Boeing's 787 Dreamliner has thus far been a financial nightmare. Photo courtesy Boeing.

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner has thus far been a financial nightmare. Photo courtesy Boeing.

Boeing’s 100th year is off to a bad start. Share prices dipped 17 percent in January, and things took a worse turn this week. On Wednesday, Boeing announced a sweeping cost-cutting measure that will include job cuts, starting with managers and executives. The trims are an attempt to bring costs more in line with those of Airbus, whose midsize A321neo plane is a worry for Boeing.

A day later, news broke that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Boeing’s accounting of sales and costs associated with its 787 and 747 planes. Aerospace accountants spread the upfront costs of building planes over a period of decades, which forces companies to estimate future costs and sales. The SEC, reportedly tipped off by a whistleblower, will determine if Boeing’s forecasts were overly optimistic, thus misleading shareholders.

All this bad news leaves Boeing shares at their lowest prices since 2013, and likely signals a further drop in its Washington headcount, which has fallen by nearly 8,000 since 2012.


Transpo woes

Eastside drivers are upset with the Interstate 405 tolls, and the news that toll revenue has been nearly four times what was expected surely adds to the rancor. The state raked in some $3.7 million in the first three months of the program, far more than the expected $1 million. Demand for a speedier commute has caused the tolls to jump to $10, which at least 30,000 people feel is way too much.

Those who don’t like clogged freeways might have another option: the revival of the Mosquito Fleet ferry system. For $5.25, folks could travel from Kirkland to the UW by boat. One problem, though — the ferry system would probably be a money pit.

At least Lynn Peterson doesn’t have to deal with these headaches.


Ballmer’s still all about devices

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Photo by Rain Rannu / Flickr

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Photo by Rain Rannu / Flickr

In a wide-ranging interview with Business Insider, former Microsoft CEO and current Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer sparked a little déjà vu. Take it away, Steve:

“And (Microsoft) really has to chart a direction in mobile devices. Because if you’re going to be mobile-first, cloud-first you really do need to have a sense of what you’re doing in mobile devices. I had put the company on a path. The board as I was leaving took the company on a path by buying Nokia, they kind of went ahead with that after I told them I was going to go. The company, between me and the board, had taken that sort of view. Satya, he’s certainly changed that. He needs to have a clear path forward. But I’m sure he’ll get there.”


Elsewhere on the Web

Microsoft’s employee philanthropy campaign benefited nonprofits to the tune of $125 million.

The value of state exports fell for the first time since 2009.

Thinking of starting a company? Keep your day job.

Google’s reportedly building a VR headset that doesn’t require you be tethered to a PC.

Puget Sound Energy estimates it will cost up to $200 million to shut down and clean up its share of the Colstrip coal-burning power plant.