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News out there than ever before but these days it's harder than ever to find it and to know what to trust axios. AM takes effort out of getting smart by synthesizing the ten stories. That will drive the day. And telling you I they matter subscribe at sign up dot axios COZ DOT COM and now back to the podcast. We're joined now by pilot and aviation expert Jeff Wise so jeff. Let's start here a while back Jack earlier this year you made the argument. That even if Boeing was correct and could get the Max seven thirty sevens back online by year end. It might might not be worth it. Given what we know. Now has Boeing made a mistake continuing this line of planes. I mean it definitely looks worse now than it did back then. The frustrating thing about the saga is that the anticipated return to service just keeps receding into the midst the further long ago the more it gets pushed back and push back and push back. I A interpret yesterday's announcement that they're going to suspend production to indicate that Boeing themselves. Don't really see an end in sight. I mean if they really thought that this plane was going to be back in the air her in February or March last we heard they had something like five thousand orders for these plants that would make sense to just keep building them. You know waited out. The plane gets approved and a couple of months. It's back in the air. All these plans that are sitting on the ground can fly and Boeing can get the money but the fact that they've decided to stop means that this isn't maybe just a temporary very glitch that this is really a deep-seated problem and listen. I don't know what Boeing knows. Nobody does but this is a bad sign. Only has said repeatedly and everything. We've heard it is that this is a software problem. This is not a hardware equipment problem. Do you still by that. And if it's just a software problem and if they haven't been able to fix it by now we're what nine months into this does this potentially mean that's not fixable software problem in other words you simply. This kind of plane cannot avoid potential catastrophes that we had in March a little bit disingenuous. ingenuous to say that it's a software problem. It's a software problem in a system that was designed to make up for a fundamental hardware problem which is at the airframe that they designed is dynamically unstable stable that if it enters certain modes it will tend to pitch up in a potentially catastrophic way. So they've built basically unsound plane and the the fact that they tried to patch it with this automated system that famous M s they were so sure would work well that they didn't even need to tell pilots about it and then it turned out that this was a potentially deadly system that would itself take control the planet pitch it into the ground and yet the noises they made it. I were to the effect of. Oh it's a software. Glitch will patch. We'll fix it and everything will be fine clearly. The problem has proven to be more intractable than that chance of your question. Maybe it is a inherently intractable problem. Meaning this whole Oh concept is unsound is there any reason to believe. And I've heard this call them. Boeing apologised that the FAA kind of feels burned by the fact that it. Okay this plan in the first place and then it's over correcting take this time that indeed Boeing's arguably may be fixed the problem but the FAA is not just trying to certify safety the way it normally would but that it is going above and above and beyond almost to the point of even reasonableness. Is there any reason to buy that argument. I don't think there's any evidence that the FAA or Boeing has been to prudent in the handling of this matter. We have hundreds live dead people as a result of some really bad decision. Making the people who made those decisions are still in their jobs and you know last month the CEO and the Chairman Chairman of the board of Boeing went out and made these speeches. And it's sad for interviews and basically said look we're on track everything's okay trust us. Trust is an essential commodity when it comes to air travel. And it's a commodity that has allowed Boeing to become a behemoth and to become a world leader in the making passenger airplanes but it is a commodity that it has burned through rapidly in twenty nineteen and it is in very short supply right now and clearly regulators and airlines have reached the limit of their patients. And I think that they can't be too prudent at this point because they need to really earn their trust back just as a pilot pilot. Let's assume for a minute that suddenly production starts again because the FAA signals that they're going to allow this to begin. How as a pilot? Do you get comfortable getting behind the controls roles and taking off in one of these plans. I think it probably isn't really pilots. I mean pilots are used to a certain degree of risk. And we get in there. I fly light. Planes were were the element of risk is like orders of magnitude higher than commercial planes. I think your average airline pilot commercial airline pilot is going to get in this plane and feel like I. I know what the risk is. I know how to handle it if things turn south. It's the passengers. It's the passengers who have to be made comfortable and their guesses is much much higher in in the end. We're as I said we're you know we're nine months into this at this point. Do you think if we if you and I are having this conversation. Next December a year from now are seven thirty-seven maxes flying. The unthinkable is a lot more thinkable now and I can't say that that is I wouldn't predict it. That is going to be the case. I wouldn't have never predicted and I as you pointed out at the top. I think I rank among the more skeptical about two seven three seven Max back in March and April but even I never thought that it would be December and we still wouldn't in have a firm sense of when things really get back in the air and as I say the return to service is a ever receding thing you know it just gets further and further away the further long ago. So I mean at this point I would say it's it's much more possible. That scenario could play out than I ever would have thought and finally you made the comment. I made it in the open. The people a lot of the people responsible for this Lisa. The senior levels of management are still in their jobs which which is remarkable given how quickly. CEO's fire for all sorts of other things from your perspective respective Lemberg. The right person. Still be leading Boeing. I mean from my perspective. It's shocking to me. Actually and yet bong has gotten a lot of criticism for in the to ask for years shifting. Its emphasis from aircraft engineering to financial engineering. They've been pouring billions into share buybacks and dividends not spending a lot on our in development of new aircraft. And this is the result. Okay you've got a plane that is just demonstrably unsafe and yet you share price. It's really really high people. It's gotten a lot of one hundred bucks less than it was in March fourth. I think before the first crash twenty five percent off their historic highs as you say but still more than twice what they were when the seven three seven. Max I flew in two thousand sixteen so if you look at the chart actually still really high. Maybe Their Strategy Ritchie is not what we think I mean their if their strategy is to boost share price. They're actually doing a really good job. Almost Jeff Wise Aviation expert and the author of the book the plane. That wasn't their final two right. After this AXIOS chief technology correspondent Lena free shares breaking news and analysis on the most consequential. It's a quinto companies and players in tech from the valley to DC subscribed to get smarter faster at sign up dot axios Dot Com and now back to the program. PODCAST never my final. Two and first up are the Democrats who will indeed hold their next presidential debate. This Thursday at Loyola Marymount University listening now. That might sound obvious given that the debate was announced months ago but the whole thing had been threatened by a labor dispute between around one. Hundred fifty unionized food service workers at the school rule in the French company that employs them called Sedan exo now all of the participating Democratic candidates had threatened to boycott if the impasse wasn't fixed and that was no empty threat right but as of this morning Paul's well that ends well and finally today's pro rata newsletter included a whopping twenty three venture capital deal announcements totaling over one one point one billion dollars investment and since hitting publish. I've seen a bunch of other ones. Hit My inbox. Why that matters? Is that back in October. There was all sorts of pundit and social media chatter that the venture capital party was over due to the we work the buckle and Softbank struggles to raise over one hundred billion dollars for its Second Vision Fund but those concerns were really overblown as we've seen from these deals and there are three main reasons first. Global interest rates are still low very low record low and that drives investors search for yield or above benchmark returns which is something the venture capital can at least theoretically provide second the bull market in public stocks continues so when a pension system system has say a three percent allocation venture capital the actual dollars represented by that percentage has gotten larger and third. They're keeping large. IPO's and in corporate sales like Intel yesterday paying two billion dollars for an AI. Chip Startup called Havana. Labs those returns keep money flowing into VC funds and also let's VC's themselves elves recycle some of it for new investments. And we're done big. Thanks for listening to my producers Tim Shoulders and they only shaven have a great national Maple Syrup Day. And we'll be back tomorrow with another pro rata podcast..