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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Corporate kleptocracy from Maxwell to Black

Until now, it's the best article I have read about the "new" Conrad Black affair. Roy Greensdale writes in The Guardian that "From its opening paragraphs, through scores of scornful sub-headings and on to its bitter conclusion, the Breeden report is a breathtaking assault on Lord Black's activities. The investigating committee has dipped liberally into the lexicon of condemnation throughout its analysis of what it calls Black's "corporate kleptocracy"... The picture that emerges is of 19th-century robber baron capitalism, with the factory owner doing just as he wishes heedless of his colleagues, his employees and the authorities. Rules, it would appear, are for the little people... It is impossible not to compare what the report says of Black, the former owner of the Daily Telegraph, with what we know about Robert Maxwell, the late owner of the Daily Mirror. Robert Maxwell was a buccaneering entrepreneur who managed to confuse his private and public companies, swapping money between the two as necessary... The chance to humble an arrogant press baron may be fun but the report is a very serious matter, and not just for Black. We journalists might well ask ourselves why we could not exercise enough freedom to have discovered what the corporate investigators have now revealed."

Source: The Guardian

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on September 1, 2004 at 11:17 AM in o. Ethics and Press Freedom | Permalink


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