I have seen many topics on this forum about how the influence of private interests has made a mess in Washington. If the below article is to be believed, Airbus is an example of how government interests can make a mess of a private company (and in a case like this, I use the term "private" loosely). http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/fn/4652219.html I don't think the author is entirely unbiased, and I don't agree with his overwhelming pessimism on the outlook of Airbus, but I do think his facts are correct: -engineers in Germany did not use the same software as their French counterparts, causing a two-year delay in the A380, order cancellations, massive monetary losses, plant closures, workforce cuts and sparking an international blame game -at one point early in the history of Airbus, French prime minister Lionel Jospin threatened to block the merger of two firms in the consortium unless the French government was allowed to buy a 15 percent stake -DaimlerChrysler representatives blocked CEO Louis Gallois' proposals, demanding that Germany get a larger workshare on the A350, forcing Gallois to cancel movement of wing work from Germany to Britain (which would have cut costs) and making it up to Britain by retention of British production that would have been moved to cheaper suppliers -Gallois also caved to German pressure to open a second A320 line in Hamburg, decreasing production efficiency -the current French presidential race has generated "hands-on" rhetoric from both Royal and Sarkozy, angering DaimlerChrysler, which had sold a stake to France only after the assurance that French politics would not result in strategic decisions -Noël Forgeard, CEO of Airbus during the wiring problems, was once Jacques Chirac's political advisor; Chirac backed Forgeard during the wiring upheaval Overall, it seems that no new idea can go forward without consultation with all the national interests (French, British, German and Spanish, among others). According to Jean Pierson, former CEO of Airbus, this proved workable when the company was not centralized, where one partner could not "hold out" for long in a confrontation with the other three. The movement to a single company, however, now necessitates that decisions must balance the needs of the partner countries. Before, a partner stood to lose the most if it confronted the consortium. Today, the whole company loses. What are your thoughts on the Airbus fiasco? Was it a mistake to tie together the economic, political and nationalist ambitions of four countries?