Report: Bloomberg Journalists Tracked Terminal Use Of Top Officials

May 11, 2013 1:10 p.m.

According to CNBC, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Department are both investigating whether top officials’ use of the financial information terminals provided by Bloomberg L.P. was tracked by the company’s journalists. CNBC also reported a “a former Bloomberg employee” admitted he accessed terminal usage information for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Data that could have been viewed by Bloomberg reporters only concerned fairly broad functions like what types of information the officials were looking at on the terminals and not details about the specific company and market data they were viewing. The former Bloomberg employee who spoke to CNBC said he looked up the information about Bernanke and Geithner “just for fun.” CNBC also said they have “no information that the data” on Bernanke and Geithner was “either used by the employees for journalism or shared inappropriately.”

Though CNBC does not have evidence the information allegedly viewed on Bernanke and Geithner by Bloomberg journalists was used for reporting, a source JP Morgan Chase accused “multiple Bloomberg reporters” of “openly” using the terminals to report on that company’s layoffs. A Bloomberg spokesperson told CNBC the allegations were “untrue,” but declined to elaborate. 

The issue of Bloomberg journalists potentially using data from the terminals inappropriately first gained attention last week when it came to light a Bloomberg reporter allegedly called a Goldman Sachs employee to inquire about their employment status because they had not been using the terminals. Bloomberg has since blocked its journalists from accessing data on terminal subscribers. 

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