How a banking scandal story was reported
Matthew Boesler of Business Insider interviewed Bloomberg News correspondent Elisa Martinuzzi about her recent expose that uncovered a scandal within Monte dei Paschi – the world’s oldest bank and one of Italy’s biggest.
Here is an excerpt:
How were you able to piece this story together?
EM: Though the last stretch involved pulling an all-nighter, with editors from London, to New York to Hong Kong shepherding the story out, it didn’t exactly come together in a day.
The story took six months to piece together, starting with a tip-off I got from a source. After scouring the public accounts of Monte Paschi, and seeing just a vague reference to a deal dubbed Santorini, I suspected there may have been failures in disclosure. That became apparent in November when the company said it would seek more money from the Italian government because of structured deals gone bad. Having then established through other sources that the tip-off was accurate, the next challenge was finding independent experts who could validate the thesis, as well as understanding the complex deal well-enough myself so I could explain it to our readers.
That was possibly the hardest part, because once you start reaching out to more and more sources the clock is ticking.
With my London colleague Nicholas Dunbar, we cast the net wide, from Australia to San Diego. The good news was all the experts we spoke to concurred in their analysis. We had nailed it.