OLD Media Moves

McGraw-Hill, BusinessWeek parent, drops book critical of S&P

February 11, 2009

Jesse Eisinger of Conde Nast Portfolio reports that McGraw-Hill Inc., the parent company of BusinessWeek magazine, rating agency Standard & Poor’s and other properties, has decided not to publish a book by well-known financial blogger Barry Ritholtz that blames part of the economic turmoil on S&P’s faulty ratings.

A McGraw-Hill spokesman told Eisinger that the decision to drop the book was due to disagreements about editing of the book.

Eisinger writes, “Yet Ritholtz says it still was a no-go. Suddenly, he says, McGraw Hill editors were indicating that his assertions couldn’t be verified. ‘All the conversations I had with them, they made apparent this was all about S&P’s role as sister company,’ Ritholtz says. ‘It had nothing to do with sources and footnoting.

‘For anyone to suggest to verify this is difficult obviously has never used Google,’ Ritholtz adds.

“The writer says he has indications of interest from other publishers.

“‘We made all these changes and turned it into something that was much more damning: The hyperbole goes away,’ Ritholtz says. ‘I think they would have been better off where I’m just looking like a maniac.

‘Instead,’ he adds, ‘it’s all facts and figures and data and it’s much worse, much more dangerous to them.'”

Read more here.

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