Sabew Commentary Award

Today, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers said that I won the “Best in Business” award for commentary in the news agency category for columns I wrote in 2013 for Bloomberg View.

Here’s a list of all the winners, including writers worth following on a regular basis, such as Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica and Michael Smallberg of The Project on Government Oversight (POGO).

If you’re looking for smart and talented financial journalists worth adding to your regular reading list, take a few minutes to go through the roster of Sabew winners.

Notes from the judges on my submission:


Winner: Susan Antilla, Bloomberg View, for her columns.

Terrific topics. Tough, engaging, enlightening, head-snapping. Well-reasoned arguments. Writes with authority and insight in a simple, declarative style that doesnt wander. No navel-gazing. Sophisticated humor used lightly in a way that advances the argument. Not humor for humors sake.

Here are links to the stories the judges considered:

Do Deutsche Bank’s ‘Prettier’ Women Get the Best?

JP Morgan’s Teflon CEO Glides Past Reputation Hits

Hate Follows When the Police Try to Do Their Job

Top Stock Picks of 2013 Lose Out to Honey Boo-Boo

USA Today Founder Has Good Advice for Investors, Misses A Couple Things

Every so often, the editorial page of USA Today asks me to weigh in with a brief comment on a column written by the newspaper’s founder, Al Neuharth. Today, Neuharth writes on the important topic of saving money for college or retirement, and keeping that money in the stock market.

Neuharth says “the stock market continues to be our surest, steadiest investment” despite its ups and downs. Maybe that’s true, which doesn’t say much for the other investments he doesn’t mention — mortgage-backed securities, bonds, real estate, and, before we know it, crowd funding.

But here’s the problem: Investors don’t think the financial markets are fair. They’re not only sick and tired of the motion sickness they get from high-frequency trading glitches that rock the markets. They’re sick of Wall Street lobbyists who have more power than securities regulators; they’re sick of insider trading; and they’re sick of powerful people in finance who can do the wrong thing and suffer minor repercussions. Or no repercussions at all.

My quote in USA Today this morning:
“The public will buy into Al’s good advice once they see that regulators are in charge of Wall Street — not the other way around. Confidence flows in fair markets.” Read article.

And Another Word on Justice and Goldman Sachs

Over at, editor Pamela Martens has more to say about the lopsided priorities of prosecutors who won’t quit in pursuing Sergey Aleynikov, a small fish who has been arrested yet again on charges he stole data from Goldman Sachs. The most recent Aleynikov arraignment was on the same day that we learned that prosecutors will not be charging Goldman with any crimes related to a scathing government report on how the firm treated its customers in the period leading up to the financial crisis.

Aleynikov was tried and found guilty of stealing computer code from Goldman, but an appeals court reversed that on April 11, saying that prosecutors hadn’t properly applied corporate espionage laws. Martens writes:

“Then, on Thursday, August 9, 2012, the unthinkable happened.  Aleynikov was arrested and charged based on the same set of facts by Cyrus Vance of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, an individual is not permitted to be tried twice for the same crime.  But when you take from Wall Street, all bets are off apparently.” Read article.