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News Corp
News Corp
News Corporation (NYSE: NWS) — международный медиахолдинг подконтрольный Руперту Мердоку, который владеет, в частности, кинокомпанией 20th Century Fox, телеканалами Fox News, спутниковыми DTH операторами BSkyB, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, Foxtel, информационным агентством Dow Jones ( ...

News Corporation (NYSE: NWS) — международный медиахолдинг подконтрольный Руперту Мердоку, который владеет, в частности, кинокомпанией

20th Century Fox,

телеканалами Fox News,

спутниковыми DTH операторами BSkyB, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, Foxtel,

информационным агентством Dow Jones (включая службу Factiva),

а также газетами

The Wall Street Journal,

The Times,

The Sun,

New York Post.


В период предвыборной кампании поддерживает Республиканскую партию США.

22 июля Руперт Мердок объявил о своем уходе с поста директора двух компаний, входящих в News Corporation, - News International и Times Newspapers Holdings Limited. Причиной отставки называется предстоящая реструктуризация корпорации.

В 2013 году было создано 21st Century Fox а News Corporation сменил логотип. Вики.


...подконтрольная компании Вангард (?)



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10 января, 22:59

The Guardian view on section 40: muzzling journalism | Editorial

The current political debate about press regulation offers no guide of how to deal with power increasingly concentrated in the hands of internet giants and Rupert MurdochIt was this newspaper’s revelations of phone hacking by parts of the tabloid press that led in 2011 to Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into the “culture, practices and ethics” of an industry. The judge heard striking testimony from victims of media mistreatment, many of whom had awful tales of prolonged harassment and gross invasions of privacy. The airing of illegal practices carried out by the press over years led to very public criminal trials. Individuals went to jail. This seems the right way to do things: journalists expose wrongdoing; the agitation it produces is submitted to; and existing criminal and civil law processes kicked in to administer justice. There was a twist. Leveson clearly thought that parts of the press were out of control, and unresisted pressure built up for collective punishment.What we have ended up with is a form of press regulation – enabled by a medieval piece of constitutional nonsense, the royal charter – consisting of small carrots and big sticks. Newspapers can sign up to a state-approved regulator. The only one endorsed so far is Impress, which is hardly independent given it is funded by Max Mosley, a wealthy victim of press intrusion into his sex life. Impress has distinctly unimpressed, failing to attract any significant national or local news outlets. The sanction has been smuggled into section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act. Those that refuse to join a system of regulation would be subjected to a form of unnatural justice: non-cooperative newspapers face paying the legal costs of both sides even in cases they win. This would have a deeply chilling effect on investigative journalism and help make the wealthy and powerful unaccountable. Editors would be forced to think long and hard before confronting anyone with deep pockets, never mind taking on dozens of millionaires who were outed by this newspaper when it published the hidden offshore tax affairs of the super-rich in the Panama Papers. In cases involving national security, where deep source protection sits at the heart of a story, the result would be not just a colder climate but a freezing one. Continue reading...

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10 января, 22:19

Urban Myths director defends casting of white actor as Michael Jackson

Ben Palmer says Joseph Fiennes gives a sweet, nuanced performance in episode of Sky Arts satirical comedy seriesThe director of the upcoming Sky Arts series Urban Myths has defended the casting of a white actor as Michael Jackson, saying the decision was based on performance rather than physical resemblance.The satirical comedy series, which portrays supposed events in the lives of figures such as Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali and Samuel Beckett, includes a dramatisation of a road trip rumoured to have been taken by Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando in September 2001. Continue reading...

10 января, 21:10

HarperCollins to stop selling Monica Crowley's book after plagiarism allegations

Crowley is planning to join Trump's National Security Council

10 января, 06:56

A puzzle for the risk manager

The last two posts were essentially about picking a value-stock portfolio and managing the risk. And they were lessons that I thought I could implement. This is stuff I find harder. So I am looking for your input.--This is the portfolio of a fairly well known value investor in March 2008. I have taken the name off simply because it doesn't help but there was roughly $4 billion invested this way.To put it mildly this portfolio was very difficult over the next twelve months. Sector allocation Positions Banks - Europe 24% Fortis, ING, Lloyds, RBS Banks - Japan 14% Millea, MUFJ, Mizuho, Nomura Banks - USA 8% Bank of America, JP Morgan Technology - PC & Software 18% Linear Technology, Maxim Integrated products, Oracle Semiconductor equipment 14% Applied Materials, KLA Tenecor, Novellus Systems Beer 20% Asahi, Budweiser, Group Mondelo, Heinekin, InBev Media 15% Comcast, News Corp, Nippon Television Other 14% eBay, Home Depot, Lifetime Fitness, William Hill Net effective exposure 127% Shorts -16% Net exposure 111% Cash -11% The PE ratios mostly looked reasonable and all of these positions could be found in quantity in the portfolios of other good investors. Its just the combination turned out more difficult than average.Your job however is to risk-assess the portfolio.Even with the considerable benefit of hindsight how would you analyse this portfolio?What would you say as risk manager that made the portfolio manager aware of what risks he was taking?What would you say if you were a third party analyst trying to assess this manager?What is the tell?Remember the portfolio manager here has a really good record and the "aura" around them. They are smarter than you.And yet with the restrospectascope up there is stuff that is truly bad.They had four European banks making up a quarter of the value of the portfolio. Most European banks went through the crisis hurt but not permanently crippled. Permanently crippled came later with the Euro crisis.The four European banks here (Lloyds, RBS, Fortis, ING) however received capital injections so large that they were effectively nationalised. If you had thrown darts at European banks it might have taken hundreds of rounds to pick four that bad... They could not have been picked this bad by chance - they had to have systematic errors here.There is something really wonky about this portfolio - and it is not by chance - so there was something faulty about the way the portfolio was constructed.JohnPS. It is fair to say some of the portfolio (News Corp for example) was awful in the crisis and came back stronger than ever. And some that I would have thought ex-ante high risk (such as the semi-conductor capital equipment makers) turned out okay - having "ordinary" draw downs in the crisis and recovering them since.PPS. I kept the document this came from because at the time I thought the portfolio was absurd and would end in tears. But some of my thoughts then were wrong too - especially re the semiconductor capital equipment stocks.

