So Much For Growing Up

In my real job - the one I get paid for - one of my responsibilities is to monitor news about the financial markets. I do this mainly through Bloomberg, a very expensive news service widely used by traders, portfolio managers and other professionals. The stories you see on their public web page are a small fraction of what Bloomberg produces every day. Most of the content is available only to paid subscribers. It is very comprehensive, and invaluable for people in this business.

One feature found on the Bloomberg terminal is a page called "Most Read News." You can set it to list the stories that have attracted the most readers over various time periods - everything from the last hour to the last year. It's a good way to track the pulse of the markets throughout the day.

One would think, given that this service costs a lot of money and is intended for use by serious professionals, that the top stories would usually involve critical and important subjects. Normally they do. Yet as I prepare to leave my office for the weekend, on a day with many significant market and economic events, the most-read story of the last eight hours was '' Price May Be Shattered By ''

In fact, any news story whose headline includes words like porn, sex, cheerleaders, prostitute, Paris Hilton, etc., quickly zooms to the top of the most-read list for the day. I've watched this long enough to observe the pattern, and it happens every time. The only close competitors are stories about who is making how much money on Wall Street. Even money takes a back seat to sex.

This isn't surprising, I suppose, given that the trading world is heavily male-dominated. I have to confess my eyes get drawn to those headlines, too. It's one of the burdens of being male in our culture. Boys are still boys, even when we think we're all grown up.

1 comment:

Donald Douglas said...

Well, you said it - if it's got anything to do with sex or booze, that's going to be the hot story.

Interesting details of our job! I'm impressed!