Rupert Murdoch Talks Scotland, Time-Warner, Politics With FBN

Rupert Murdoch Talks Scotland, Time-Warner, Politics With FBN

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX) Chairman & CEO Rupert Murdoch spoke with FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Neil Cavuto about abandoning the Time Warner/FOX deal and today’s independence vote in Scotland. Murdoch said, “I am also a bit bearish I guess” about the markets and “that is why I pulled out of the Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) Deal, to pay the price if that is necessary…I just felt with all the uncertainties in the world I didn’t want to be carrying that degree of debt.” He further commented on the Scotland Independence vote saying, “I am not too concerned” and that “the country is going to change because all the political parties down south panicked and have promised them tremendous evolution of powers.”


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Rupert Murdoch on whether others are worried about the United States market:

“Well I am also a bit bearish I guess, but I certainly think that, yes… That is why I pulled out of the Time Warner Deal, to pay the price if that is necessary – It wouldn’t have affected our ratings. The extra — I just felt with all the uncertainties in the world I didn’t want to be carrying that degree of debt.”

Rupert Murdoch on whether the United States market would have affected his overturn of Time Warner in the first place:

“No, I thought it could be received rather differently, but here we are.”

Rupert Murdoch on whether he would revisit Time Warner:

“No.  Certainly not in a hostile way.”

Rupert Murdoch on whether he has had discussions with Time Warner since:

“Not at all. Nope”

Rupert Murdoch on the 2016 Presidential election:

“I am intrigued with the whole process that is happening.  Who is going to run against Hillary on the Democratic side.  If they do they will run way to the left.  Will they pull more her a bit to the left?  OR a rather centrist position, what could happen there, how will that affect the results. And then, there are a lot of people in the Republican field… and Paul Ryan, though he hasn’t declared yet.  Jeb Bush may.  It would be a very good president.  Marco Rubio is making some very interesting speeches.  I think that– Jon Kasich in Ohio is going to emerge as a candidate and Chris Christie, there’s other governors.”

Rupert Murdoch on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:

“I think he will be a very visible and strong candidate when the primaries come.”

Rupert Murdoch on Scotland’s vote:

“I am not too concerned.  The country is going to change because all the political parties down south panicked and have promised them tremendous devolution of powers.  So it will be a great fight now.  Will you let Scottish members of parliament vote in Westminster, or will they have as many votes. There is going to be a lot of political stories coming.  I have done a lot of work on the numbers, and if you believe the polls and the turnout being perhaps 85 percent or better. And the early private exit polls we heard from the no side would suggest, and the early leaks about what the post of that was, which was heavily no.  The actual exit poll of people voting this morning would suggest they will have enough votes to make it up. I think it will be within 100,000 votes either way unless all the polls are unanimous we have got it terribly wrong.”

Rupert Murdoch on whether the turnout for the Scotland vote will be high today:

“I think that is true, but I don’t know what they will be given.  The danger is that if the no vote wins and the parliament down here revolts against their leaders who have made these concessions and they go back on them, then I think you have a lot of trouble and unrest. But so far, the crowds are very passionate but have been very well mannered.  There have been allegations of violence, I was up there and saw no sign of it at all.  And there has been no evidence of it really on television.  A few rotten eggs, but pretty well mannered.”

Rupert Murdoch on Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron:

“If they lose it, if yes wins it, he will probably have to go.  You could guess about a 70 percent likelihood.  And I say that after talking to a lot of these MP’s. And it could — If it is close and they stand by the devolution promises, which I think they have to, he will have half his party very unhappy and the same exactly in the labor party.  There has been totally mishandled by everybody on the no side.  It is very interesting.  I think there is meaning in this, and I think it goes beyond Scotland.  I think there is a great sort of anti-establishment ground swell which is seen in this vote in Scotland. You are seeing it down here in Britain, in the anti-European party which has one single issue which is to get out of Europe.”

Rupert Murdoch on Scotland’s Business:

“I think that if Scotland goes on its own there is a  — They are going to have to get their own currency, right?… There’s going to be a lot of hard negotiations, and in fact they put aside both sides, it does take 18 months before everything is resolved.  Both sides have a lot of cards to play. So we will see about that. But there is no reason why business should suffer there.  That is up to the quality of government Salmond would run, and we don’t know.  He has got a lot of left-wing supporters and greenies, and if he follows the spirit of the Scottish establishment, Adam Smith, then I have great confidence. Have a look at what happened to Slovakia, have a look what happened to Estonia. Very small populations, very tight knit, homogeneous and worked very well.”

Rupert Murdoch on First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond:

“I don’t think — I know him and like him, but I think it will be fine, but — in fact there is a lot more money set up from here to help all their social services and so on than comes back on tax money. But you could argue well, the oil belongs to them, not as big a factor as people believe. It is only, on a good year, 10 billion pounds, on a bad year 4 million pounds and there are a lot more oil to be found. Which I think is a well-established fact.”

Rupert Murdoch on the United States economy:

“Yes, I think it is still the best place to invest.  On the other hand, I am sitting in the building in London looking out and all I can see is building cranes to boom city.  That does not extend across the country, just as New York looks like a boom city, or San Francisco does.  Go to anyone anywhere in between and things aren’t that good.  And look what happened to the average income of Americans, other than the top 1 percent, or less than 1 percent, which are obscenely high.  What about the average American?  A lot of figures in the Wall Street Journal two days ago showing that, I think it the month of August the average income went up a little fraction for the first time. But still overall compares pretty badly with ten years ago.  Things are not easy for the average family in America.”

Rupert Murdoch on whether the gap between the rich and the poor is a worldwide issue:

“I think the problem is the Fed, and the same here, the Central bank. Trying to create jobs by printing money, the fact is there are so many petty regulations at all levels of government, it’s in the state, county, try to open a restaurant and employee 40 people in Nassau county or something like that, it will take you 18 months and you end up saying to hell with it and you pay a high tax.  All this free money has not created jobs, so it ended up in Wall Street and you have had a great inflation of assets which means the rich have got a lot richer. Whereas wages have not gone up, or not appreciably.  So, you know, there is a lot to do.”

Rupert Murdoch on terror fears:

“The big story today of course on that level is from Australia where 800 police went right through, the sort of Muslim areas of Sydney and Melvin and lasting through the night, arresting quite a number of people and alleging that they uncovered plots for public killings and the beheadings in the streets of Sydney.  Very, very sensational news.  The intelligence services there, absolutely first-class… .  I think that is something that happened in Australia some time ago.  The then prime minister came out and made it very clear, if you migrate to this country to live here and want citizenship you accept our values and our laws. In this country, there has been some recent terrible, terrible scandals where they haven’t done anything. They have been hidden by local council and so on, in order, because they thought they’d look racist if they acted against Asian immigrants.  Which I think is another form of racism just thinking that way.”

Rupert Murdoch on the markets in the United States are looking at the Scotland vote:

“You could say they’re too high, but that is another matter, that has nothing to do with this.  When it looked like the yes vote was going to go there the pound in fact did fall from $170 to $161.  I don’t know what it is today, I didn’t even look yesterday.  If that gets up it could fall again another $0.05 or something.”

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