09 января, 15:34

Slack, Airbnb, Dropbox и другие претенденты на IPO в 2017 году по версии VentureBeat

Издание VentureBeat опубликовало список из 31 технологических компаний, которые в 2017 году с высокой долей вероятности выйдут на IPO. В него вошли Airbnb, Uber, Dropbox и другие проекты. Редакция vc.ru публикует перевод материала.

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30 декабря 2016, 14:34

Family courts chief backs end to abusers cross-examining their victims

Sir James Munby says he welcomes Guardian’s spotlight on issue and will prioritise reform early in new yearThe senior judge who oversees family courts in England and Wales has said he would support “as a matter of priority” a ban on perpetrators of domestic abuse cross-examining their victims.Sir James Munby responded after a Guardian investigation last week revealed that women were being forced to face questioning in the family courts by men who had abused them. The practice has been banned in criminal courts but continues in the family division. Continue reading...

28 декабря 2016, 15:00

Why We’re Seeing So Many Corporate Scandals

Virtually every 21st century business scandal is reducible to a morality tale of a technology that allows us to do things we couldn’t before, coupled with major institutional failures that were enabled by failures of omission and commission of corporate leaders. Consider the major, self-inflicted crises at Wells Fargo, where two million accounts were opened without customers’ knowledge, or at Volkswagen, where emissions data was falsified, or News Corp, where editors illegally hacked cell phones to publish private information. These are different from the kind of product-safety scandals we grew accustomed to in the 20th century. And yet most business schools and leadership development programs still focus on those. Consider the Columbia and Challenger space shuttle disasters.  These are still two of the most popular case studies taught in business schools, and because of them, we believe we know why organizations self-inflict crises. Countless executives and MBAs have studied the key lessons, learning about individual and institutional biases that warp our world views. They learn that the absence of psychological safety keeps team members from disagreeing with dominant opinions. They learn that organizational failures result from rigid reporting lines, “one right way” problem-solving, cultures that shoot – or specify unreasonable standards for – the messenger, and restrictive communications protocols. These lessons are valuable, but incomplete for today’s world. Digital technologies today enable individual employees to do much more than they could before. Mid-tier executives, who have serious decision-making power devolved to them (compared to 25 years ago) drive this workflow. The reasons behind this vary by organization, but they are often rooted in the cultures that the ease and openness of information sharing have spawned. These executives lead teams in which globally dispersed people from multiple organizations collaborate on critical tasks. But in most companies, despite the free-flow of exchanges, they still lack information they need, can’t communicate with team members in real time, or can’t foresee the implications of key decisions. Undoubtedly, one of them “pulls the trigger” when something goes wrong – whether it is an inability to design to needed standards at Volkswagen or the opening of unauthorized accounts at Wells Fargo. They are blamed because they can easily be blamed. (More than 5,000 midlevel or junior people were fired at Wells Fargo after the truth came out.) Have we rethought how we work in a digital age when work increasingly requires large doses of unseen discretionary effort? Have we redesigned processes and structures to surface problems before these become crises? Have we allowed the free flow of key information to distributed decision makers? Have we created collaborative, learning-focused cultures? In most companies, we have not. When a crisis unfolds, we are now quick to say, as General Duane Deal said of the Columbia explosion, that “the institution allowed it.” And yet we have been too hesitant to add the necessary phrase: “and top leaders enabled it.” The motive force behind institutional failure is leadership failure. The failure may be unintended, but that doesn’t exculpate individuals who spend their adult lives seeking the power and prestige of top positions. Top leaders are enabling the current failures in two ways. First, though they speak of “ecosystems” and “a VUCA world,” they fail to rationally consider the implications of these realities for the day-to-day jobs their mid-tier executives. They make the mistake of thinking 20th century human organizations can thrive amidst 21st century technology. They don’t even recognize that the slate of questions posed above are relevant, even critically important.  Second, they don’t consider at a human level how their stated strategic intents shape the acceptable ethical boundaries for those who must turn those intents into reality. In the highly interconnected digital world, it is very hard to rationally consider the many factors that affect any event. The difficulties are magnified when the factors change unpredictably and with great speed, and give rise to precious few “one right answer” and many “no good answers.” Given the archaic structures and processes, and without repeated, clear guidance on “what we don’t ever risk,” is it any surprise that decisions about ambiguous options subsequently turn out to be ethically compromised? While an editor “pulled the trigger” to illegally hack the mobile phone of a kidnapped child, Rupert Murdoch enabled the decision. He didn’t set ethical boundaries in a scoop-focused media market, and he hired executives who didn’t set policies and procedures to preclude such acts. (Indeed, he rehired an executive cleared of criminal wrongdoing, signaling that her ethical and managerial failures didn’t matter.) While mid-tier executives and engineers “pulled the trigger” to design Volkswagen engines that responded falsely to emissions tests, Ferdinand Piech and Martin Winterkorn’s demands of win-at-all-costs performance and the absence of appropriate procedural safeguards enabled – even encouraged – them to do so. At Wells Fargo, a culture and a warped incentive system created by top executives enabled malfeasance. That didn’t stop CEO John Stumpf from blaming employees who “didn’t get it right,” or CFO John Shrewsberry from blaming “under performers.” Mr. Stumpf was forced out, but since neither Mr. Shrewsberry nor CAO/HR Director Hope Harrison were, the seeds for future crises have been left undisturbed. Avoiding further self-inflicted crises – and the human damage they cause – will require more attention to both institutional norms and ethical leadership. That responsibility ultimately lies at the very top. When they hire CEOs, Boards of Directors must make ethics the deal-breaking criterion. CEOs and their direct reports must rethink not just how to compete using digital technology, but more importantly, how work should be done in a world mediated by digital technology.

