Tag Archives: Markets coverage


A new model for business journalism


Paul Glader, a journalist and King’s College professor, writes about how business news organizations should change how they cover issues, people and companies.

Glader writes, “Leading in the new era of business journalism means  re-evaluating the aftershock-focused model of how business newspapers and magazine cover issues, people and companies. It means, as a news organization, to turn on the headlights rather than to rely on the rearview mirror. It also means creating new models of collaboration and conversation within a newsroom. Hagerty writes:

    “One weakness in the WSJ coverage, I think, was that the housing/mortgage markets and the Wall Street bond market were covered by different groups of reporters. That meant we didn’t write as much as we should have about the incredible and very risky growth of the Wall Street mortgage securities market in the years leading up to the crisis. Wall Street investment banks were not only underwriting rapidly rising amounts of mortgage securities and inventing complicated new types of mortgage investments; they also were moving into the business of making home loans to consumers via brokers. We wrote about this trend from time to time, but we weren’t sufficiently focused on that angle.”

I wrote back to Hagerty saying, “You make a strong case for collaboration between groups of reporters. Has the WSJ figured out ways to do this better now? Or is it impossible?”

Hagerty: In general, I think WSJ reporters are pretty good at collaborating. Editors need to look out for opportunities to encourage even more of that. Too often editors only get galvanized once there is a crisis.

Read more here.

Stephanie Ruhle

Bloomberg TV’s Ruhle: Why I called foul on investment manager


Bloomberg Television anchor Stephanie Ruhle posted a response Wednesday on Daily Beast/Women in the World to an interview yesterday with prominent investment manager Cliff Asness, who said on live TV, “You’re giving me that look that I get when I talk to women about quant stuff.”

Ruhle wrote:

By saying “quant,” the implication was that I was ill equipped to follow Cliff’s sophisticated (quantitative) market analysis because of my gender. Now Cliff is one of the smartest investors in the world. The truth is that he outpaces people of all sexes, creeds, and colors when it comes to numbers. But he had singled me out—the woman sitting across from him on live TV—for a bit of gentle ridicule.

This kind of thing happens a lot to women at work. Usually it’s just a clumsy riff on old ideas of what’s gender-appropriate. If you believe that in 2014 men are still consciously fighting to keep a grip on their hegemony, then I suppose you could hear these kinds of comments and focus on the damage they do. They might make you angry, and that’s valid.

I happen to know Cliff, and the truth is he just made a dumb joke at a moment when his mouth and brain weren’t connecting. Which means the relevant issue isn’t the damage done, but the proper response. For me, in the moment, it was to stop the interview and call him out, with as much humor as possible, for a comment even the most ancient chauvinist knows is out of date. And to his credit, Cliff apologized and blushed and made all the proper gestures and noises a moral person should make when they’ve done something stupid. In the end, we both laughed.

Read more here.


Seeking Alpha pays $270,000 a month to contributors


Eli Hoffman, the senior vice president of content and editor in chief of Seeking Alpha, writes about how the financial news and investment site pays its contributors.

Hoffman writes, “We pay contributors who publish articles that are exclusive to Seeking Alpha. The base payment is $10/CPM (1,000 page-views). For high-quality analysis of stocks that otherwise lack good research, we have two additional payment tiers: i) Small-Cap Insight – we pay a minimum of $150 per article for high-quality small-cap research, as selected by our editors. ii) Top Ideas – for top small-cap ideas with exceptionally attractive risk/reward profiles (1-10 per day) we pay $500.

“We launched article payments in early 2011 with the per-page-view model. Contributors were happy, but said the focus on page-views led them to publish analysis on very popular stocks and topics. Since unusual investment opportunities (‘alpha’) are often found in lesser-followed stocks, this wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Unlike traditional media businesses, in equity research there is often an inverse correlation between broad appeal and value.

“This led us to change our payment model and channel a large percentage of author payments to quality rather than popularity. Having said that, I still think too much of the decision about what constitutes quality rests in editors’ hands. In a true marketplace, consumers determine the value of an item, not an expert panel. Because of this, I am intrigued by ways in which SA can more closely mimic the characteristics of a marketplace, in which those who provide the greatest net value are most successful. I welcome your suggestions.

Are all contributors paid?

