NYT names Powell and Rich economics reporters



New York Times business editor Larry Ingrassia made the following announcement to the staff on Monday afternoon:

“Perhaps no single story has been more important in the past couple of years than the economy. Wall Street’s meltdown and resulting ‘Great Recession’ have had profound and sometimes devastating effects on the lives of many Americans, and helped determine the outcome of a presidential election.

“How, and how well, the United States and the world recover economically will be a huge story for a long time to come.

“So when we had an opportunity to bring not one, but two, talented reporters to Business Day to cover the economy, we jumped at it.

“I am pleased to announce that Michael Powell and Motoko Rich will soon join Bizday to write about the economy, and how it is affecting workers, consumers, companies and institutions big and small. After a transition period, Peter Goodman will become a reporter for Sunday Business. And, to add extra firepower to our already formidable group covering banking and finance, Julie Creswell will move from SundayBiz to that group to write about a variety of topics, including hedge funds and private equity.

“Michael and Motoko will team up with Catherine Rampell, another economics writer who edits the Economix blog, all reporting to Winnie O’Kelley to provide the broad array of coverage that our readers want and need and long have gotten from The Times.

“Michael, a New Yorker born and raised, comes from Metro, where he joined paper in 2007 from The Washington Post. At The Times, he has covered New York City and national politics. He shared in the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Client # 9, aka Elliot Spitzer. In a decade at The Post, he covered the post-crack-arrest Marion Barry, wrote on presidential campaign politics, circa 2000, for the Style Section and served five years as New York bureau chief.

“Michael has worked as a taxi driver and doorman, and as a VISTA organizer in the West Indian neighborhood of East Flatbush, where he says he ‘came to appreciate the importance of heat, hot water, and good roti.’ He worked at New York Newsday for eight years, during which time he spent a month in a heroin shooting gallery and a few days at a maximum security prison, interviewing a man falsely accused of molesting his child. His article on this man helped free him from prison.

“He has a degree in history from SUNY/College at Purchase and later graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn with his wife, Evelyn Intondi, a midwife, their younger son Aidan and an hallucinogenic dog named Monk. Their older son, Nick, lives in Philadelphia.

“Motoko joins us from the Media group, where she has covered the book beat for four years. She has written about everything from scandals in poetry societies to fake memoirists to the frenzy surrounding the release of the final volume in the Harry Potter series to the controversy over a familial re-editing of Ernest Hemingway’s ‘A Moveable Feast.’ She also has worked with Bizday tech writers to intensively examine the burgeoning e-book market and explain wrenching changes in the publishing industry. And in her ‘Future of Reading’ series, she has written about how reading is changing in the age of the Internet.

“Motoko joined The Times from the Wall Street Journal in 2003 on the House & Home desk, writing about how co-ops dealt with ‘emotional support pets,’ how condo owners fought developers when things went awry in new buildings and profiling Rupert and Wendi Murdoch in the SoHo apartment they sold before moving to a Fifth Avenue penthouse. And with David Leonhardt, she wrote about the over-exuberance of home buyers and real estate investors. In early 2005, they wrote about the eerily troubling similarities between the dot-com and real estate booms, and that summer they warned about looming problems for homebuyers who used adjustable rate mortgages and the lenders who enabled them.

“The language of the economy is very familiar to Motoko, who worked at the Financial Times in London before joining the WSJ. A California native, Motoko now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her husband, Mark Topping, and two young children.

“Peter and Julie need no introduction to Bizday staffers. Both have done exemplary work since joining The Times, Julie in 2005 from Fortune magazine to cover banking before moving to SundayBiz in 2008, and Peter in 2007 from The Washington Post. Among their many contributions, both were among the team of  reporters on ‘The Reckoning’ series that was a Pulitzer finalist and won a Loeb award last year.

“I am very excited about Michael and Motoko joining Bizday, in early May, and the new assignments for Peter and Julie.”