23 декабря 2016, 13:59

Senate’s random disclosure rules stoke Trump Cabinet clash

Under the patchwork system, some of Trump's mega wealthy picks could get voted on before their financial disclosures are made public.

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21 декабря 2016, 21:32

TERROR DOWN UNDER — OR JUST AN ACCIDENT? Van drove into Australian Christian Lobby’s Canberra headq…

TERROR DOWN UNDER — OR JUST AN ACCIDENT? Van drove into Australian Christian Lobby’s Canberra headquarters and ‘exploded’ A van reportedly carrying gas cylinders was driven into the Australian Christian Lobby headquarters in Canberra on Wednesday night, causing an explosion. There were no injuries suffered from people inside the building but the alleged driver was […]

20 декабря 2016, 21:05

Meeting notes contradict Murdoch claim not to have asked PMs for help

Minutes of 1998 meeting show media mogul asked Tony Blair to ‘rein in’ European commission on Sky-BT dealRupert Murdoch asked for Tony Blair’s help to overcome European commission opposition to a £800m TV deal, contradicting the media mogul’s assertion this week that “I have made it a principle all my life never to ask for anything from any prime minister”. The minutes of a 1998 meeting between Murdoch and the then Labour prime minister while the former was working on a joint venture between Sky and BT reveal how Blair was urged to take action to help the deal proceed; and how the leader appeared keen to do so. Continue reading...

17 декабря 2016, 21:01

Donald Trump's Conflict-Of-Interest Network (COIN) - Otherwise Known As His Cabinet

