Will Pressler Be Hired Despite Bloomberg News Saying There Will Always Be Ways To Verify A Financial Transaction –
Jessica Pressler is the New York Magazine reporter who wrote the ridiculous story about the high school teenagers who claimed to have made $72 Million dollars in the stock market – yet, in reality they earned the grand total of zero dollars. These high school kids weren’t traders – as the most basic amount of research would have shown.
While Ms. Pressler didn’t bother to verify any of the details, Pressler continued to defend it even after she was outed as having failed the most basic of journalistic verification. This was to have been Ms. Pressler’s last article for New York Magazine, as she is slated to join the new head of investigative journalism at Bloomberg News. (Perhaps Bloomberg is also planning to make Lindsay Lohan & Charlie Sheen the heads of Human Resources.)
Jim Romensko, a media watch dog organization this week emailed Bloomberg and asked, ““Is Jessica Pressler still joining Bloomberg News after being snookered by the high school student who claimed he made $72 million? “Capital New York reported that she’s joining Bloomberg’s investigative unit; does Bloomberg have confidence in her investigative skills after this New York magazine fiasco?” Bloomberg News spokesman Ty Trippet said, “We’re declining to comment.”
Today, an article on Bloomberg’s site, at http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-12-18/whiz-kid-and-the-72-million-question
The article goes on to note,“Hindsight is 20-20. This has certainly been the case with that recent New York magazine story about a teenage trading genius who told a reporter that he had amassed a $72 million fortune in the stock market while attending high school. Actually, hindsight emerged pretty quickly as the piece immediately set off a wave of skepticism.”
The Bloomberg article went on to note:
“I started jotting down questions I might’ve asked the whiz-kid trader if I’d been confronted with the story:
— Could you provide some context? If you made $72 million, what did you start with and who provided you with capital?
— Did you begin with $10,000 or $100 million? Without context we have no idea what the performance was — and that would be the case even if the $72 million figure was true.
— How did you put together such a spectacular trading record while going to high school? When did you find time to do analysis and trade? Did you put in trade orders between classes?
— How does a random kid beat the best-equipped, fastest and smartest algorithms, run by firms with effectively unlimited resources to pursue trading profits?
We could go on about financials for a while. But here’s a broader point: there will always be ways to verify a financial transaction — trade documentation, assets held at custodians, audits from accountants, monthly statements from brokers. Yes, the kid may have provided the reporter with a facsimile of a bank statement. But the absence of proof of winning trades should have been a gigantic red flag.”
Noteably, today prominent DJ Avicii claimed Pressler had fabricated facts in a feature about him – The full post can be read at TwitLonger.
Will Bloomberg News’ new head of investigative journalism be someone who cannot do the most basics of journalism fact-checking? The jury is out.