Reporters at Bloomberg News were trained to use a function on the company’s financial data terminals that allowed them to view subscribers’ contact information and, in some cases, monitor login activity in order to advance news coverage, more than half a dozen former employees said.
More than 315,000 Bloomberg subscribers worldwide use the terminals for instant market news, trading information and communication. Reporters at Bloomberg News, a separate division from the terminal business, were nonetheless told to use the terminals to get an edge in the competitive world of financial journalism where every second counts, according to these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the company’s strict nondisclosure agreements.
The company acknowledged that at least one reporter had gained access to information on Goldman Sachs after the bank complained to the company last month. On Sunday, Ty Trippet, a Bloomberg spokesman, said that “reporters would not have been trained to improperly use any client data.”
Matthew Winkler, editor in chief of Bloomberg News, underscored that the practice was at one time commonplace.
Michael Bloomberg, crimefighting billionaire media mogul and mayor of
I'd often wondered why Wall Street relied upon an extremely centralized, extremely expensive, and otherwise obsolete computer technology. It's been explained to me that Bloomberg Terminals were so expensive that having your firm rent you one was a sign that you are a BSD, and what real man on Wall Street would allow the symbolic castration of having his Bloomberg Terminal replaced with a Mac or PC?
But this story of how lowly Bloomberg reporters had been trained on how to spy on Bloomberg Terminal clients like Goldman Sachs opens up an entirely different line of thought about how Mayor Bloomberg has continued to prosper.
On reflection, though, perish the thought. Forget I ever said this. Obviously, Bloomberg's organized snooping on its clients' inside info was utterly 100% restricted to pixel-stained wretches on the news side of the Bloomberg company. None of the Big Money Boys on the Terminals side of Bloomberg would ever have dreamed of doing such a thing.