Donald Trump, America's Pathological Liar-in-Chief and First Bully, has nominated a cabinet of billionaires, corporate raiders, right-wing conspiracy theorists, and war hawks. In many cases, they oppose the mission of the agencies they've been picked to run. As a group, their web of affiliations and disdain for the common good should disqualify them from any policy-making position. As a group, they should be called the Conflict of Interest Network (COIN). They include: 1. A Secretary of Labor (Andrew Puzder), CEO of the company that operates Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants, who hates workers, unions, the minimum wage, and worker safety laws and whose company was found guilty (by the DOL) of labor violations - including wage theft offenses, such as failing to pay the minimum wage or overtime - in 60% of its inspections at these two fast food chains. 2. A Secretary of Education (Betsy DeVos) who opposes public education and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars promoting private charter schools. 3. An EPA director (Scott Pruitt) who, as Oklahoma Attorney General, sued the EPA to help oil companies and who doesn't believe climate change is real 4. A Secretary of HUD (Ben Carson) who believes that government efforts to end racial discrimination is a form of socialism and who made a fortune shilling for a scam diet supplement company. 5. A Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil) who has made billions by endangering the planet with fossil fuels and is good friends with the leader of country (Russia) that interfered with the U.S. election. 6. A national security advisor (Michael Flynn) who was fired as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has promoted what the New York Times called "unsubstantiated claims about Islamic law's spreading in the United States and about the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, ." has profited from his work for defense contractors, and whose penchant for lying led his one-time employees at the DIA to identify his falsehoods as "Flynn facts." 7. A director of the National Economic Council (Gary Cohn) who is president of Goldman Sachs, a bank that helped bring down the economy with reckless and risky lending practices. 8. A Secretary of the Treasury (Steve Mnuchin) who, as head of OneWest Bank, engaged in racial discrimination, foreclosed on tens of thousands of innocent homeowners, and preyed on senior citizens. He used his political connections to purchase the bank throught a sweetheart deal with the federal government. Judges and government regulators criticized OneWest for its predatory practices. He's soon be in charge of dismantling the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 9. A Secretary of Commerce (Wilbur Ross) who "made a fortune purchasing bankrupt businesses and flipping them for a profit," according to Forbes, and who owned a coal mining company that responsible for the deaths of 12 coal miners who suffocated after an explosion at its Sago coal mine in West Virginia mine that had a history of safety violations. Earlier this year, his private equity firm, WL Ross & Co. agreed to pay a $2.3 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to properly disclose fees it charged investors. 10. An Attorney General (Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III), Senator from Alabama, who was rejected for a federal judgeship by the Senate because of his racist views. He once called the NAACP "un-American" and "Communist-inspired" and that he thought the KKK was "OK until I found out they smoked pot." He is against any form of immigration reform, is pro-life, opposes the Voting Rights Act, and opposes same-sex marriage. 11. A Budget Director (Cong. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina) who is an member of the extremist Freedom (Tea Party) Caucus and, according to the New York Times, "a fierce advocate of deep spending cuts." 12. A Secretary of Enegy (Rick Perry) who in 2012 wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy (but, "oops," forgot its name), never saw an oil well he didn't love and who, as Texas guv, was an outspoken climate change denier and a fierce champion of the oil and gas industry, from whom he raised more than $11 million from 1998 to 2010. 13. A senior White House advisor (Steve Bannon), an outrageous anti-Semite and former Goldman Sachs banker who, as head of the right-wing extremist website Breitbart News, promoted white supremacists, anti-Muslim hate mongers, anti-Semites, nativists, and misogynists. 14. A Secretary of Health and Human Services (Cong. Tom Price of Georgia) who opposed the popular Children's Health Insurance Program, which insures eight million children, calling it "government-run socialized medicine." He wants to privatize Medicare. He's opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage. He'll be put in charge of dismantling the Affordable Care Act. 15. A Secretary of Defense (General James Mattis) whose nicknames are "Warrior Monk" and "Mad Dog," and who said that it is "a hell of a lot of fun to shoot" people and "Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. I'll be right up front with you. I like brawling." 16. A Secretary of Transportation (Elaine Chao) who made $1.2 million as a director of Wells Fargo Bank during the period the company admitted to creating millions of fake customer accounts. She served as President George W. Bush's fiercely anti-union labor secretary. When she left government, she joined the boards of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., Ingersoll-Rand Co., and Vulcan Materials as well as Wells Fargo. She was clearly chosen because she's the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who Trump will need to translate his crazy ideas into legislation, including his infrastructure program (written by Commerce Secretary Ross) that is a corporate welfare scam to give tax breaks to private businesses to build roads and bridges. As a group, they could be the board of directors of the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, Bob Jones University, and the White Citizens Council. Peter Dreier is professor of politics and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His most recent book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books) -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

15 декабря 2016, 19:01

Fox agrees to buy Sky in contract worth US$14.6b

RUPERT Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox said yesterday it had agreed to buy European pay-TV firm Sky for US$14.6 billion, sticking to its earlier offer despite complaints from some investors. Fox said

15 декабря 2016, 18:48

Behind the bid for Sky is a less powerful Murdoch empire

IT WOULD seem to be a stunning comeback for Rupert Murdoch and his clan. Five years ago News Corporation was engulfed by scandal. One of its British papers, the News of the World, had routinely hacked private phones. In the aftermath the company gave up a bid it had made for BSkyB (now simply called Sky), a satellite broadcaster in which it had a stake. A parliamentary report declared Mr Murdoch unfit to lead a large company. James Murdoch, his son, resigned as chair of BSkyB and chief of the newspaper division. Ofcom, Britain’s media regulator, eviscerated his leadership as “difficult to comprehend and ill-judged”. Now the Murdoch empire appears to be striking back. On December 9th, 21st Century Fox, the Murdochs’ entertainment business, had announced a preliminary deal to buy the 61% of Sky it does not already own, and this week it made a formal offer, of £11.7bn ($14.8bn). James...

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13 декабря 2016, 23:00

Rupert Murdoch unlikely to spin off Sky News in takeover battle

It is understood 21st Century Fox believes conditions associated with failed 2011 bid are no longer necessary because industry landscape has changedRupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is not expected to offer Sky News as a regulatory pawn to secure an £11.2bn takeover of Britain’s largest pay-TV broadcaster. Under a previous acquisition attempt in 2011, Murdoch struck a deal to spin off the loss-making Sky News in a bid to appease concerns raised by Ofcom, the media industry watchdog. However, it is understood that Fox believes that the industry landscape has changed significantly since then and that there should be less concern over the impact of a deal on the diversity of viewpoints across the media. Continue reading...

