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Who owns it New York Times?

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Werner Rügemer

“There are two superpowers in the world, the US and Moody's. The United States can destroy you by dropping bombs on you. Moody's destroys you by downgrading the rating of your bonds. And it's not always clear which of the two is more powerful, ”said US journalist Thomas Friedman years ago in the New York Times, appreciatively quoted by the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

What sounds so radically critical is actually used for obfuscation; because Friedman (and in the wake the Southgerman newspaper) hides who owns the rating agencies, who produces the bombs, who the US government is throwing them on their heads and why. In addition, Friedman's rhetorical question of who is more powerful can easily be answered: Both actors - the US military and the US rating agency - belong to the current central capital power. One leans on the other. And the New York Times is also part of it: it belongs to the same owners as the rating agencies.

The New York Times is the leading medium of the western community of values, at least in the print sector. The group relocates next to the NYT 18 other newspapers among them International Herald Tribune and Boston Globe. The group also owns numerous websites, radio and television stations and magazines.

There are definitely qualified critical opinions, such as the columns of the economist Paul Krugman. The newspaper also carried explosive revelations about particularly disgusting actions by the US Army in the Vietnam and Iraq wars. After the financial crisis, she documented several scams by hedge funds and banks. The political and economic system and the US wars themselves and the world domination of Wall Street are not called into question. A copy of this supposedly critical journalism in Germany is, for example mirror.

The group of New York Times has been listed as a stock corporation on the New York Stock Exchange since 1967. The founding and heir family Ochs-Sulzberger has a majority on the board, but the majority of the shares belong to other investors. In 2006, the investment bank Morgan Stanley, then a major shareholder, criticized the line of the paper, which cautiously distanced itself from the US warfare under President George W. Bush in Iraq. The bank sold its shares in protest, and the Sulzberger family withdrew their money from Morgan Stanley.

The owners are now mainly various hedge funds: T. Rowe Price, Value Act Holdings, Vanguard Group, Citadel Advisors, Blackrock, State Street, Contrarius Investment, Global Thematic Partners, Goldman Sachs, Aston Fairpoint Mid Cap, Ishares and others. > In 2003 Thomas Middelhoff (Bertelsmann, then Oppenheim and Karstadt / Quelle), the then European manager of the hedge fund Investcorp founded by Arab investors (based in London), became a member of the supervisory board.

T. Rowe Price, Vanguard Group and Blackrock are also co-owners of the two largest rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Moody's. Blackrock is also the major shareholder in Deutsche Bank (which is neither German nor a bank, but a global run-up agency of hedge funds and other investment banks).

The same type and partly the same owners can be found in other leading West World media such as the television company CNN and the news agencies Reuters and Bloomberg. Seemingly anachronistic, but system compatible is the situation with Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal: They belong to the News Corporation of the media tycoon, political blackmailer and union hater Rupert Murdoch.

Reinhard Jellen reviews Werner Rügemer's new book in this one OssietzkyEdition on page 566.


Published in Ossietzky 14/2012