“Goldman received a $20 million fee for playing matchmaker for El Paso. The fee, of course, was not disclosed, nor was the Kinder Morgan stake owned by Goldman Sachs’s private equity arm, worth some $4 billion.” [DealBook]
BusinessWeek Magazine is apparently a big mess. Media gossip website Gawker describes it as a “hellhole” riven by “internal backstabbing, sniping, and intra-office gossip wars.”
Because we’re of the belief that financial journalism can never have enough pretty girls, we’re happy to bring you this video of an ambitious young girl called Brenna Hartwidth. She describes herself as a “financial service professional” and apparently wants to be the next Maria Bartiromo.
Video after the jump.
Thorold Barker and Liam Denning write the all important Lex column for the Financial Times. Or they did. Today the news broke that Barker and Denning have been hired by the Wall Street Journal and will apparently be writing the “Heard on The Street” column.
Wall Street Journal hires Financial Times journalists [Guardian]
The announcement last night that key Murdoch aide Robert J. Thomson, who had been charged with selecting the next top editor of The Wall Street Journal , had pulled a Dick Cheney and selected himself, will have many speculating about the future of the Journal.
But why speculate when the evidence is right on the front page of the Wall Street Journal? Today’s front page shows that the worst fears of Journal watchers–turning the Journal into the New York Post or even the Sun–haven’t come to pass. But there does seem to be a shift in focus. Newspapers communicate their image of what is important with their front pages. And the front page story is a prized win for reporters, conveying prestige among colleagues. A few months ago the news desk at the Journal was split between general news and business news, and business news seems to be losing some of its grip on the paper.
Take a look at what’s on the Journal’s front page. Today there are six stories. The top billing is giving to the story of Ted Kennedy’s brain tumor. The two other above the fold stories are about the quake in China and the US military. Below the fold we have a story about doping scandals in the Olympics. Of these, only the military story–they plan to use more alternate fuels–has a solid business angle. The rest are general news stories. Murdoch, who is said to favor more general news more prominently placed in the Journal, must be pleased.
The “What’s News” section continues to lead with business and finance news shorts. For now.
It is well known that smart people—particularly the subset of the intelligent sometimes called intellectuals—tend to overrate the role of intelligence in providing solutions to social problems. This was on display in lurid colors in Gretchen Morgenson’s Sunday column in the New York Times lamenting the lack of “an intelligent and comprehensive plan for dealing with mass foreclosures and the economic consequences associated with the [credit crash] debacle.”
Morgenson goes to great lengths to draw comparisons to New York City’s bankruptcy crisis in the midseventies—which, as she says, was avoided in part by a cabal of government officials and bankers conspiring to refinance the city’s teetering debt structure. But she goes too far in reading a greater lesson into this story. It becomes almost a fairy tale of intellectualism, in which well intentioned intellectuals swoop in from their glass and steel perches to rescue capitalism from its tendency toward anarchy. The idea that no rescue plan outside of permitting market processes to operate is available is reduced to “doing nothing.” A better way must be available because “America is full of smart and caring people!”
We’re second to no one in our appreciation of the smart and caring—we’re not supposed to call them the “best and the brightest” anymore—Inhabiting these Untied States. Unfortunately, we have stubborn memories that insist on recalling the fact that the mortgage crisis that set off the broader credit crisis has its origins in the plans of the smart and caring to expand homeownership beyond the levels established through market processes. Perhaps its time to give “doing nothing” a chance.
Big Rescues Can Work. Just Ask New York. [New York Times]
Bianna Golodryga is apparently Washington DC’s favorite “money honey.” The former CNBC reporter moved over to ABC last year. But her appearance at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is garnering her a lot of attention. “She’s smoking,” a Bush administration official tells Paul Bedard, who writes the Washington Whispers gossip column for US News & World Report.
“I was walking around with her, and all the big shots were coming up and introducing themselves. They were gaga over her,” a “financial industry source” tells Bedard.
The New TV Money Honey [US News]