Ask the 17 Airbus execs now on trial. Airbus is an incredible plane which does incredible things and holds an incredible number of people. But it’s also an incredible embarrassment to its makers from a corporate governance point of view. Seventeen executives at Airbus parent company, the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. (EADS), went on trial on Monday for allegedly making millions in profits shorting the EADS stock just before the mammoth Airbus A380 announced a big production delay. When the A380 problems were made public in June 2006, EADS shares plunged 26% in one day and the company sank into months of management troubles, according to Business Week. The incident is interesting for several reasons. First, it’s an unusually visible case for France's Financial Markets Authority, or AMF. Second, it could result in embarrassing fines for an icon of European technology and cooperation. And third, it suggests a high level of cynicism on the part of people who are making a product which people must necessarily trust with their lives. Read more: BusinessWeek
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