By Anika Anard
Journalists and Wall Street share a compelling task to educate Americans on issues involving markets and economics, a top official of the New York Stock Exchange told the fall workshop of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, Oct. 13-14.
Larry Leibowitz discussed the relationship between journalists and Wall Street and the importance of understanding one another’s work.“Occupy Wall Street is a sign that we haven’t done a good job articulating a good plan,” said Larry Liebowitz, chief operating officer of the NYSE Euronext.
The NYSE and journalists share the similar challenge of educating consumers in an environment where news is being transmitted to market faster than ever before, Leibowitz said. Also, not only is media moving faster, but it also has more avenues for news to hit, he said, citing social media websites, Wall Street Journal’s website and Bloomberg’s website as examples. As a result, he said there is a lot of disinformation and non-information.
For example, he doesn’t buy that 70 percent of trading is high frequency. Much of the noise around high frequency trading has been ill-informed in part because of the lack of transparency around the rules of how high frequency trading is defined, Leibowitz said. The longer this vagueness exists, the more people are going to question the market, he added.
Technology has also impacted market moving news by increasing the reaction time of Wall Street and its investors.
“Instead of it taking three or four days for news to ripple through the market, now it happens within minutes,” he said. The byproduct is sometimes overreaction amongst shareholders.
To erase uncertainty and head toward an economic recovery, he said people need to feel like there’s informed leadership in the government and in the financial sector as well.
“Clearly, confidence has been lost in players in the financial markets,” he said. “It’s our obligation to help restore that confidence, not in a false way, but by showing transparency and showing integrity and showing there’s a path ahead of us.”
Anika Anard is a graduate student at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
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