Editor's Note: Jon D. Markman writes a weekly column for CNBC on MSN Money that is republished here on TheStreet.com.
Investors admired the ambition, complexity, profitability and market dominance of industry leaders Fannie Mae (FNM) and Intel (INTC - Get Report) all the way up to the point when their earnings forecasts were proven wildly overoptimistic and blew up.
Could the same now happen at Boeing (BA - Get Report)? The parallels are eerie, if not at all perfect. Boeing -- the third-best gainer in the Dow Jones Industrials over the past year -- is priced for perfection, much as the techs and banks were in 2000. And perfection, as we know all too well by now, is rarely attained.Investors in the European consortium behind Airbus found that out all too well last month when executives had to backtrack from laughable assurances that production of their new super-sized A380 commercial aircraft was on track. The bad news sent the consortium's shares down 25% in a week. Boeing investors celebrated the Europeans' bad news, figuring it meant new business from frustrated Airbus customers. But really, they should have taken it as a warning, for it is very hard to believe that the U.S. aircraft maker will manage to escape a similar fate with the construction of its own new plane, the 787 "Dreamliner."