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How a WSJ markets reporter uses data analysis to tell stories

January 23, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Gunjan Banerji

The Wall Street Journal’s Women In newsletter features markets reporter Gunjan Banerji.

Here is an excerpt:

WSJ: What is the most challenging story you have worked on?

Banerji: I was covering alleged manipulation in a popular Wall Street index—the Cboe Volatility Index—last year. In order to understand why people were saying the index was being tampered with, I had to study the ins and outs of the gauge and its many derivatives—how they were calculated and settled monthly. This was super wonky stuff but it was important to understand the details to break news on developments surrounding the index and an investigation.

WSJ: Tell us about your most recent big win.

Banerji: Completing a data analysis on the debt market, which entailed crunching numbers on more than 70,000 bonds and 136,000 credit ratings issued over the past decade. I had dabbled with Excel previously but had my findings included in stories for the first time this year.

The goal was to spot trends in credit ratings and see which companies  tended to give out the most optimistic ratings. Even though there were reforms put in place to improve bond ratings after the financial crisis, they haven’t had the intended effect and the system remains flawed.

Read more here.

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