This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week

1. News to the Bancrofts

Youth will be served at News Corp. (NWS - Get Report).

Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate made headlines this week by naming a new director. News Corp., which owns the Fox television network, tapped 27-year-old Natalie Bancroft to fill an opening tied to the pending acquisition of Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones (DJ).

The appointment raised eyebrows because Natalie Bancroft is neither a titan of industry nor a publishing industry veteran. She's an opera singer who lives in Europe.

Moreover, she got the slot only after her family -- the Bancroft family that controls Dow Jones through its supervoting stock -- fumbled its chance to place a high-profile journalist on the board, by making ill-advised nominations and missing deadlines.

Still, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch insists he has the right candidate. As's Nat Worden reported Wednesday, Murdoch bristles at questions about whether Natalie Bancroft has the wherewithal to look after shareholders' interests.

"That's rubbish," Murdoch said on a conference call with analysts following the company's first-quarter earnings report. "The experts said Google's (GOOG) structure would be bad for shareholders."

Way to change the subject. The experts' complaint wasn't that Google's board was packed with 27-year-old opera singers lacking in apparent business experience. To the contrary, Google's board is chock full of Silicon Valley hard hitters.

The experts' complaint about Google -- and about Dow Jones and News Corp., for that matter -- is that the company has two classes of stock. The arrangement gives insiders control of the company with just a minority economic stake -- and insulates the CEO and his pals from shareholder discontent.

Not that any of this matters much to Murdoch, who after all is due next month to take control of the Journal. His $5 billion bid for Dow Jones was helped immeasurably this past spring by persistent strife within the Bancroft family.

Murdoch may have been recalling that as he took questions on Wednesday's call. "They're a funny family," he said of the Bancrofts.

And as usual, the joke is on them.

Dumb-o-Meter score: 93. "We think Natalie is going to be a wonderful addition to our board of directors and we look forward to working with her," said Murdoch.
1 of 5

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
C $46.28 0.00%
CSCO $27.62 -1.20%
GM $31.80 0.00%
NWS $12.96 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs