The Wall Street Journal reports that Mexicon zillionaire Carlos Slim is dickering for a piece of the New York Times in exchange for preferred stock.
Hello, preferred stock? Isn't that so, um, maybe 1935? So regulated-public-utility? So antique?
I know that people have bandied around the idea of "preferred stock" as a strategy for government intervention in the banking crisis. But that would be a way to jump the ideological blinders about government ownership of banks. Other than that, the standard mantra is preferred stock doesn't make any sense because the tax treatment is all wrong. And that investors don't like it because the contracts are all tailor-made and thus hard to value.
But one thing about preferred, like so many other hybrid securities: it's a tempting alternative for the debtor who can't get liveable loan terms, and doesn't want (desperately hopes not) to give up control. Could it be that we are in a new era of preferred, as anemic companies lurch desperately forward under the burden of sagging income and bloating debt?