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13 декабря 2016, 00:35

Head of HeatSt, Louise Mensch, Calls For Obama to Conduct Air Strikes Against Russia

This is all getting perfectly out of hand. How to best explain this one? Let's see if I can do it in less than 500 words. Louise Mensch runs a conservative 'up and coming' start up website called HeatSt. They are owned by News Corp under the large umbrella of Dow Jones. In other words, not so start up. Also, and it's worth noting, HeatSt is the very definition of controlled opposition. HeatSt has the look and feel of being spartan and authentic, but under its deceptive facade are corporate cucks toiling away for globalism. Louise was outed during the Presidential campaign for being as shill, who worked in private for the Clinton campaign. Her followers were quite shaken about that and let her know it by giving her hell on Twitter. I suppose being a liar and deceiving her audience wasn't enough for Louise. Now she wants WORLD WAR 3, literally -- all because her little email was hacked into and she was outed for being a duplicitous mountebank. Her Twitter feed reads like an insane anti-Putin screed by a would-be serial killer. But I managed to cobble together the money shots -- courtesy of The Donald. Louise is a former British MP living in the states, with a keen interest in making American bleed. It's a wonderful thing when emotions cause people to reveal who they truly are. Before making such moronic comments, I suggest Ms. Mensch should read up on Russia's nuclear capabilities and understand the ramifications of starting armed conflict with a nation who can ferry over ICBMs at mach15 to our cities.   Content originally generated at iBankCoin.com

12 декабря 2016, 23:21

Murdoch’s Sky Sequel Shorter on Political Thrills

Rupert Murdoch’s Sky sequel should be shorter on political thrills. The 2010 bid for control of the pay-TV operator foundered amid the furore over phone-hacking by the media mogul’s tabloid

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10 декабря 2016, 16:59

From films to Fox News: Rupert Murdoch's far-reaching media empire

Murdoch is seeking to add full control of Sky to interests that range from US TV networks to British newspapersRupert Murdoch is the controlling force behind both Sky and 21st Century Fox, the New York-based company that owns a 39.1% stake in the satellite broadcaster. But the true scale of his media empire is even more expansive. Fox acquired the Sky stake after Murdoch split his businesses in 2013 in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal that prompted the closure of the News of the World. Continue reading...

10 декабря 2016, 06:00

Trump's Bait And Switch?

