The goodwill of his newspaper mastheads, as posted on company books, far exceeds anything the market (judging by recent sales of other newspaper properties) feels they're really worth.
And bankers and security authorities don't like that : so they order accountants to direct their clients to write down the goodwill to bring market cap and book asset value in line.
Huge paper losses follow (ie huge losses to individual shareholders when they try selling their shares) .
But also huge restraints for the entire company on borrowing any more bank funds to 'kite' your ever-expanding newspaper empire.
(That is the sophisticated game of constantly squeezing value out of the newly bought newspaper, to keep older properties looking spritely and the whole confidence scheme afloat).
Lines of credit are secured by a newspaper empire's net worth and when that is reduced to a third, so too are the billions in bank credit that you can secure ---- expect Murdoch newspaper buying to finally slow down. (Thank God !)
Now for most newspaper owners, the loss of 'goodwill' attached to the name on the masthead is simply the result of loss of subscribers and loss of advertisers.
Papers which were once valued at one billion dollars only a few years ago (shout out to the San Diego Union-Tribune ) are going, with great difficulty, for $50 million.
Less than what their press, trucks and real estate are worth : now that is "negative value goodwill" in a textbook wrap !
Murdoch's massive loss of moral worth has cost his individual shareholders billions
But in the case of Murdoch, good will has less to do with this strictly business sense of the phrase and more to the fact that newspaper readers and advertising executives can't personally stand the guy for all the fake news writing his newspaper empire has written since 1952.
Murdoch has run out of our goodwill.
"Sixty Years of Lies is enough - for God's sake , Rupert - go !"
The phone-tapping scam was the last straw ---- that a girl's parents were misled into thinking their murdered daughter was still alive thanks to a Murdoch operative's doing, was the final blow for billions of people.
And billions of dollars in losses followed - falling on ordinary shareholders of the News Corp empire - not on the dirty old dog himself.
Pity, that .......