Tag Archives: Bloomberg
by Chris Roush
Dan Barkin, the senior editor of The (Raleigh) News & Observer and its former business editor, writes about how he perceives the issue of whether Bloomberg News has killed stories critical of powerful people in China.
Barkin writes, “The N&O pays a good chunk of change to get news and information from Bloomberg. I do not want to worry if the news service is self-censoring in order to keep its reporters in China.
“But the larger problem is not Bloomberg’s. It is China’s.
“China’s biggest challenge is to keep its economy growing to provide jobs and a rising standard of living for its people. But China is plagued by corruption and self-dealing in its government and business elite. Its environmental problems are well-known. Professionals and entrepreneurs are leaving.
“China needs more, not less, scrutiny of inefficient state-controlled industries, of crooked bureaucrats on the take. Of massive land grabs. Of well-connected princelings being hired by Western companies that want to do business in China.
“Without transparency, China’s economy may falter under the weight of corruption and mismanagement. And prospective investors in China and Chinese companies need transparency. They need to know that the economic data that they are getting from official sources is not cooked, and that companies are disclosing accurate earnings reports.
“They rely on news organizations such as Bloomberg to give them comprehensive reporting from China. When they hear that Bloomberg may be pulling its punches, that does not inspire confidence in either Bloomberg or China.
by Chris Roush
Hillary Reinsberg of BuzzFeed writes Wednesday about how some people who work on Wall Street use the Bloomberg terminal for social and sexual encounters.
Reinsberg writes, “‘My friend’s boss discovered very graphic sexting between an FX sales girl and a guy on the Russian sales team,’ explained a woman who formerly worked in derivatives sales at a British investment bank. ‘There were details from positions they did the night before, their favorite things to do to each other, their weekend escapes. The girl was engaged and the guy was married at the time.’
“The woman, who asked her name and former employer not be mentioned, said she frequently met men in bars and clubs who later looked her up on Instant Bloomberg. ‘Being asked out happens a lot, especially if you are a good-looking sales woman,’ she said. ‘A lot of people who work on the trading floor don’t go out much and their dating pool is each other.’
“The advances occasionally came from clients. ‘The most uncomfortable for me was always flirting from clients. There were messages like, ‘You looked really great in that dress at dinner,’ or, ‘You drink like a man, I wonder what else you do like a man.’’
“Because most banks ban access to Gmail, Facebook, and other chat clients, Instant Bloomberg is the only outlet for many traders glued to their terminals. ‘The IM is used a lot for personal use and there is a lot of chat and gossip behind everyone’s back, like, ‘She dresses so slutty, he is such a asshole, that person said this, did this did that,’’ the woman who worked in derivatives sales explained.
“At her firm, she said, managers could more easily read employees’ corporate email than their Bloomberg messages, which made people more laid back in their IMs.”
Read more here. Such conversations could end if investment banks decide to ban the function in their shops, notes Reinsberg.
by Chris Roush
Edward Wong of The New York Times writes about Code 204, a code at Bloomberg News that is used to keep articles on Chinese politics and social issues away from the eyes of powerful people in China who might be offended.
Wong writes, “For years, Bloomberg has been careful about the news it distributes on its terminals in mainland China. Senior Bloomberg managers added Code 204 to the editing system in early 2011, around the time that Chinese officials were growing anxious over calls for Chinese citizens to start a Jasmine Revolution, which never materialized. Editors routinely apply Code 204 to coverage of Chinese politics and general news, not just investigative blockbusters. “It’s very loosely applied,” one person said. Some editors justify Code 204 by arguing that the Chinese government allows Bloomberg to publish only financial news and data on the terminals, not political articles or other information, employees said.
“‘Their rationale is that we’re operating under the laws of mainland China,’ said one employee, who, like others at Bloomberg, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of being fired. The employee added that those editors defending Code 204 say Bloomberg has a license that allows the terminals to offer what is ‘narrowly defined as economic news.’
“Like Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg has official permits from China to distribute financial information and do reporting on a range of topics, employees said. A license from the State Council Information Office allows Bloomberg to disseminate financial information to subscribers of the terminals. Separately, the Foreign Ministry accredits Bloomberg’s news bureaus and journalists in China.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Amanda Bennett, former executive editor for projects and investigations at Bloomberg News, is leaving the news organization.
She had been editor at large for several months after Bob Blau took over the projects and investigations team this summer. However, her bio page on the Bloomberg terminal still lists her as an executive editor.
Few journalists within the news organization knew that Bennett had resigned when contacted Wednesday. She is one of the highest ranking women in the news organization.
In a message to Talking Biz News on Wednesday afternoon, Bennett wrote:
I am totally proud of the work of the Bloomberg Projects and Investigations team over the past five years – and of the wonderful reporters and editors who made it happen. The team has been responsible for a wide range of work that ranged from a series exposing how Wall Street exported toxic debt, to Victoria’s Secret’s use of child labor, to an early look at declining standards at ratings agencies, to our eye-opening work on surveillance in repressive regimes, to the harm caused by over-use of heart stents, to our landmark suit against the Federal Reserve Board that gave us the chance to show who actually benefited from the Fed’s emergency lending. I’m also most proud of the groundbreaking June 2012 story that the team led, that for the first time exposed the wealth of the relatives of China’s top leaders. I’m proud of the courage it took from top to bottom in Bloomberg to make that happen. I’m grateful to Matt and to everyone there who gave me and the team the opportunity to be part of that journalism. It’s been a great run. And Bob Blau is a great journalist and leader.