Submitted by Nomi Prins via TomDispatch.com, Given his cabinet picks so far, it’s reasonable to assume that The Donald finds hanging out with anyone who isn’t a billionaire (or at least a multimillionaire) a drag. What would there be to talk about if you left the Machiavellian class and its exploits for the company of the sort of normal folk you can rouse at a rally?  It’s been a month since the election and here’s what’s clear: crony capitalism, the kind that festers and grows when offered public support in its search for private profits, is the order of the day among Donald Trump’s cabinet picks. Forget his own “conflicts of interest.” Whatever financial, tax, and other policies his administration puts in place, most of his appointees are going to profit like mad from them and, in the end, Trump might not even wind up being the richest member of the crew.  Only a month has passed since November 8th, but it’s already clear (not that it wasn’t before) that Trump’s anti-establishment campaign rhetoric was the biggest scam of his career, one he pulled off perfectly. As president-elect and the country’s next CEO-in-chief, he’s now doing what many presidents have done: doling out power to like-minded friends and associates, loyalists, and -- think John F. Kennedy, for instance -- possibly family.  Here, however, is a major historical difference: the magnitude of Trump’s cronyism is off the charts, even for Washington. Of course, he’s never been a man known for doing small and humble. So his cabinet, as yet incomplete, is already the richest one ever. Estimates of how loaded it will be are almost meaningless at this point, given that we don’t even know Trump’s true wealth (and will likely never see his tax returns). Still, with more billionaires at the doorstep, estimates of the wealth of his new cabinet members and of the president-elect range from my own guesstimate of about $12 billion up to $35 billion. Though the process is as yet incomplete, this already reflects at least a quadrupling of the wealth represented by Barack Obama’s cabinet. Trump’s version of a political and financial establishment, just forming, will be bound together by certain behavioral patterns born of relationships among those of similar status, background, social position, legacy connections, and an assumed allegiance to a dogma of self-aggrandizement that overshadows everything else. In the realm of politico-financial power and in Trump’s experience and ideology, the one with the most toys always wins. So it’s hardly a surprise that his money- and power-centric cabinet won’t be focused on public service or patriotism or civic duty, but on the consolidation of corporate and private gain at the expense of the citizenry. It’s already obvious that, to Trump, “draining the swamp” means filling it with new layers of golden sludge, similar in color to the decorations that adorn buildings with his name, including the new Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House where foreign diplomats are already flocking to curry favor and even the toilet paper holders in the lobby bathrooms are faux-gold-plated. The rarified world of his cabinet choices is certainly a universe away from the struggling working class folks he bamboozled with promises of bringing back American “greatness.” And yet the soaring value of his cabinet should be seen as merely a departure point for our four-year (or more) leap into what is guaranteed to be an abyss of inequality and instability. Forget their wealth. What their business conflicts, relationships, and ideological stances indicate about what they’ll do to America is far more worrisome. And though Trump promised (and tweeted) that he’d be “completely out of business operations,” the possibility of such a full exit for him (or any of his crew) is about as likely as a full reveal of those tax returns. Trumping History There is, in fact, some historical precedent for a president surrounding himself with such a group of self-interested power-grabbers, but you’d have to return to Warren G. Harding’s administration in the early 1920s to find it. The “Roaring Twenties” that ended explosively in a stock market collapse in 1929 began, ominously enough, with a presidency filled with similar figures, as well as policies remarkably similar to those now being promised under Trump, including major tax cuts and giveaways for corporations and the deregulation of Wall Street.  A notably weak figure, Harding liberally delegated policymaking to the group of senior Republicans he chose to oversee his administration who were dubbed “the Ohio gang” (though they were not all from Ohio). Scandal soon followed, above all the notorious Teapot Dome incident in which Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall leased petroleum reserves owned by the Navy in Wyoming and California to two private oil companies without competitive bidding, receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks in return. That scandal and the attention it received darkened Harding’s administration. Until the Enron scandal of 2001-2002, it would serve as the poster child for money (and oil) in politics gone bad. Given Donald Trump’s predisposition for green-lighting pipelines and promoting fossil fuel development, a modern reenactment of Teapot Dome is hardly beyond imagining. Harding’s other main contributions to American history involved two choices he made. He offered businessman Herbert Hoover the job of secretary of commerce and so put him in play to become president in the years just preceding the Great Depression.  And in a fashion that now looks Trumpian, he also appointed one of the richest men on Earth, billionaire Andrew Mellon, as his treasury secretary.  Mellon, a Pittsburgh industrialist-financier, was head of the Mellon National Bank; he founded both the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), for which he’d be accused of unethical behavior while treasury secretary (as he still owned stock in the company and his brother was a close associate), and the Gulf Oil Company; and with Henry Clay Frick, he co-founded the Union Steel Company.   He promptly set to work -- and this will sound familiar today -- cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations. At the same time, he essentially left Wall Street free to concoct the shadowy “trusts” that would use borrowed money to purchase collections of shares in companies and real estate, igniting the 1929 stock market crash. After Mellon, who had served three presidents, left Herbert Hoover’s administration, he fell under investigation for unpaid federal taxes and tax-related conflicts of interest. Modernizing Warren G. Within the political-financial establishment, the more things change, the more, it seems, they stay the same. As Trump moves ahead with his cabinet picks, several of them already stand out in a Mellon-esque fashion for their staggering wealth, their legal entanglements, and the policies they seem ready to support that sound like eerie throwbacks to the age of Harding.  Of course, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard, so here are the top four of the moment (with more on the way). Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (net worth $2.9 billion) Shades of Andrew Mellon, Ross, a registered Democrat until Trump scooped him up, made his fortune as a corporate vulture (sporting the nickname “the king of bankruptcy”).  He was notorious for devouring the carcasses of dying companies, spitting them out, and pocketing the profits.  He bought bankrupt steel companies, while moving $6.4 billion of their employee pension benefits to the rescue fund of the government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation so he could make company financials look better. In the early 2000s, his steel industry deals bagged him an impressive $267 million. Stripped of health-care benefits, retired steelworkers at his companies didn’t fare as well.    Trump, of course, has promised the world to the sinking coal industry and out-of-work coal miners. His new commerce secretary, however, owned a coal mine in West Virginia, notoriously cited for hundreds of violations, where 12 miners subsequently died in an explosion.   Ross also made money running Rothschild Inc.’s bankruptcy-restructuring group for nearly two-and-a-half decades. A member (and once leader) of a secret Wall Street fraternity, Kappa Beta Phi, in 2014 he remarked that “the one percent is being picked on for political reasons.” He has an art collection valued conservatively at $150 million, or 3,000 times the average American’s income of $51,000. In addition, he happens to own a Florida estate only miles down the road from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private club. While Trump has lambasted China for stealing American jobs, Ross (like Trump) has made money from China. In 2010, one of that country’s state-owned enterprises, China Investment Corporation, put $500 million in Ross’s private equity fund, WL Ross & Company. Ross has not disclosed whether these investments remain in his fund, though he told the New York Post that if Trump believes there are conflicts of interest among any of his investments, he would divest himself of them. In August 2016, his company had to pay a $2.3 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges for not properly disclosing $10.4 million in management fees charged to his investors in the decade leading up to 2011. In October, Ross assured Bloomberg that China will continue to be an investment opportunity.  