Australian press lord, Rupert Murdoch, has finally got the Bancroft family to agree to sell him the Wall Street Journal. The paper is a trophy for Murdoch, probably marking the peak of his career.
Family-owned businesses must be becoming relics of the past. Most firms are now “in play” all the time – ready to be taken over, looted, stripped, leveraged, and resold to the highest bidder. Even if a business is in family hands, the son of the founder typically goes to business school and discovers modern finance. There, he learns that a firm should manage its figures so as to report steadily rising earnings…and that it should borrow money early and often…and that it should go public at an opportune time so as to give the owners a “liquidity event” that will put them on easy street.
We wonder what people do on Easy Street. Besides, the Bancroft family was already living on Easy Street. What are they going to do now?
Charity work…politics…or world improvement – what ever they take up, it is sure to be worse than running a good newspaper.
Markets and Money