Here's a riddle: What does no one want, but everyone's pouring money into? Need a hint? Lizzie Goth's inheritance hangs on it. Elizabeth Goth, granddaughter of the late Hugh Bancroft, is heir to the ever-shrinking Dow Jones & Co. fortune. And as widely reported, she-along with most industry analysts-is none too pleased with the poor management decisions driving the company, chiefly the recent decision to dump $650 million down the Telerate drain, which has been experiencing such poor perception in the marketplace that it's been renamed Dow Jones Markets (now we all know that the term "reengineering" has been watered down, but it's not yet synonymous with "renaming" the company).
Many in the industry would like to see "Markets" cut loose; not the least of whom are some of its more recent investors like Michael Price, president of Franklin Mutual, whose svp of U.S. Equities, says of Franklin's Dow investment, "We felt that there are values substantially in excess of where the stock is trading, and basically the stock is trading where it is because they continue to pump money into Telerate, which is way behind." So should Dow sell Telerate? "We probably think that's a good idea."