Up, Up, and Away

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The week closed out with another gargantuan, multi-billion $ cash-fest for any airline that wanted it. Not surprisingly, the prior countless billions were pledged in exchange for airlines not laying off people through October 1st. On October 2nd, the airlines held up a gun to D.C.’s temple and said they’d pull the trigger if they didn’t get another monster bailout.

Here are nine public airlines; I have positions in none of these. I am simply nauseated that we have an entire sector of zombie corporations supported by nothing but government handouts.

If you’re wondering why I’ve got such a bug up my ass about this, it’s because, for years, airlines spent virtually all their free cash flow on buying back their own stock. Instead of saving for the proverbial rainy day (like, umm, now), they were enriching their executives and their shareholders with tens of billions of dollars of buybacks. That way, when they desperately need cash, they can just hold the public and knifepoint and demand it.