Bennett was editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer from June 2003, to November 2006, and prior to that was editor of the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky. She also served for three years as managing editor/projects for The Oregonian in Portland. She joined Bloomberg in February 2007.
Bennett served as a Wall Street Journal reporter for more than 20 years. A graduate of Harvard College, she held numerous posts at the paper, including auto industry reporter in Detroit in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Pentagon and State Department reporter, Beijing correspondent, management editor/reporter, national economics correspondent and, finally, chief of the Atlanta bureau until 1998, when she moved to The Oregonian.
She was elected co-chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2010, and was a member of the board since 2002. In 1997 Bennett shared the Prize for national reporting with her Journal colleagues, and in 2001 during her tenure at The Oregonian, that paper won a Pulitzer for public service.
Projects by the Bloomberg projects and investigations team won a 2008 Loeb Award and a 2009 Overseas Press Club Award; several awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers; a 2010 and 2011 George Polk Award and a 2010 National Headliner Award.
She won a Loeb Award in 2010 for the article that formed the basis of the book “The Cost of Hope.”
In addition to “The Cost of Hope,” she is the author of five books including “In Memoriam (1998),” co-authored with Terence B. Foley; “The Man Who Stayed Behind,” co-authored with Sidney Rittenberg (1993), and “Death of the Organization Man” (1991).
by Chris Roush
New York Times business editor Dean Murphy wrote:
I’m pleased to announce that we have a dynamic reporting trio coming our way — Rachel Abrams of Variety, Danielle Ivory of Bloomberg and Elizabeth Harris, now Metro’s Appraisal writer.
Rachel Abrams, who has worked at Variety since 2010, is the newest member of the DealBook/Finance cluster. Though she has been spending most of this first week at The Times in new employee orientation sessions, she has also managed to squirrel away with Sue Craig for a crash course in the ways of Wall Street. It is certainly not all new terrain to her. In leading Variety’s entertainment financial coverage in Los Angeles, Rachel had dealings with the likes of Goldman Sachs, catching the attention of both journalists (our own Brooks Barnes and Andrew Ross Sorkin, among them) and industry insiders for a series of scoops and features that were must reads within the world of entertainment. Rachel also worked as a freelance contributor at Voice of America, attended NYU and after graduation was an intern for Israel National Radio on the West Bank. Her secret claim to fame? There are many, but here’s a couple. She was a guest on a Father’s Day episode of “This American Life,” and she has performed poetry readings at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Apollo and Columbia University.
Danielle Ivory, who has worked at Bloomberg News in Washington the past three years, will bring her expertise in mining government databases to a new BizDay beat — the business of the public sector. Danielle was the lead database reporter on stories for Bloomberg’s investigations team, including a project that revealed how tax-funded programs intended to help the needy also enriched wealthy entrepreneurs. Earlier, at the Huffington Post Investigative Fund (where she worked alongside our own Ben Protess), she contributed to a series on water contamination that was a finalist for an IRE award. Danielle grew up in Pullman, Wash., the self-professed lentil capital of the world, and earned degrees from Princeton and Oxford, where her master’s dissertation explored the history of car accidents in London and how the auto lobby promoted safety laws and driver-friendly technology. Her secret claim to fame? Danielle wrote, choreographed and performed a “jukebox jazz opera” and starred as the lead ballerina in a workshop production of the Trojan Women by Euripes. She starts this month.
Liz Harris, a reporter for Metro and the Appraisal columnist, describes herself as “a sample-sale queen.” Asked about her shopping routine, she advises, “Elbows out, ladies!” And why might that be important? Liz starts next week as our retailing reporter, just in time for the holiday rush (and, lucky for Liz, Black Friday crowds!). “My favorite shopping experience is any time I find an excellent scarf on sale,” Liz says. It’s good, of course, that Liz enjoys the retail hunt, but the real reason she is a terrific match for this job is that Liz is an outstanding beat reporter who engages readers with a broad range of stories. Her Appraisal columns have delved into the comical (garbage disposal as tools for selling real estate), the curious (the last brownstone mine), the trend-setting (organic dry cleaners as barometers of gentrification) and the consequential (tax breaks for multimillion dollar condos). “Every Monday for two years, live on the web, Liz Harris has surprised and intrigued readers in real estate-mad New York,” says Metro editor Wendell Jamieson. Ian Trontz, another of Liz’s fans on Metro, adds, “We will miss her voice in Metro and will be looking forward to hearing it in a new context.” Liz’s secret claim to fame? Aside from making the best stove-top popcorn around, she deployed one of the best career advancement strategies around. One of Liz’s first jobs at The Times was working as a substitute secretary for Gail Collins, but in just two months on the job, Liz recalls, she sent Gail to two early morning breakfast meetings that did not exist. Gail promptly hired her as a clerk, where she immediately shined doing journalism, and Liz was well on her way to the newsroom. Says Gail, “I’ve been so proud of her work on the news side.”
by Chris Roush
Sara Eisen, the co-anchor of “Bloomberg Surveillance,” Bloomberg’s morning program that begins the day’s conversation on business, economics, finance and investment, has resigned to accept a similar position at CNBC.
