Is Boeing Headed for a Buffett Bailout? Activists Call for CEO’s Removal

In the corporate realm, history often repeats itself, manifesting in cyclical downturns of companies that overlook its timeless lessons. As a non-shareholder in Boeing (BA), it remains imperative to monitor current developments and grasp their potential repercussions on investments by delving into historical contexts.

The Boeing Historical Echoes of General Electric

During Jeffrey Immelt‘s tenure as CEO of General Electric (GE), ambitious expansions, notably within GE Capital, left the company vulnerable to the 2008 financial crisis, significantly impacting its profitability. Immelt’s strategy, characterized by major acquisitions like Alstom’s power business and divestitures aimed at refocusing GE on digital industrial innovation, failed to yield expected returns and resulted in substantial debt accumulation.

Strategic missteps, coupled with a downturn in GE’s core financial services during the crisis and leadership controversies, precipitated a sharp decline in stock value and undermined shareholder confidence, eclipsing Immelt’s vision of transforming GE into a digital industrial leader. To address liquidity shortages, GE secured a $139 billion FDIC loan guarantee through the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program in October 2008.

As an investor, the General Electric loan raised concerns, underscoring the susceptibility of large corporations to global financial crises. GE Capital’s exposure to industrial real estate and subprime mortgages left it vulnerable during the 2008 financial turmoil, revealing the pitfalls of GE’s financial services strategy.

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The government-backed safety measure was pivotal in restoring GE Capital’s stability and regaining investor and client trust. In October 2008, GE raised $15 billion through stock sales, with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway contributing an additional $3 billion. Larry Culp’s subsequent transformation of GE has been remarkable, yet it’s undeniable that GE was salvaged rather than fully revived, with billions of dollars in shareholder value lost.

Government intervention was primarily driven by the systemic risk posed by GE’s potential collapse to the broader economy. GE Capital’s deep integration within the financial system, offering critical financial services such as commercial lending and leasing, underscored the urgency of the intervention.


Allen holds a Master's degree in English Literature and boasts seven years of experience as a content writer. Specializing in Entertainment, Sports, and the latest news, he excels in crafting compelling narratives that captivate audiences. Allen's expertise in language and storytelling ensures that his content is both informative and engaging.

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