OLD Media Moves

A book exposes biz journalism's top sources

July 1, 2006

The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin notes that a new book called “The Accidental Investment Banker” provides an inside look at investment bankers, who quite often are top sources of business journalists, particularly those covering mergers and acquisitions.

The book is written by Jonathan A. Knee, a managing partner at Evercore Partners and a long-time investment banker. Knee has also written for Columbia Journalism Review.

Sorkin writes, “He bemoans how Wall Streeters have gone from being ‘discreet trusted advisers to increasingly mercenary deal hounds,’ motivated by publicity as much as profitability.

“Dog-eared, bootleg copies of the book have been circulating around Wall Street for the last two weeks ever since his publisher, Oxford University Press, sent out advance review copies.

“Mr. Knee’s decision to write a book that could jeopardize his business relationships — he’s been a media banker for Dow Jones, Jonathan KneeThomson and VNU, among others — offers the public a rare, ringside seat inside the madcap and often egomaniacal world of Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe. While his narrative isn’t as deftly shaped as Michael Lewis’s in ‘Liar’s Poker,’ Mr. Knee has much more authority on the subject: he climbed to the top of the business while Mr. Lewis wrote from the perspective of a young, green analyst.

“Mr. Knee spends a lot of time poking fun at the mystique of investment banking. One of his best passages is his description of league tables — those coveted Wall Street rankings that are as much fiction as fact.”

Read more here.

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