“No. Some contributors decline payment for a variety of reasons; they can direct their payments to a charity of their choice. Others prefer to syndicate their research through a variety of channels, and decline payment in order that their articles not be exclusive.

How much do you pay contributors per month?

“Contributor payments are the lion’s share of our editorial costs. In a typical month, we pay $270,000 to contributors – $150,000 in page-view payments, and $120,000 in minimum-guaranteed article-quality payments.”

Read more here.

Reuters Logo

Reuters seeks editor to oversee energy markets news in New York


Reuters News is seeking an exceptional journalist, an inspirational leader and an insightful editor to lead coverage of the most important story of the decade – the North American shale revolution, and its transformative impact on global energy markets.

The broad contours of this story are well established, as surging U.S. production and falling imports promise an economic revival that will fundamentally alter America’s position in the world. But beyond the headlines, the energy trade story has never been in greater flux, from the Keystone pipeline to decades-old export restrictions; the rise of natural gas vehicles to the decline of coal-fired power plants; oil-train arbitrage to Jones Act tankers; Latin America fuel exports to U.S. biofuel policy; the shrinking role of Wall Street to the renewed rise of trading merchants. In an ever-changing landscape with prices and politics constantly shifting, traders and investors are more reliant than ever on smart journalism.

As editor-in-charge of energy market news in the Americas, the successful candidate will be expected to drive coverage on two parallel, interconnected tracks: breaking market-moving real-time news for professional traders ahead of the competition, from refinery glitches to pipeline spills to arbitrage trades; and also producing sophisticated, ahead-of-the-curve enterprise and investigative work that highlights emerging trends, analyzes major developments and tells a global financial audience about things that other people don’t want them to know.

The editor-in-charge will be expected to lead by example, producing outstanding work under their own byline while directing and developing the talents and skills of 10 specialist reporters in New York and another dozen or so across the region, helping them produce sharp, smart market stories for a global audience. Competing at both ends of the spectrum, from deep-specialist split-second spot news to agenda-setting multi-week enterprise, requires clear leadership, smart strategies and savvy news ideas. Above all, it requires a fierce determination to win.

Drive, ambition and a passion for winning every part of the news cycle, from breaking alerts to deep enterprise
Proven ability to conceive and execute ahead-of-the-curve stories for a professional financial audience
Masterful editing skills to produce clear, sharp, sophisticated energy market copy, quickly
Track record of independently writing and reporting stories, from spot news to original analysis
Readiness to lead a large, diverse team through high standards, coaching and career development
Minimum five years of energy market news or industry experience

To apply, go here.

CNN Money Logo

CNNMoney.com seeks markets reporter


The Staff Reporter for Markets and Investing at CNNMoney.com will be responsible for reporting, writing and developing stories about financial markets and investing, one of CNNMoney’s five main beats.

The Staff Reporter will be expected to excel at story development and writing and help the team’s efforts with audience building, innovation and social media.

Areas include:

• Story development: Cultivate a wide range of sources and a deep understanding of the trends, issues and events influencing financial markets and investing.

• Breaking news: Stay on top of and respond quickly to breaking news, ensuring that all major developments are covered.

• Make news: Develop ideas that will set CNNMoney apart from the competition.

• Writing: Deliver sharp, smart, engaging copy on pieces ranging from short breaking news items to larger packages.

• Innovate: Continually seek out interesting story and package ideas and execute on them. Assist with developing new tools, products and ways of presenting information, such as infographics and interactives.

• Help brainstorm new big acts and ways to extend annual features with quarterly or monthly breakouts.

• Help build and package stories and galleries to maximize their impact.

• Help get specials content in front of more people and attract new readers, by making smart choices of what to cover, and through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, mobile, and other means.

Qualifications: 2-3 years reporting and writing experience, with knowledge of financial markets and investing. Bachelor’s degree. Analytical skills. Sharp writing. Solid news judgment. Highest journalistic standards.

To apply, go here.


Market frenzy

Goldman may sell floor trading


In a week where much of Wall Street has been talking about Michael Lewis’ new book and high-frequency trading, on Tuesday, the news broke that Goldman Sachs might sell its New York Stock Exchange floor-trading unit.

Justin Baer and Bradley Hope had this story in the Wall Street Journal:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is close to selling a once-iconic trading business based on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for a fraction of what it paid less than 15 years ago, according to people familiar with the matter.

