Tag Archives: Information

Will Smith

Ohio business reporter in critical condition


A Columbus Dispatch business reporter and avid bicyclist was struck and injured by a car Sunday while riding.

Jim Woods and Kathy Lynn Gray of the Dispatch write, “Steve Wartenberg, 55, was in critical condition in intensive care last night at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital with multiple broken bones.

“Wartenberg was hit about 11:44 a.m. on McCoy Road near Kenny Road. He hit the windshield of the car before landing on the pavement. His helmet and bicycle were in pieces, said his wife, Susan Cunningham.

“‘I’m sure his helmet saved his life,’ she said.

“Upper Arlington Police Sgt. Glenn Willer said Wartenberg was eastbound on McCoy Road when he was struck from behind just west of Kenny Road by a vehicle driven by Andrew Scott Inglis, who also was eastbound on McCoy.

“Willer said Inglis, 30, fled the scene and was captured a few minutes later. He has been cited for drunken driving, failing to keep an assured clear distance and fleeing the scene, Willer said.”

Read more here.


CFTC’s recent struggles after the shutdown


The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has been in the news lately, especially as it restarts after the government shutdown.

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting story about the CFTC being undersized and lacking funding to bring charges in certain cases:

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is so cash-starved that the agency is being forced to delay cases, shelve certain probes and decided not to file charges against two former traders over J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s “London whale” trading mess, a top official said.

In an interview, David Meister, who stepped down this week as the CFTC’s enforcement chief, said the agency is “absolutely undersized” for the sprawling futures and options markets it must police.

“We will do everything we can…but we have limited staff and limited resources,” Mr. Meister said. “Ultimately, it comes down to the math.”

The 50-year-old former prosecutor’s warning came Wednesday, his last day at the CFTC after a near-three-year enforcement stint. Since he joined the CFTC in January 2011, the once-obscure agency has reinvented itself to become an apparent force to be reckoned with.

During Mr. Meister’s watch, the CFTC nearly doubled its enforcement actions and tripled its sanctions, compared with the previous three-year period. This year alone, it has filed a number of high-profile cases, including civil actions against Jon S. Corzine, former chief executive of MF Global Holdings Ltd., and CME Group Inc., the world’s largest futures-exchange operator. Both deny wrongdoing and are fighting the cases.

The call for more funding came after the New York Times had a story Oct. 30 about the agency’s move to tighten rules and enforce new ones:

In October 2011, as the futures broker MF Global teetered on the brink of collapse, it dipped into client accounts in an effort to avert bankruptcy.

But the action failed to save the broker, and its implosion left thousands of clients short a total of $1.6 billion.

Two years after MF Global’s bankruptcy, regulators have sought to restore confidence in the industry, tightening rules that force brokerage firms to better safeguard client money.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission voted 3 to 1 on Wednesday to finish rules proposed a year ago to protect customers, including measures to close loopholes, reinforce internal risk controls and force brokers to provide more information to clients.

“This new information is critical in today’s world of high-frequency trading,” said Gary S. Gensler, chairman of the commission. “Thus, with these reforms, the commission will get additional tools to oversee the markets’ largest day traders and high-frequency traders.”

The new rules are part of a wider shift in policy to better regulate the futures industry after years of lighter-touch policy.

Brokers will be subject to tougher auditing standards and will be required to provide daily reports that include details of each separate client account. Those reports will be filed electronically. Mr. Gensler said that step was “the right place to be in the 21st century.”

The commission also voted to close a loophole that allowed brokerage firms to use money from client accounts that traded overseas under an exemption called the “alternative calculation.”

The most debated of the new rules will change how brokers keep collateral and make margin calls to ensure limits on defaults. Brokers, who are required to provide a financial buffer in client accounts, will also be forced to make clients pay several days earlier than they do now.

The regulations come after the agency had to furlough workers during the government shutdown, disrupting negotiations with firms as well as the ability to take enforcement action. Bloomberg had this story Oct. 24:

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the main U.S. derivatives regulator that pried $1.7 billion in fines and other penalties from the firms it regulates during the past year, is furloughing workers because it doesn’t have enough money to pay them.

“This is the budget reality we face,” CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler told employees today in an e-mail, which announced they would be asked not to work on as many as 14 days in the fiscal year that began this month. “I understand this is extremely tough news for your families and you. I want to thank each and every one of you for your dedication to this agency and your hard work, which is of great benefit to the American public.”

The CFTC’s investigation of manipulation of the London InterBank Offered Rate, which sets rates on products such as mortgages and interest-rate derivatives, led to fines this year including $700 million from UBS AG. The furloughs coincide with the Washington-based regulator’s mandate, stemming from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, to start overseeing the $633 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market.

“The timing is unfortunate given the need to implement Dodd-Frank,” said Robert Webb, a finance professor at the University of Virginia. The 16-day partial U.S. government shutdown this month also disrupted the agency, and further time off will only make the CFTC’s job harder, he said.

