alternative. And even if that makes me a really well paid courier. I am willing to ferry those papers between buyer A and seller B. Yes, I agree that getting 3.75% out of $11,000,000,000 is a bit much, but I never made those rules, did I? The US and their business enterprises did that. I merely saw the ball falling and I decided to pick it up. China is not in a war with Australia, the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group is a respectable defence ability offerer (most usual to China) and the US has a lemon, so there is nothing wrong and those trying to create click bitches need to consider that I never made any of these rules, I merely use the rules of the game to get a job and to get a decent payment. If the KSA decides that I cannot have the $412,500,000 and that I am only allowed $50,000,000 I will not be upset (optionally a little disappointed), but that is any mouse who gets the slice of cheese and not the cheese wheel in a building filled with cheese wheels.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a right to get defence materials and the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group has a right to sell them to anyone their government is not at war with. These are not my rules, the Americans did that and they stood by whilst the Taliban ended with over 8 billion in American hardware and they also did close to nothing when ISIS got their hands on more American Toyota 4 wheel drives then can be found in Guttenberg, New York. So there!
Do I stand a chance? Not really, but the fact that I am willing to do business where there is business also implies that there are other players and as a former NATO boy, I rather see these funds go to China then to Russia with their Sukhoi Su-57 or their new puppy the Checkmate. This is the consequence of making defence a business, its all good and overpaid fun until someone creates a lemon. A lemon one that costs the taxpayer $2,300,000,000,000. Are you awake? Can you see the cost of one article (read: lemon) currently equals the total debt of Germany?
Do I want in? Absolutely! This one deal could make me more money than half a century of day to day slaving, it is like getting the golden lottery ticket and this really pays off!
Is it bad for Lockheed Martin? Yes it is, like Ford with their Edsel, all failure is shared, but it could result in a big win, you merely have to watch Nintendo who turned their WiiU failure into a homerun success (Nintendo Switch), I personally see the Lockheed Failure in the same way as we see failures from Microsoft. Too many politicians who ignore the core business and try to steer towards the Fata Morgana of mountains of gold on the horizon, when you do that you merely steer from failure to failure and the defence players better catch on quick. You see the buyers are not interested in hype creating marketeers, they want results and Lockheed Martin is not delivering that and whilst we speculate that the media is taking notes from speculative stakeholders, the buyer in the end is a defence industry who is not interested in marketing, they have a clear goal, not a fictive on on the horizon and that is one ferry I am happy to board (with permission of its captain). It is the direct result of a labour force who is all in touch with feelings and not in line with expected needs and KPI sessions. So yes, yesterday was fun for more than one reason and it could end up being a whole lot more fun if I do get that job.