EXOR, the listed holding-company of the Agnelli family, lead by John Elkann (and Sergio Marchionne, his mentor) has just paid $450million+ for a huge 40-50% stake in what is the by any reckoning the world's greatest and most respected, aside from being old and venerable, news and analysis and culture and technology magazine: The Economist! They have been smaller 5% odd shareholders for may years already. The Economist has a governance structure, through an acutely designed trust, that ensures that the big shareholders, dominant in fact, now, in the case of the Agnelli-s/Exor, have NO influence at all on editorial or any other content, and have only limited influence even over the business side of things. Because of the internet, crowdsourcing and rampant commercialism, almost all of the great newspaper and serious public affairs magazines of the Western world (from le Monde in france to the New York Times) are suffering losses of subscribers, advertizing and indeed circulation/clicks/eyeballs, indeed big financial losses, and many if not all are unlikely to even survive another 5-10 years in any full, healthy form. The Economist, however, is a pretty unique exception to these altogether perverse trends in public information/opinion-life, mainly because of the considerable numbers of subscribers in India and in Asia-Pacific as a whole, to supplement the legions who swear by it in the US. In general: it is fair to say that the economist is centrist (sometimes left, sometimes right) on Economics, and rather leftist on most others, but is ALWAYS itelligent, researched, reasoned and modest-in-tone, the very epitome of public reason, and reasonableness. However, this 'investment' likely has a considerable non-profit motive on John Elkann's part: slightly philanthropic, one suspects. He himself and of course Sergio M, the latter a holder of 3 high level degrees including one in philosophy, are very highly educated, almost 'patrician' and aristocratic in temper: Italian! Very like Tata Sons, with vastly greater cultural resources and history in Italy i guess it fair to say? They own the famous and venerable La Stampa newspaper in Italy, have stakes in several publishing houses, and......also own the Juventus football club. This the second big-deal Elkann has completed in the last few weeks, since EXOR has thrived profits-wise and also in terms of sharevalues: they recently acquired one of the world's biggest and best re-insurance firms too, Partner Re, for many a hndred million dollars. PS: As 2 decade old subscribers to the Economist, both my dad and I are very delighted, as Fiat fans, by this news!