The Rise of the Moral Money Hack
Yesterday the FT ran a story about HSBC removing references to the Ukraine war from analyst reports.
The lead by-line was Simon Mundy, the FT’s Moral Money Editor.
Mr Mundy is plainly a highly experienced reporter and that wasn’t his first story in that role, just the first I noticed.
But there’s a wider trend here. For a few years The Guardian has had a Wealth Correspondent, and it isn’t to celebrate how wonderful rich people are.
Until very recently, the moral side of how, say, banks made money was just something banking reporters might look at, or not.
When there was a true stink about bank morality, quite often the sector specialist would come off the story so a hack with no relationships to protect in the City could just go for it.
Similarly, an oil environment scandal probably wouldn’t be covered by the oil correspondent. Politics and the green desk would get into it, and pointedly not show, or even try to develop, too much understanding of what oil companies do.
Back then, having a Moral Money journalist covering banks would have looked like having a CND member as defence editor. Things are changing.
What the arrival of Moral Money editors and the like suggests is that there will now be sector specialists who are looking at much, much more than whether big companies are hitting earnings per share targets.
They will know their onions, AND stick the boot in.
For the journalism trade this has got to be a result. For flaks, they might in future be dealing with a somewhat different breed of journalist, one not so interested in being pally with the CEO, one whose job is very specifically to look at the ethics of the business rather than just its overall performance
The financial sector boats the highest average profit per employee at $78,000, says this from Tipalti.
That is what you’d expect, but it is good to see it confirmed. Technology comes second. Apple makes profit of $390,000 for employee.
There are other interesting findings. It would have been good if they have gone in to where that profit comes from. Banks just ripping us off?