I'll give Julian Assange this much -- his Wikileaks controversy sure has made life more interesting for investors. In one fell swoop, the Australian agent provocateur's document dump has put the U.S. State Department on its heels and outraged dictators from here to Kuala Lumpur. It's sparked controversies over use of eBay's PayPal service to fund "electronic terrorism," raised similar ire at Visa, and given a black eye to Amazon.com's search for silver linings in the cloud. What it has not done, however, is told us much of anything we didn't already know.
I mean, the Chinese government hacked into Google's website? Shocker. Bank of America, which nearly went down the tubes just two years back, might not have the highest standards in business? Stop the presses!
No, seriously. Stop.
This week, we got our latest WikiLeaks revelation, when France's Le Monde -- one of five newspapers given access to Assange's treasure trove of trivia -- confirmed what Fools have known for months: Brazil is playing politics with Boeing's
The Brazilians are basically already committed to buying Rafale fighter jets from France. At this point, they're just using Boeing and Saab as pawns to threaten the French, and extract ever more generous concessions on the purchase price and terms. The strategy seems to be succeeding, by the way. When we first learned of Brazil's interest in buying Boeing fighters, pundits valued the 100-plane deal at upward of $7 billion. Le Monde's report tells us the French have already been talked down to about $4 billion.
Now I know that technically, publicly, this is still an open tender. Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced this morning that he's deferring a decision, and will let newly elected President Dilma Rousseff make the final call on who gets Brazil's business. But make no mistake -- this is a done deal already.
WikiLeaks confirmed it, but we already knew Brazil had extracted orders for local plane maker Embraer
The chance that Brazil will now stab France in the back, and buy Boeings, seems to me laughably remote. Long story short: France is in. Boeing and Saab are out.
Google is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Amazon.com and eBay are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on eBay. The Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Google.
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