Goldman is in talks to sell the business, once part of Spear, Leeds & Kellogg LP, to Dutch firm IMC Financial Markets, the people said.

Goldman paid $6.5 billion in 2000 for the business, which included a division that puts buyers and sellers together on the floor of the NYSE. A final deal isn’t imminent, though the companies are discussing a price of as much as $30 million, the people said, a reflection of the dramatic changes that have transformed U.S. markets since Goldman made the initial deal.

Remco Lenterman, chief executive of IMC Financial Markets, said the company doesn’t “comment on rumors or speculation.”

Bloomberg pointed out in a story by Sam Mamudi, Zeke Faux and Michael J. Moore that the NYSE’s floor traders have been shrinking and they may be purchased by IMC, a high-frequency trading firm:

The NYSE’s huddles of traders have been shrinking for years as more transactions are handled electronically, making humans less integral. Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc. pledged to preserve the trading floor in lower Manhattan when it agreed to buy the exchange in 2012.

“The business has evolved away from humans on the exchange,” said Devin Ryan, an analyst at JMP Group Inc. “Only a fraction is being done on the floor with humans versus how much is being done electronically.”

IMC, which stands for International Marketmakers Combination, is a high-frequency trading firm and asset manager founded in Amsterdam in 1989. It has offices in Chicago and New York, and conducts transactions on more than 90 exchanges around the world, according to its website. Remco Lenterman, an IMC managing director, and Tiffany Galvin of New York-based Goldman Sachs said their companies don’t comment on speculation.

Selling the floor-trading business wouldn’t mean Goldman Sachs would stop making markets. The firm reaps the most revenue from equities trading among banks globally. It runs its own trading venue called Sigma X and holds a stake in exchange operator Bats Global Markets Inc.

The NYSE has long relied on traders known as designated market markers to facilitate buying and selling. The firms help run opening and closing auctions of NYSE-listed stocks. Traders wearing vented jackets labeled with their names and numbers gather around a market maker for that stock, who calls out prices. Some eat peanuts, tossing the shells on the ground.

MarketWatch’s blog was one of many writing about the debate over the new world of trading highlighted by Lewis’ new book:

Twitter reaction has been fast and furious to the accusation by the author of the new book “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” that high-frequency traders have an edge over the average stock-market investor.

“High frequency traders have found ways to use their speed to gain an advantage that few understand,” said Michael Lewis, who has written a number of best-sellers about Wall Street, in an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday.

In the interview, Lewis alleges that high-frequency traders, who use complex computer algorithms, are able to “front run” orders, buying a block of stocks fractions of a second before another buyer and then selling those same shares to that buyer, because they pay for fiber-optic lines that are faster than other lines. He singled out BATS Global Markets, one of the biggest U.S. exchanges, for its role in the market.

Not surprisingly, then, the most vocal defender of HFTs on Twitter Monday was the president of BATS, William O’Brien, who uses the handle @obrienedge, tweeted: “Michael Lewis could not be more wrong when he says the stock market is not a fair or safe place for investors #FlashBoys

The BATs president acknowledged that there are ways to improve the markets, but that it’s “unjust to accuse people simply for using technology & providing competition.”

The news comes after the Federal Bureau of Investigation is joining other regulators into looking into high frequency trading. The New York Post had this story by James Covert:

The FBI has joined state and regulatory probes of high-frequency traders to see if the firms are guilty of insider trading.

Agents, who started the probe about a year ago, are looking to see if the HFTs used information to trade ahead of large institutional orders, an FBI spokesman told a number of media outlets on Monday when news of the investigation first surfaced.

In one possible scenario, agents would look to see if a high-speed trading firm profited by jumping ahead of a huge buy order, and then quickly exited after the giant order pushed the stock higher.

One thing’s for certain, traders have never been scrutinized – by the press, the public and regulators. Many millions have been made on milliseconds and it seems that Goldman is betting that’s the way the world will go.

Bloomberg keyboard

Bloomberg seeks bonds/currencies reporter in London


Bloomberg News is seeking an experienced editor in London to cover government bonds, currencies and money markets across Europe.

