Tags: Fed | Treasury | Bloomberg | Usage

Feds Scrutinize Bloomberg Reporters' Tracking of Officials' Terminal Use

Sunday, 12 May 2013 06:26 PM

By Dan Weil

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The Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department are examining how closely their officials' use of Bloomberg terminals was monitored by Bloomberg journalists.

Bloomberg has acted to curb its journalists' ability to call up log-in and other usage data for users of its terminals after complaints from Goldman Sachs.

A Bloomberg reporter recently asked a Goldman employee about a partner's employment status, noting that the partner hadn't logged on to his Bloomberg terminal recently.

Video: Economist Predicts 'Unthinkable' for 2013

The Fed is investigating the situation and has contacted Bloomberg to gather more information, a Fed spokesperson told CNBC. A source told the network that the Treasury Department is doing the same.

Meanwhile, a former Bloomberg employee told CNBC that he garnered information about usage of Bloomberg terminals by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

He said he called up the information "just for fun" rather than to use in a story. He also said that all Bloomberg journalists had access to this usage information.

A Bloomberg spokesman told CNBC its information on journalists' access to officials' data usage was "untrue" but wouldn't specify how.

In any case, Bloomberg users in the financial community can't be too happy to learn about the shenanigans.

"On Wall Street, anonymity is critically important. Secrecy and the ability to cover one’s tracks is paramount,” Michael Driscoll, a former senior trader at Bear Stearns who now teaches at Adelphi University," told The New York Times.

"If Bloomberg reporters crossed that line, that’s an issue."

Video: Economist Predicts 'Unthinkable' for 2013

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