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Bloomberg Reporters Get Bonuses if M&A Stories 'Move Markets'
by Karl Bode 09:15AM Thursday Dec 19 2013
An interesting report over at Business Insider notes how Bloomberg uses the rather unique practice of giving its reporters yearly bonuses -- if their stories "move markets." Bloomberg has been at the heart of the recent wave of cable merger and acquisition rumors, many of which have contradicted one another but have driven Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Charter Communications stocks up significantly in recent months. "Most of the people we spoke to, especially traders, were startled to hear about this practice, worrying that it might create an incentive for Bloomberg reporters to "push" or stretch stories with the specific aim of moving markets," notes the report.

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moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Well, isn't this unethical.

Seriously, a journalist is to report the news, not make it.

Unethical

@comcast.net

Re: Well, isn't this unethical.

said by moonpuppy:

Seriously, a journalist is to report the news, not make it.

Of course it is. But who would expect anything else from an organization owned by a political opportunist who switched parties anytime it suited his personal goals.

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA
You can tell by their headlines that they are politically and big business motivated. Another FAKE news site.
--
Let them eat FIBER!
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
manipulation of the stock market prices of companies should be illegal, for good reason-- be it news orgs or others whether they gain from it or not
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD

we don't have "news" so much anymore

the U.S. media doesn't do news as much as it does infotainment or propaganda. I get most of my real news from the web.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: we don't have "news" so much anymore

said by nasadude:

I get most of my real news from the web.

Which has at least as many spin doctors, and may be better or worse depending on the source.
Multiple sources and being willing to track down the background yourself seems the only solution.

Something I found yesterday was the same story published in 4 separate news mags (in different market segments) under 4 different names (each was an "editor"/pundit known in their market segment but probably not generally recognized outside the specialty ) some paragraphs were word for word identical and all along the same gist.

Not plagiarism, but a market spotlight likely written by someone else and syndicated under these editors names with a sign toward promoting a new generation of products.
All tracable back to a single publisher group that does at least the online version of a number of highly respected mags from all around the world.

I don't think Bloomberg or the Murdoch group are alone or that this is new behavior.

scross

join:2002-09-13
Cordova, TN

Re: we don't have "news" so much anymore

This situation isn't really anything new, although the immediacy and hyper-competitiveness of the web has apparently managed to lower standards across the board once again - such as they were to begin with. This isn't a terribly recent phenomenon for the web, either. A decade or so ago I found out that I would soon be working with/for someone who supposedly had an excellent reputation in our field (according to the person in upper management who was bringing them in), even though neither I nor anyone else in our group had ever heard of them before. So I went out to the web to do a little background research on this person, and found something like 20 separate stories (from as many different news and trade publications and related sites) all talking about this person in breathless and glowing terms, leading me at first to believe that maybe I and the rest of my group were just a little bit out of the loop here. But upon closer inspection, it turned out that 19 of those 20 stories were basically word-for-word identical, with only one being truly unique, and that one predated the others by several months, while the rest all came out around the same time.

Long story short: what this person was GOOD at was reputation management, and had obviously hired a PR or other similar firm to plant these stories out there about them. Another thing they were good at was handing over company money (and lots of it) to various vendors, who placed ads in these different publications, and who could leverage those ad dollars and use various other means to get the publications to pretty much print whatever they wanted them to print. What this person was exceptionally BAD at was doing the job they were actually hired to do, and in the end they were cut loose quite coldly and abruptly, but not before digging a financial hole for the company that it's still trying to get itself out of.
guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:1

Markets are rigged

And always have been
O1OOO1O

join:2005-12-23
Lewisville, TX

O Rly?

"Most of the people we spoke to, especially traders, were startled to hear about this practice, worrying that it might create an incentive for Bloomberg reporters to "push" or stretch stories with the specific aim of moving markets,"


Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: O Rly?

I have always referred to this "reporting" as a legalized way to participate in insider trading.

"Report" bad news to make the stock lower to get in on it.
"Report" good news to make the stock higher to cash out.

Have that reporting done by an "independent" 3rd party and nobody is any wiser.

JakCrow

join:2001-12-06
Palo Alto, CA
I love this line: "This practice is not widespread in the financial news industry". Translation; CYA! CYA!