Bloomberg Television: Q&A With InBusiness' Margaret Brennan On The Rajaratnam Verdict

Bloomberg has been at the front of today's news of the Rajaratnam guilty verdict across all of its news and multimedia platforms, from Bloomberg News breaking the verdict, to Bloomberg Law's legal analysis to Bloomberg Television's commitment to providing in depth coverage throughout the day. We sat down with Bloomberg TV anchor Margaret Brennan to discuss how the network has covered the story as well as some of the big implications for both business media and Wall Street. Margaret will be hosting a 30-minute special tonight at 9pm ET on Bloomberg TV called "Trader on Trial: The Verdict." Watch Margaret break the news of the guilty verdict this morning on her show "InBusiness with Margaret Brennan"
. Highlights of the interview can be found below, courtesy of Bloomberg Television.
What are some of the resources that Bloomberg TV puts behind this story?
We literally had dozens of reporters from BloombergNews assigned to this story. There were 3 reporters in the courtroom covering the trial throughout the day and two editors back at headquarters. Their reporting informs all the multimedia outlets here. My Bloomberg Televison colleagues Su Keenan and Jon Erlichman were also tracking the story throughout the past few months. My team of 5 producers including Senior Producer Ben Geldon were all supporting our on air coverage
Today represents the biggest government crackdown ever on the hedge fund industry. Is the business media focused enough on hedge fund activities, and how do hedge funds impact individuals beyond the millionaires who invest and work at them?
Anything and everything that the hedge fund giants do is on our radar. The challenge with reporting on hedge funds is that the managers by and large do not benefit from press attention. They will speak to reporters that they respect and trust like my colleague Kathy Burton at BN. She has a team of 13 who are constantly talking to players in the industry and reporting on them. I first worked with her last summer when she had the exclusive news that Stan Druckenmiller was retiring after 30 years in the business. I often speak to hedge fund managers on background as well. The industry's relationship with the press and public may have to change. Now that Washington wants to force funds to disclose more information, managers may realize that there is a risk to remaining opaque. If you don't tell your own story, someone else will. The hedge fund industry matters because it isn't solely made up of millionaires and billionaires. Funds also take investments from pension funds and fund of funds. Now those vehicles allow smaller players access to the benefits and risk of those funds. There is also some degree of headline risk that comes with a verdict like this one. The everyday retail investor was scared out of the market during the financial crisis. A contact of mine often points out that 90% of stocks are owned by individuals in the top 20% of the population. If the 'little guy' feels vulnerable or that the 'game is rigged' then he or she may keep money on the sidelines.
Who are some of the key players/companies in this story that Bloomberg TV is focusing on?
Beyond Raj, we're focused on the entire web of individuals who worked at Galleon or fed information to him. There are a number of upcoming trials in the pipeline. The government went after the 'big fish' with this prosecution of Rajaratnam and they cast a wide net.
New York's attorney general says there is "rampant" illegal trading on Wall Street. Will we be seeing more of these types of stories?
Yes - definitely. These will be fascinating to follow now that we're seeing the Attorney General use mafia-busting techniques like wiretaps on white collar criminals.
What are the experts and analysts that Bloomberg TV is talking to saying about Raj Rajaratnam's activities? He was a billionaire hedge fund manager that ran one of the biggest funds in the country. Are other fund managers concerned?
This was a shot across the bow at the industry. Every single player was put on notice to watch what you say and play it clean. Otherwise the government is going to prosecute you to the full extent of the law.
What do you make of Rajaratnam's conduct? We have all seen white collar criminals throw it all away for apparently no good reason, any ideas why? What could drive a billionaire who made his living judging risk/reward, do something where the risk/reward was so skewed to the downside?
I'd love to ask Raj that question!

Posted In: Bloomberg TelevisionGalleon GroupInBusinessinsider tradingMargaret BrennanRaj RajaratnamNewsHedge FundsMovers & ShakersLegalInsider TradesMediaGeneral