The Wall Street Journal was out this morning with an article covering a judge’s decision that J.P. Morgan was screwing its own client. That client happens to be a rather large investor in the New York Times, Carlos Slim.
In a ruling unveiled late last month in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Judge Jed Rakoff said the New York bank structured the deal so it would have allowed a major competitor of Cablevisión to gain confidential information about the company, which is Mexico’s largest cable-television operator.
That competitor, Telmex Internacional SAB, is owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who has been fighting off Cablevisión’s advances on the Telmex telephone monopoly. Cablevisión itself is a unit of Grupo Televisa SAB, Mexico’s largest media giant. The dispute amounts to one of the year’s first showdowns between two of the country’s most powerful companies.
“J.P. Morgan has been our banker for more than 20 years,” said Alfonso de Angoitia, executive vice president of Grupo Televisa, the largest shareholder of Cablevisión, and the largest Spanish-language broadcaster. “We feel betrayed.”
So why isn’t the betrayal of a client by J.P. Morgan newsworthy to the New York Times? This guy says it’s because Slim is made to look like a chump for trusting Morgan, and neither he nor the paper he owns want that known. These days, the Times seems determined to print only what it is forced to print, weeks after real stories have become impossible for it to ignore longer. Hardly a model for cutting-edge reporting, I should think, but when editorial decisions are based on ideological and business justifications, not too surprising.