Dubai Debt Threatens Boeing

Dubai, the very picture of modesty and moderation, feels the credit crunch.
Have global economy. Have global economic problems.

Boeing's recent move to South Carolina may have saved the jet-maker a couple bucks on non-union labor. But it looks like that money might be needed immediately now that the Middle East's Disnelyand-for-the-rich appears to be dead broke.

Dubai just asked for a six-month IOU on a $60 billion debt. News that's troublesome for a host of global companies, including the one that makes planes all those other global companies use to get around.

According to Business Week's Carol Matlack, Dubai's airline Emirates has about $4 billion of Boeing 777ss on order. Counting the other back-logs from low-cost carriers in the country, Boeing has about $20 billion riding on the hopes that Dubai can pay back its bills.

Bad news for Boeing, considering the most likely result of Dubai's debt crisis is a bail-out from oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi. A move which would likely mean no new orders, along with an emptying of the country's well-stocked shopping cart.

The only good news out of this mess: Boeing isn't the only jet-maker feeling the credit crunch. Its biggest competitor, Airbus, has over $40 billion in unlikely-to-be-filled aircraft orders too.

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