It would require psychic powers to predict how much Boeing’s crisis will cost the world’s largest commercial aircraft maker — not to mention airlines, suppliers and even the travelling public. Wall Street analysts have been scrambling to come up with a cost estimate since news first broke that a plane crash in Ethiopia was the second within five months involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8. Last week it became clear that the planes were brought down by the same flaw, which involved the 737 MAX’s MCAS anti-stall system. That was seen as both good and bad news for Boeing: good in the sense that one flaw is easier to fix than many; bad because the instructions Boeing gave pilots for overriding MCAS appeared not to work in the Ethiopian crash. This left Boeing open to blame, and the risk of legal liability, for having done too little to prevent the second crash. Then Boeing slashed the rate at which it was producing 737s, from 52 a month to 42, a move that prompted an avalanche of notes by analy...

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