As secretary of commerce, the world will become his personal business venture and boardroom, while U.S. taxpayers will be his funders. He is an ardent crusader for corporate tax cuts (wanting to slash them from 35% to 15%). As head of the commerce department, the man the Economist dubbed “Mr. Protectionism” in 2004 will be in charge of any protectionist policies the administration implements. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (family wealth $5.1 billion) DeVos, the daughter of a billionaire and daughter-in-law of the cofounder of the multilevel marketing empire Amway, has had no actual experience with public schools. Unlike most of the rest of America (myself included), she never attended a public school, nor have any of her children. (Neither did Trump.) But she and her family have excelled at the arithmetic of campaign contributions. They are estimated to have contributed at least $200 million to shaping the conservative movement and various right-wing causes over the last half-century.  As she wrote in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call in 1997, “My family is the biggest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Committee.” That trend only continued in the years that followed. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, since 1989 she and her relatives have given at least $20.2 million to Republican candidates, party committees, PACs, and super PACs.  The center further noted that, “Betsy herself, along with her husband, Dick DeVos, Jr., has contributed more than $7.7 million to federal candidates, committees, and parties since 1990, including almost $4.8 million to super PACs.”  Her brother, ex-Navy SEAL Erik Prince, founded the controversial private security contractor Blackwater (now known as Academi). He also made two considerable donations to Make America Number 1, a super PAC that first backed Senator Ted Cruz and then Trump. So whatever you do, don’t expect Betsy De Vos’s help in allocating additional federal funds to elevate the education of citizens who actually do attend public schools, or rather what Donald Trump now likes to call “failing government schools.” Instead, she’s undoubtedly going to promote privatizing school voucher programs and charter schools across the country and let those failing government schools go down the tubes as part of a Republican war on public education.   Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (net worth $25 million) As the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate, a former labor secretary for George W. Bush, and the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Chao’s establishment connections are overwhelming. They include board positions at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and at Wells Fargo Bank.  While Chao was on its board, Wells Fargo scammed its customers to the tune of $2.4 million, and incurred billions of dollars of fines for other crimes. She was silent when its former CEO John Stumpf resigned in a blaze of contriteness.    In 2008, Chao ranked 8th in Bush’s executive branch in terms of net worth at  $16.9 million. In 2009, Politico reported that, in memory of her mother who passed away in 2007, she and her husband received a “personal gift” from the Chao family worth between $5 million and $25 million. In 2014, the Center for Responsive Politics ranked McConnell, with an estimated net worth somewhere around $22 million, as the 11th richest senator. As with all things wealth related, the truth is a moving target but the one thing Chao’s not (which may make her a rarity in this cabinet) is a billionaire. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (net worth between $46 million and $1 billion) Hedge fund mogul and Hollywood producer Steven Mnuchin is the third installment on Goldman Sachs’s claim to own the position of Treasury secretary. In fact, when it comes to the stewardship of the country’s economy, Goldman continues to reign supreme.  Bill Clinton appointed the company’s former co-chairman Robert Rubin to Treasury in gratitude for his ability to bestow on him Wall Street cred and the contributions that went with it. George W. Bush appointed former Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Hank Paulson as his final Treasury secretary, just in time for the “too big to fail” economic meltdown of 2007-2008. Now, Trump, who swore he’d drain “the swamp” in Washington, is carrying on the tradition. The difference? While Rubin and Paulson pushed for the deregulation of the financial industry that led to the Great Recession and then used federal funds to bail out their friends, Mnuchin, who spent 17 years with Goldman Sachs, eventually made an even bigger fortune by being on the predatory receiving end of federal support while scarfing up a failed bank. In 2008, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), formed in 1934 to insure the deposits of citizens at commercial banks, closed 25 banks, including the Pasadena-based IndyMac Bank. In early January 2009, the FDIC agreed to sell failed lender IndyMac to IMB HoldCo LLC, a company owned by a pack of private equity investors led by former Goldman Sachs partner Mnuchin of Dune Capital Management LP for about $13.9 billion. (They only had to put up $1.3 billion in cash for it, however.) When the deal closed on March 19, 2009, IMB formed a new federally chartered savings bank, OneWest Bank (also run by Mnuchin), to complete the purchase. The FDIC took a $10.7 billion loss in the process. OneWest then set about foreclosing on IndyMac’s properties, the cost of which was fronted by the FDIC, as was most of the loss that was incurred from hemorrhaging mortgages. In other words, the government backed Mnuchin’s private deal big time and so helped give him his nickname, the “foreclosure king,” as he became an even wealthier man. By October 2011, protesters were marching outside Mnuchin’s Los Angeles mansion with “Stop taking our homes” signs. OneWest soon became mired in lawsuits and on multiple occasions settled for millions of dollars. Nonetheless, Mnuchin sold the bank for a cool $3.4 billion in August 2015. Shades of the president-elect, he also left another beleaguered company, Relativity Media, where he had been co-chairman, two months before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015. Mnuchin’s policy priorities include an overhaul of the federal tax code (aimed mainly at helping his elite buddies), financial deregulation (including making the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 significantly more lenient for hedge funds), and a review of existing trade agreements. He has indicated no support for reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which separated commercial banks that held citizens’ deposits and loans from the speculative practices of investment banks until it was repealed in 1999 under the Clinton administration. Gilded Government Hillary Clinton certainly cashed in big time on her Wall Street connections during her career and her presidential campaign. And yet her approach already seems modest compared to Trump’s new open-door policy to any billionaire willing to come on board his ship. His new incarnation of the old establishment largely consists of billionaires and multimillionaires with less than appetizing nicknames from their previous predatory careers. They favor government support for their private gain as well as deregulation, several of them having already specialized in making money off the collateral damage from such policies. Trump offered Americans this promise: "I'm going to surround myself only with the best and most serious people." In his world, best means rich, and serious means seriously shielded from the way much of the rest of the country lives. Once upon a time, I, too, worked for Goldman Sachs. I left in 2002, the same year that Steven Mnuchin did.  I did not go on to construct deals that hurt citizens. He did. Public spirit is a choice. Aspiring to run government as a business (something President Calvin Coolidge tried out in the 1920s with dismal results for America), Trump is now surrounding himself with a crew of crony capitalists who understand boardroom speak, but have nothing in common with most Americans.  So give him credit: his administration is already one of the great political bait-and-switch productions in our history and it hasn’t even begun.  Count on one thing: in his presidency he’ll only double down on that “promise.”