It’s going to be hard for the agency to enforce new rules if it doesn’t have money. This is another unforeseen aftermath of new financial regulations, granting new oversight but not giving agencies the ability to follow through.

Scott Perry

How a business editor celebrates Halloween


Scott Perry, the business editor of the Herald-Review in Decatur, Ill., dressed up for Halloween in the newsroom Thursday.

The photo is by Allison Petty, a reporter at the paper.

In an email to Talking Biz News, Perry wrote:

Up until a couple years ago, this was an every year thing. Unlike this year’s costume, most of them were made by me — mostly with boxes and tape. Got to be such a big deal that even people who had moved on were sending emails each year wondering what I came as. I’m really proud of my newspaper box, Sponge Bob, and witch hitting a pole (just like those decorations, but real), to name a few.

After missing a Halloween, I started focusing my efforts on creating costumes for the annual Chamber Business Expo. Those costumes always have some connection to the newspaper and Business Journal, of which I am the editor. It started with me wearing a sandwich board one year. After getting so many positive responses, I stepped it up and went as a cheerleader (“Be a cheerleader for your business.” The skirt was made out of newspapers), Pac Man ( Don’t get gobbled up by the competition), the newspaper box made an appearance, a padlock (The perfect combination), and a bed (We got you covered. The blanket was made out of newspapers.)

I’m attaching a picture of my newspaper box costume. There’s a couple funny stories that go with this one. I decided to walk around downtown in the costume with a co-worker. While I was stopped on a corner, a woman came up and REALLY tried to put money in the slot to get a paper. I guess the legs hanging out the bottom of the machine didn’t set off any alarms. My co-worker had to point out it was a costume, not a real machine. Then at work, I sat inside the costume next to the desk of the person working the desk that night waiting for her to arrive. When she got in, she said something like “Is this Scott’s costume this year?” and opened the door, at which time I popped out. You can guess her reaction.

This year was just a last-minute decision as I was getting dressed for work. I had the M&M costume and thought it would be fun to surprise people again. It was.

scott (2)


McGraw family funds biz journalism center at CUNY


With a $3 million gift from the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Family Foundation, the City University of New York’s graduate school of journalism will get a center for business journalism, reports Melanie Grayce West of The Wall Street Journal.

West writes, “The Harold W. McGraw Jr. Center for Business Journalism at CUNY will create a fellowship program, scholarships, internships, seminars and an annual symposium for business journalists.

Stephen Shepard, the founding dean of CUNY’s graduate journalism school, will oversee the development of the center’s programming. Mr. Shepard was the former editor in chief of BusinessWeek, when it was a publication owned by McGraw-Hill, and he is a friend of the family, according to Mr. McGraw. The McGraws wanted to make the gift before Mr. Shepard steps down as dean of the school later this year.

“”The late Mr. McGraw was a strong believer in the ‘whole art of journalism,’ said Mr. McGraw. ‘To be able to make a difference in some other people’s lives in his name is pure joy for me and my brother and sister.’”

Read more here.

Talking Biz News Today

Talking Biz News Today- Aug. 21, 2013


Some of the top stories in business journalism today:

New York Times top headlines:

Many Wall St. banks woo children of Chinese leaders, by David Barboza

Currency volatility is unnerving investors, by Nathaniel Popper

Reuters top headlines:

Greece’s ‘third’ bailout talk shadows ECB visit to Athens, by Harry Papachristou

America Movil secures financing to buy KPN, by Robert-Jan Bartunek

CNNMoney top headlines:

Where U.S. aid to Egypt goes, by Steve Hargreaves

Fortune top headlines:

A U.S. manufacturing comeback won’t rebuild the middle class, by Nin-Hai Tseng

Bloomberg top headlines:

Sales of U.S. existing homes rise to highest since 2009, by Victoria Stilwell

BMW owners waiting for repairs on supply chain breakdown, by Angela Maier and Richard Weiss

This date in business journalism history:

2012: The Mississippi Business Journal is sold by Dolan Co.

2008: The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires have asked a judge to unseal an antitrust case between Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp.

Talking Biz 2 mockup

Talking Biz News to host event on future of business journalism


Talking Biz News will host its first event on Nov. 1 in New York that will have two panels discussing the future of business journalism.

The event, which will begin at noon, will be held at  the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in Times Square.

The first panel will discuss the relationship between business journalists and companies and feature panelists such as Sally Beatty, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who works at Pfizer, and BuzzFeed business editor Peter Lauria.

The second panel will examine business models for business journalism media and include Rob Fisher, group publisher and senior vice president at American City Business Journals, operating out of New York.

Both panels will be moderated by Talking Biz News founder Chris Roush.

For more information, go here.  To reserve your spot, please email Roush at croush@email.unc.edu.