Eisen, who announced the news on Twitter, will start in her new position on Dec. 16.
Eisen is a correspondent for Bloomberg Television, specializing in global macroeconomics, policy and business. Her background is in the foreign exchange and fixed income markets.
Eisen has extensively covered the European debt crisis, interviewing top political leaders and finance ministers from Germany to Greece. She also covered the tsunami aftermath and Fukushima nuclear crisis on the ground in Japan. Eisen has reported from G20 and IMF meetings around the world where she has interviewed global policymakers and central bankers.
Eisen previously hosted the program “On the Economy” on Bloomberg Radio. She is the editor of “Currencies After the Crash: The Uncertain Future of the Global Paper-Based Currency System” published by McGraw-Hill in January 2013.
She holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism with a concentration in business reporting from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
by Chris Roush
Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP and the current New York mayor, replied in a news conference Tuesday when asked to respond to a New York Times article stating Bloomberg News had killed articles in China for fear of government retribution, reports Colin Campbell of the New York Observer.
Campbell writes, “Asked about the report at an unrelated press conference earlier today, Mr. Bloomberg slammed any insinuation that his media company self-censors.
“‘Nobody thinks that we’re wusses and not willing to stand up and write stories that are of interest to the public and that are factually correct,’ Mr. Bloomberg told the New Tang Dynasty reporter who asked the question.
“‘And if you could get your facts right, then we could have another news service that does it,’ he further declared.
“Last Friday, the Times reported that Bloomberg News had quietly shelved two stories: one on the financial ties between one of the wealthiest men in China and the families of top Chinese leaders and the other on the children of senior Chinese officials employed by foreign banks. Bloomberg News strongly pushed back and denied the allegations, which the mayor reiterated today.
“‘Bloomberg did not do that. The editors said that was just not the case,’ Mr. Bloomberg said, pointing to the fact that the Bloomberg News website is currently blocked in China and touting tough stories the publication has printed on the Chinese government in the past.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Stephanie Armour has joined The Wall Street Journal as a financial, banking and consumer regulation reporter based in Washington, D.C, a company spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.
She previously worked at Bloomberg News where she covered food safety and public health. Earlier this year, she won a Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in Magazine Journalism for “Poisoned System,” which she reported and wrote along with John Lippert and Michael Smith for Bloomberg Markets.
The story was a months-long investigation that detailed broad conflict-of-interest problems with private food-safety auditing firms, including Peanut Corporation of America’s auditor, which gave the company’s Georgia plant a “superior” rating before the Salmonella outbreak.
It also won a National Press Club award in July.
Armour previously worked as a reporter at USA Today and the Des Moines Register. She is a 1997 graduate of the University of Minnesota and also went through the Knight Science Program boot camp at MIT.
by Chris Roush
Dean Starkman of Columbia Journalism Review writes Monday that the incident involving Bloomberg News stories in China is much more serious for the news organization than when its reporters were accused earlier this year of snooping on clients using the terminal.
Starkman writes, “This is actually much more important for Bloomberg News as a news operation than the terminal mini-scandal was. In the latter case, the interests at risk were business interests, and Bloomberg LP moved in and stomped out the problem with a shock-and-awe campaign of scrutiny and disclosure. No one doubts that Bloomberg will protect its business interests.
“Here, the allegation is that journalism interests were sacrificed. Now, Winkler is quoted in the Wong story as saying on the conference call that his concern was about the organization being thrown out of China and left unable to report the news. That’s a legitimate journalistic concern—sort of—but news organizations and/or reporters are not infrequently thrown out of countries that object to one story or other. It happens. And it’s a problematic reason to not run a true story. After all, who knows what will trigger ejection, and how do you base editorial decisions on that probability? Coincidentally, we see that Reuters’s veteran Paul Mooney was just denied a visa by China. That, of course, speaks well of him and of Reuters.
“Bloomberg won’t comment on the accuracy of the conference call anecdote but says flatly that editorial considerations alone drove the decision. As Winkler told the FT: ‘The reporting as presented to me was not ready for publication. Laurie and other top editors agreed.’”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Matt Winkler, the editor in chief of Bloomberg News, sent out the following email to the news organization’s editorial staff in the wake of reports that it has spiked stories in China that it fears might get it kicked out of the country:
To Bloomberg News:
There have been several misleading reports over the last few days by rival news organizations about our reporting in China.
I want to assure you that there has been no change in policy on how and when we publish our stories. As stated in The Bloomberg Way, our mandate is to provide definitive coverage of economics, markets, companies and industries worldwide, and we will continue to hold all reporting to the highest standards possible.