The successful candidate will join a team of reporters and editors who have set the standard for fast, accurate and insightful coverage of fixed-income and foreign-exchange news in the European markets. The role requires someone with experience of editing and reporting at a newspaper or news service. The editor must have the ability to coach reporters to get the most out of their stories while ensuring accuracy and speed at all times.

-Previous financial journalism experience is essential
-Experience of working in a real time news environment is desirable
-Proven track record of editing financial stories IS DESIRABLE
-Experience covering markets in a real-time environment is desirable
-Knowledge of government bonds and/or currency markets is desirable
-Ability to coach reporters on sourcing, interviewing and writing is essential

To apply, go here.


Bloomberg seeks commodities reporter in Beijing


Bloomberg News is seeking a reporter to cover China’s commodities industry. Based in Beijing, the successful candidate will be required to break market-moving news and write agenda-setting and memorable features on companies active across mining and metals, food and agriculture.

In addition to a fantastic track record of scoops and insightful enterprise stories, the reporter should have a strong understanding of the policy issues that affect China’s resources industry. The reporter should be flexible, calm under pressure and a quick learner. He or she may from time to time be called upon to help cover China’s energy story and its commodities and energy markets, as well as other news coverage for our China bureaus and the wider Asian commodities and energy industry team. The position could also be based in Shanghai.


- Experience of working in a real-time news environment or at a newspaper is preferred
- Chinese-language fluency is mandatory

To apply, go here.

Charlotte Porter

A business reporter who covers the weather


Charlotte Porter, a reporter on the energy markets team at Bloomberg News, spoke with Lauren Meller of Bloomberg’s PR team about her beat, which is covering how weather affects energy prices.

Here is an excerpt:

You specialize in weather coverage. How did you get into this subject?

Early in my career, one of the first things drilled into me was how to do a wrap, pulling together material from reporters all over the country into a coherent narrative, and doing it quickly. Weather lent itself to this regularly.

How did you further explore your passion for weather when you arrived at Bloomberg?

After I joined Energy Markets, my team leader, Dan Stets, quickly came to see the advantage of regular weather coverage. Natural gas markets, in particular, pay close attention to the weather. Hurricanes can shut down offshore rigs and coastal refineries. Cold can freeze production at northern shale formations and affect natural gas demand and storage levels. El Ninos change worldwide weather patterns that have a direct impact on not only energy but agriculture.

Are there ebbs and flows in how busy you are, depending on seasonal weather patterns? Is there a particularly hectic time of the year for you?

Normally, I would say hurricane season is busiest, but this winter, it seems we just weren’t able to get a break, with storms almost every week and unrelenting cold. The weather does follow a pattern of sorts. In the U.S., November to March is considered the heating season, when natural gas demand peaks, and of course that’s when we get snow and cold. Spring is the heart of tornado and flooding season, and then the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November. There’s rarely a dull moment.

Read more here.

Seeking Alpha

Seeking Alpha takes steps to prevent paid stock promotion


Eli Hoffmann, the senior vice president of content and editor in chief at SeekingAlpha.com, writes about how the financial site is taking additional steps to prevent writers from posting content about stocks they were paid to promote.

Hoffmann writes, “We are grateful to Richard Pearson for his outstanding undercover work in unearthing foul play on Seeking Alpha and other investing websites, and for sharing his research with us proactively so that we could deal promptly with non-compliant authors. You can read Richard’s recent articles on this topic here and here.

“This discovery has led us to re-examine our contributor due-diligence policies, and to implement the following safeguards:

  1. Ticker monitoring and blacklisting: We now monitor a number of websites that keep running tabs on stocks that are being actively promoted. When we receive an article on a stock that is suspected of promotion, the article must be reviewed and approved by a managing editor. We have also blacklisted certain stocks from publication altogether in order not to fall prey to promotion.
  2. IP tracking: We recently deployed IP tracking in our content management system. We are now able to cross-check article submissions against each other, which has helped us uncover a number of contributors submitting under false identities.
  3. ID verification: In cooperation with IDology, we are deploying a system to validate contributors’ identities by matching our information against publicly available databases. In cases where we’re unable to validate a contributor’s identity, we require them to submit official photo ID which IDology can independently validate.
  4. Zero-tolerance policy: Any contributor found to have cooperated with stock promoters will have his contributor status permanently revoked, no exceptions.”

Read more here.