08 декабря 2016, 17:10

Zillow Group (ZG) Declares Pricing of $400M Senior Notes

Zillow Group, Inc. (ZG) announced the pricing of convertible senior secured notes worth U.S. $400 million.

06 декабря 2016, 17:45

Zillow Group (ZG) Announces $400M Senior Notes Offering

Zillow Group, Inc. (ZG) aims to price $400 million aggregate principal amount of Convertible Senior Notes due to mature in 2021.

27 ноября 2014, 09:05

ЕС vs США: Google предлагают разбить на куски

Европейский парламент готовится к обсуждению странного вопроса: "стоит ли разделить компанию Google на несколько отдельных сервисов?" У американских коллег сама идея вызывает все возможные негативные эмоции - от недоумения до негодования.  Показать "Кузькину мать" Европарламент не способен разрушить Google. В конце концов, штаб-квартира компании находится в США, и кроме американских властей структуру ее бизнеса никто не может изменить. Но в Европе продолжается антимонопольное расследование деятельности Google, в рамках которого политики и чиновники придумывают новые способы ограничения экспансии американцев на своей территории. На таком фоне действия Европарламента являются скорее намеком на продолжение преследования зарубежного интернет-гиганта. Законотворцы могут поддержать идею отделения поисковика Google от других фирменных сервисов. Если это произойдет, американцы должны получить четкий сигнал, отражающий позицию властей Евросоюза. До сих пор центральное место в расследовании занимали именно антимонопольщики из Еврокомиссии. В Америке на выпад со стороны европейцев уже отреагировали сразу два правительственных комитета. Их представители, сенаторы Рон Уайден и Оррин Хэтч заявили: "Это предложение и другие подобные ему идеи способствуют строительству стен, а не мостов. При этом не учитываются в полной мере те негативные эффекты, которые могут навредить торговым отношениям США и ЕС". В США считают, что Европа нарушает принцип открытых рынков. Говорится также о "политизации" процесса. Действующие лица Интересно, что против разделения Google выступает Гюнтер Эттингер. Да, тот самый Гюнтер Эттингер, который раньше отвечал за энергетику и присутствовал на переговорах между Украиной и Россией по газу. Теперь он еврокомиссар по вопросам цифровых технологий. Эттингер уверен, что бить Google на части никто не будет. Кто же тогда решил голосовать? Это Андреас Шваб, представитель консервативного крыла Европарламента и испанец Рамон Тремоза, представляющий интересы Каталонии. Эти политики утверждают, что усилия Еврокомиссии пока не оправдали себя, а поведение Google на рынке Старого Света напоминает монополизм. "До сих пор Google отказывалась придумать какие-либо идеи, способные изменить ситуацию и снять претензии со стороны Еврокомиссии. Вместо этого компания продолжала вести дела как ей заблагорассудится. Таким образом она давит на конкурентную среду, что вредит европейским потребителям и бизнесу", - считают Шваб и Тремоза.  Ссылки по теме Мердок: "Google – шайка пиратов" Европа забывает, Google хочет вспомнить все Google наконец договорилась с европейскими властями В самой Еврокомиссии произошли перестановки. Хоакин Альмуния отправился в отставку, и его место заняла Маргрете Вестегер. Интересно, какую позицию займет она и как далеко готова будет пойти ради обеспечения свободной конкуренции на интернет-рынке в том виде, в каком эту конкуренцию видят консерваторы из Европарламента. Битва за правду или зависть? В данный момент 90% поисковых запросов в Европе приходится на Google. В 2010г. конкуренты подали жалобу на американского игрока, объявив, что он мешает им развиваться. Речь идет в частности о рекламе и выгодном положении партнеров в поисковых результатах. Напомним, что ранее медиа-магнат Руперт Мердок сделал громкое заявление по поводу Google. С помощью исполнительного директора News Corp Роберта Томсона он попытался донести до антимонопольных органов мысль о том, что Google отдает предпочтение своим сайтам-партнерам. Если пользователь вбивает запрос в поисковик, то якобы получает именно те результаты, которые принесут Google максимальное количество денег. Подобные претензии озвучивались и раньше, но News Corp сформулировала их, пожалуй, максимально жестко. Отметим, что Google все-таки пытается найти мирное решение. Так в начале этого года компания согласилась выводить в результатах поиска рекламные объявления, предоставляемые конкурентами.