Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim just loaned the New York Times (NYT) $250 million, thus postponing its cash crisis. Any port in a storm, but we wonder how the NYT’s investigative reporters feel about this.
Carlos’s rise to power has not been uncontroversial, as the NYT pointed out itself a few years ago. Alan Mutter and Douglas McIntyre at 24/7 Wall St:
The press release does not mention any of the controversial parts of Mr. Slim’s past which has to make Times editors uncomfortable.
If The Times were located in Mexico, Slim would probably get his share of headlines, some of which might not be flattering. Forbes, usually a friend of the very rich, mentions in its profile of Slim that his close relationships with the top echelon of his country’s politicians have drawn some measure of concern.
Allan Mutter points out that the TImes itself has been unkind to Slim in the past:
“In 1990, the government of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari sold his friend Mr. Slim the Mexican national phone company, Telmex, along with a de facto commitment to maintain its monopoly for years. Then it awarded Telmex the only nationwide mobile phone licence.When competitors were eventually allowed in, Telmex kept them at bay with some rather creative gambits, like getting a judge to issue an arrest warrant for the top lawyer of a competitor. Today, it still has a 90% share of Mexico’s landline phone service and controls almost three-quarters of the mobile phone market…”.
Did The New York Times Company have any choice over who put money into the firm? Probably very little…