Reading up on the subject can be illuminating. One of the best examples of the Ex-Im Bank’s cronyism is its relationship with airplane manufacturer Boeing. During Fiscal Year 2012, the Ex-Im Bank authorized $14.7 billion in loan guarantees and direct financial aid. Of that total, 82.7 percent, or $12.2 billion, went directly to one company: Boeing. How and why did a company that raked in nearly $70 billion in revenue in 2011 receive so much additional assistance from a federal agency? One need only think back to where that money comes from: the bank’s much heralded Advisory Committee.
A recent press release announcing the 2013 Ex-Im Bank Advisory Committee notes that this year’s board includes Christine Gregoire, governor of Washington, where Boeing is based, and Owen Herrnstadt, the director of trade and globalization for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers IAMAW, the main union that engages in bargaining with Boeing and represents millions of its workers. Add to that the fact that President Obama’s export czar Jim McNerney is actually Boeing’s chief executive officer, and it’s a wonder that 100 percent of the bank’s funds didn’t flow directly to the massive corporation.