Bloomberg News columnist Michael Lewis writes a humorous column about the most-read stories on the wire service in 2006 and what makes them interesting.
Hint: Most of them have nothing to do with traditional company news, but what affects people on Wall Street, like their pay or their jobs.
Lewis wrote, “News that implicated Wall Street jobs and paychecks, on the other hand, drew huge crowds: Goldman Sachs’s bonuses, Morgan Stanley’s bonuses, Credit Suisse’s trading losses, commodity traders’ losses, commodity traders’ booming pay — the list goes on.
“In a year filled with breaking news on the war on terror, wild fluctuations in energy prices, the collapse of American support for the war in Iraq, the demise of Tony Blair and the Republican Party, and changes at the helms of the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department, a story of more interest to Bloomberg readers than any of these was the report that HSBC’s New York branch might get rid of as many as 20 bond traders.
“In this list there is both mystery and pattern.
“The pattern — and the thread is fine, but so brightly colored that it shouldn’t be ignored — is an overwhelming interest in a particular kind of financial news story: stories that implicate, in one way or another, what Wall Street people might be paid at the end of the year. The Bloomberg reporter who wanted to be most-read might best spend his or her time digging not into the market forces affecting Wall Street’s business but those affecting Wall Street’s employees.”
Read more here.Â