I am a political economist studying innovation, industry, and international security. Since September 2001, I have been advising industries and ministries on their issues of strategy, planning, and policy. My work aims to inform investors, industrialists, technologists, and policy-makers on how to effect, economically, a secure future.

Recent Articles

« Enough with the multipliers. | Main | A Few More Thoughts on Bailing Out Defense Contractors »

13 April 2021

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Interesting article, as I expect from you.

I was surprised that you didn’t mention/consider second order effects. The (often reasonable) expectation of some form of bailout incentivizes risk-taking, which increases the probability that some form of bailout will be required.

There is an alternative to bailout, which is buyout. I’m not in favor of government production in general, but the threat of buyout (in special cases) might both mitigate concerns about the industrial base and counter incentives for industry that might otherwise seek to “gamble for redemption.”

Re: government ownership: I don’t see evidence firms like Fincantieri (50% Italian government owned) are less profitable/efficient than fully private-owned peers. Do you have any insight into that?

Seth! Great to hear from you. Thanks for the comment. I will follow up in these pages later.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Accolades

  • Read only the first few pages. The clarity and eloquence of them is highly unusual. Extremely un-boring. Everything that one does not need to know seems to have been removed before publication.
    — Attorney, politician, academic, and strategist
  • I'm continually amazed and impressed with what appears to me to be some magical ability you have to synthesize a tremendous sweep of ideas and sources and to cogently streamline into a tight and—most importantly—readable essay.
    — Test engineer, Naval Air Systems Command
  • One of the most insightful analysts on issues of defense economics...
    — Senior defense industry equities analyst
  • I need a Jim.
    — DC think tank director
  • Simply outstanding.
    — Deputy Under Secretary at the Pentagon, on recent analyses of future force structure requirements
  • You and Aboulafia are the only two publicly-quoted defense consultants worth paying attention to.
    — Public policy advocate
  • You’re one of the few guys who brings me real numbers. Most people just try to blow smoke...
    — President of a major military trucks and armored vehicles manufacturer
  • You are an impressive madman whom I am glad to know.
    — Vice President and M&A practice leader with an aerospace & defense consultancy
  • One of the best strategic moves we could have made, short of starting another war.
    — General Manager, leading weapons manufacturer, regarding recommendations for using the lessons of the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq to plan the future of the company’s product lines
  • Exactly what we needed.
    — CEO of a defense buy-out firm, on market insights and financial projections regarding an acquisition target
  • Your ability to infer from open sources is wonderful.
    — Vice President for Corporate Strategy, leading armored vehicles manufacturer, on recent studies of fatality patterns in military vehicles in Afghanistan and Iraq
  • We should have done [this] a year ago, but I could never find someone like you with the right perspective.
    — Vice President for Business Development at a fast-growing manufacturing firm, on recommendations for managing the company’s problematic alliance with a Fortune 500 defense contractor