Thursday, October 25, 2012

What Atlantic Magazine Forgot to Tell You About Mayor Bloomberg

Atlantic has a profile out on Mayor Bloomberg. In part, it says:
You could look at Michael Bloomberg—astringent, profane, irritated by small talk, impatient with the politics of empathy—and see a plutocrat whose billions have given him the freedom to say and do whatever he wants, even to change the law to run for a third term as New York City’s mayor. Or you could look a little further and see a more interesting pattern: a man who turned getting shunted off the fast track at Salomon Brothers—over to information technology, no place for a fledgling master of the financial universe—into an opportunity, creating an entirely new approach to getting traders the data they needed...
New approach? Try crony approach?

What the profile doesn't tell you is that at the time, Bloomberg was able to provide the "inside quote" at which the Fed's chosen Primary Dealers traded with the Fed. This quote was of utmost importance to traders at the time, especially bond traders. They needed Bloomberg's access to this inside quote to understand what the Fed was doing (The Fed didn't announce interest rate targets at the time). It remains to this day unclear why Bloomberg was allowed to provide the inside quote on his machines, when others were denied the ability to do so. I know this for a fact, since I was at the tima consultant to a major firm that was denied the right to publish the quote. Without that quote, Bloomberg machines would have never gotten off the ground and Bloomberg most likely would have been selling late edition copies of  NyPo to the Wall Street crowd heading home via the Bowling Green subway station.

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