Talking Biz News Today — Aug. 15, 2013


Here is what business journalists are focusing on Thursday as their top stories:

Wall Street Journal top headlines:

Stocks, bonds sell off, by Kaitlyn Kierman and Min Zeng

Dell reports earnings after the close, by Brian Fitzgerald

Financial Times top headlines:

Wal-Mart sales drop signals gloomier outlook for consumers, by Barney Jopson

Cisco cuts jobs on “inconsistent” global demand, by April Dembosky

Bloomberg News top headlines:

U.S. net outflow of long-term securities rises to $66.9 billion, by Meera Louis

Consumer comfort in U.S. drops from more than five-year high, by Alexandra Baca

Reuters top headlines:

U.S. jobs, inflation data support tapering of Fed bond buying, by Lucia Mutikani

Buffett’s Berkshire buys Suncor, Dish as stocks appeal, by Jonathan Stempel and Tanya Agrawal

CNNMoney top headlines:

Carl Icahn is having an amazing year, by Hibah Yousuf

High speed trading puts investors on losing end, by Maureen Farrell

New York Times top headlines:

Old economies rise as growing markets begin to falter, by Nathaniel Popper

Intermittent nature of green power is problem for utilities, by Diane Cardwell

This date in business journalism:

2012:  Comcast ordered to put Bloomberg Television next to other business news networks (Bloomberg is still fighting Comcast to enforce the order.)

2008: Atlanta Constitution names new business editor, new business columnist (Andre Jackson now is an editorial page editor, while the business editor is now Matt Kempner.)


Talking Biz News Today — Aug. 14, 2013


Here is what business journalists are focusing on Wednesday as their top stories:

Wall Street Journal top headlines:

Stocks lose ground, by Alexandra Scaggs

UPS jet crashes in Alabama, by Valerie Bauerlein

Financial Times top headlines:

Paulson agrees to buy Steinway for $512 million, by Anjli Raval

Two traders charged in London Whale case, by Kara Scannell

Bloomberg News top headlines:

Pimco says now is time to buy emerging market debt after selloff, by Ye Xie

AMR seen imperiled in U.S. shift to block airline merger, by Mary Schlangenstein, Julie Johnsson & Thomas Black

Reuters top headlines:

Germany, France help euro zone exit recession, by Martin Santa

Watsa to hold keys to a BlackBerry deal, by Euan Rocha and Greg Roumeliotis

CNNMoney top headlines:

Apple tops $500. Thanks, Carl!, by Hibah Yousef

Bill Ackman disses Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, by Emily Jane Fox

New York Times top headlines:

BP sues U.S. over contract suspension, by Stanley Reed

FDA examining drowsy driving in the morning, by Katie Thomas

This date in business journalism:

2012: Marla Dickerson is named business editor of the Los Angeles Times. (Dickerson is still on the job.)

2008: Orlando Sentinel business columnist Beth Kassab talks about column writing. (She has since moved on to writing a metro column.)

Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review reports highest circulation ever


Harvard Business Review, or HBR, said Monday that its overall paid circulation was 260,315 at the end of June,  the highest paid circulation ever reported in the 91-year history of the magazine.

Chris Reidy of The Boston Globe writes, “Overall paid circulation was 7.5 percent higher than it was at the same time a year ago, said HBR, which publishes 10 editions a year. HBR articles focus on such topics as ‘smart management thinking’ and best business practices.

“HBR’s content can be consumed in several ways. Readers can subscribe to the print edition or buy a single copy on the newsstand. Consumers can also get a digital subscription that is designed to be read on mobile devices such as iPads and smartphones, as well as on personal computers. Paid print subscriptions rose 7.3 percent on a year-to-year basis. Single-copy sales were up 9.4 percent year-to-year. And HBR added that it had 14,639 “non-replica” digital subscribers at the end of the June reporting period.

“Over the past four years, HBR said that its advertising revenue has grown 32 percent; that figure includes both print and digital ad revenues. HBR does not disclose revenues in dollars.”

Read more here.

Jan Moore

Georgia biz editor — also a psychologist — announces run for mayor


Jan Moore, the business editor of the Statesboro Herald in south Georgia, has announced that she is running for mayor of the town.

She is also a psychologist for the local school system.

Jason Wermers of The Herald writes, “Moore said she has the support of both of her employers to run for mayor.

“Jim Healy, the operations manager for the Herald, expressed his support for Moore.

“‘I’ve worked with Jan for almost 10 years and she has earned my respect for her professionalism and thanks for helping launch the Herald’s business section in 2004,’ he said. ‘I also consider Jan a friend. I believe she would be a great mayor. She would represent the best interests of all citizens in making Statesboro a better place to live, work and do business.’

“Bulloch County Schools Superintendent Charles Wilson sent an email to the school board Friday letting them know that he supports Moore’s decision.

”Ms. Moore is a consummate professional who is dedicated to our students and her job with the Bulloch County School System, so I am not concerned about her ability or intentions,’ Wilson said in the email.

“‘We are very fortunate to have leaders such as this in our school system, who are willing to make that additional personal sacrifice to serve our community,’ he added later in the email.”

Read more here.