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Boeing 737 MAX aircrafts on Oct. 23, 2019. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

After it laid off 2,800 employees last week, citing "ongoing uncertainty" related to Boeing’s 737 MAX jet, Moody's downgraded the secured debt of airplane parts supplier Spirit AeroSystems and handed it a Ba2-PD Probability of Default rating.

What it means: Wichita, Kansas-based Spirit gets about half of its annual revenue from supplying parts for the MAX, which has been grounded for months following two fatal crashes and remains in a production halt indefinitely.

  • Eoin Roche, Moody's lead analyst for Spirit, said he expects "Spirit's liquidity profile will quickly and materially erode" unless something drastic changes, and any developments that could help salvage it "remain largely out of the company's control."
  • Spirit's stock fell nearly 3% on Monday and has dropped almost 25% in the past two months.

Why it matters: This is the latest piece of fallout from Boeing's two crashes, showing how the production freeze could have ramifications throughout the manufacturing industry and the U.S. economy.

The big picture: Boeing's decision to suspend 737 MAX production could hit dozens of companies, Moody's warned in a separate note on Friday, identifying 24 firms with exposure to Boeing and its supply chain and placing four on review for downgrades.

  • "Several companies face potentially significant earnings and cash flow pressures that could erode their liquidity in relatively short order."
  • The decision to suspend production indefinitely means Boeing will share the financial burden of the crashes with its suppliers "on a fairly immediate basis, heightening operational disruption and financial risk for all."

Don't forget: Indonesia’s Lion Air considered putting its pilots through simulator training in 2017 before flying the 737 MAX but abandoned the idea after Boeing convinced them it was unnecessary, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Cuomo asks New York AG and chief judge to choose "independent" investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A special counselor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Sunday asking the state's attorney general and chief judge to jointly pick an "independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation" to investigate claims of sexual harassment against the governor.

The state of play: The statement is an about-face from Cuomo, who had previously selected a former judge close to a top aide to lead the investigation, the New York Times reported, a move that was widely criticized.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

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