When Merrill Lynch tried to bribe Charles Gasparino
Fox Business Network senior correspondent Charles Gasparino spoke with Playboy magazine’s Rob Tannenbaum about his career.
Here is an excerpt:
It’s cruel that the people who most need financial advice can’t get it. That’s changed over the past 30 years, right?
Yes. I broke a story when I was a reporter at The Wall Street Journal that I’ll never forget. In 1999 I got a call from a Merrill Lynch broker on Long Island, where they do a lot of high-net-worth investing. He said, “My branch manager sent around a memo today. He doesn’t want us dealing with poor people.” He faxed me the memo. “We at Merrill Lynch want to deal with the future rich people of the world. As a result, you cannot take an account for less than $100,000. If you want to deal with poor people, you can get a nice job at the United Way.” When I contacted Merrill, they tried to get me to not write the story. “What can we trade you not to write this story? You want an interview with our CEO?” I said no way. The story was too good.
So for people who don’t have brokers, are there people on television they should pay attention to?
Me. Listen to me. No, I try not to give investment advice. One of the things I like about Fox Business Network is that we don’t tout stocks, unlike CNBC. I worked at the other network and have a lot of friends there, but that’s a network of touting. Be very suspicious of that. You always step on your dick when you listen to touts.
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