Gary Weiss

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For the film director, see Gary Weis. For the baseball player, see Gary Weiss (baseball).
Gary Weiss
Born United States
Occupation Investigative journalist, columnist, author, writer

Gary Weiss is an American investigative journalist, columnist and author of two books that critically examine the ethics and morality of Wall Street. He was also a contributing editor for Condé Nast Portfolio. His Business Week articles exposed organized crime on Wall Street and the Salomon Brothers bond trading scandal in the 1990s, and more recently he has covered the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath.

Education and early career[edit]

Weiss grew up in New York City and attended public schools, including the Bronx High School of Science. He received degrees from the City College of New York and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He worked for news organizations in Connecticut and Washington, D.C., and Barron's magazine, before joining Business Week magazine in 1986.[1]

Magazine articles[edit]

Between 1986 and 2004 Weiss wrote investigative articles for Business Week, including cover stories on the dangers of the Internet, as well as stock fraud and improprieties by brokerages large and small. His articles described widespread improper trading at the American Stock Exchange and broke the story of the bond trading scandal at Salomon Brothers in 1991. Weiss also wrote essays and articles critical of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators,[2] and a 1995 cover story exploring the early manifestations of online investing.[3]

In testimony before a U.S. Senate committee in 1991, Warren Buffett, then temporarily running Salomon Brothers, said that he learned of a bond trading scandal by reading Weiss' article in Business Week. At the time the article came out, he said, Salomon Brothers was denying a scandal was taking place. Buffett said, "I was not that aware personally about the squeeze, not until I did read that Business Week story."[4]

Weiss authored a cover story in the April 1, 1996 edition, titled "Fall of the Wizard," that was critical of Julian Robertson's performance and behavior as manager of hedge fund Tiger Management. In response, Robertson sued Weiss and BusinessWeek for $1 billion for defamation. The suit was settled with no money changing hands, and BusinessWeek standing by the substance of its reporting.[5][6] After two years of poor performance, the Tiger funds closed in 2000.[7]

In 1998, Weiss wrote a Business Week commentary calling for strict limits on leverage, saying "limiting leverage may make some high-tech investment strategies difficult or impossible. It might also cut into the derivatives business of banks and Wall Street firms. If that's the case--well, so be it."[8]

Weiss's "Mob on Wall Street" and other Business Week stories were praised by then-FBI Director Louis Freeh, in a letter published by Business Week in December 2000. Freeh wrote: "Gary Weiss has done our nation an invaluable service by reporting the manipulation of the stock market by elements of organized crime. By outlining specific stocks and stock brokerage firms that were controlled by organized crime, he opened the door for FBI investigations in Florida and in New York, and for that we owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude."[9]

Books[edit]

Born to Steal (2003) focuses on Mafia-linked stockbroker Louis Pasciuto and Wall Street firms infiltrated by organized crime in the 1990s.[10]

Wall Street Versus America (2006) is an "attack, using humor and ridicule" on the morality of Wall Street, its regulators and the financial press. The book is critical of hedge funds, mutual funds, the Wall Street securities arbitration process, the New York Stock Exchange, and former Securities and Exchange Commission chairmen Arthur Levitt and William H. Donaldson.[11] The book is also critical of campaigns against naked short selling,[12] and takes a dim view of much financial journalism.[13] Weiss singled out Bear Stearns in his criticism, and his comments on anti-naked-shorting activists provoked threats.[14]

Ayn Rand Nation (2012) is an analysis of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism and its influence on the political and economic environment in the United States.[15] George Monbiot, writing in The Guardian, argues that Weiss shows in the book that Rand 'has become to the new right what Karl Marx once was to the left: a demigod at the head of a chiliastic cult.'[16]

Recent career[edit]

Weiss is a founding member of Project Klebnikov, a global media alliance organized by investigative journalist Richard Behar investigating the July 2004 murder of Paul Klebnikov, editor-in-chief of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, and continuing the investigative work that he started.[17]

Weiss was "Muckraker" columnist for Forbes.com from November 2006 through March 2008.[18][19]

Weiss has also been a contributor to The New York Times op-ed page and to Salon. He criticized Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne and his campaign against naked short selling.[20][21][22][23]

He became a contributing editor for Condé Nast Portfolio in October 2008. After the closing of Portfolio, Weiss continued to write for the surviving Portfolio website, writing a weekly column, "The Weiss File," through December 2010.[24]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Born to Steal: When the Mafia Hit Wall Street. Warner Books. 2004. ISBN 0-446-61398-3. 
  • Wall Street Versus America: The Rampant Greed and Dishonesty That Imperil Your Investments. Portfolio Hardcover. 2006. ISBN 1-59184-094-5. 
  • Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul. St. Martin's Press. 2012. ISBN 0-312-59073-3. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Author Weiss, The Weiss Files
  2. ^ The American Stock Exchange: Scandal on Wall Street Gary Weiss BusinessWeek Online April 26, 1999
  3. ^ Online Investing Gary Weiss BusinessWeek Online June 5, 1995
  4. ^ "Warren Buffett Read it Here First". Business Week. Oct 14, 1991. 
  5. ^ Weiss, Gary (April 1, 1996). "Fall of the Wizard. Part 1" (Magazine article). Business Week. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  6. ^ Truell, Peter (December 18, 1997). "The Media Business; Investor Settles Libel Suit Against Business Week" (Newspaper article). New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  7. ^ Weiss, Gary (April 17, 2000). "The Buck Stops with Julian Robertson, Not the Market" (Magazine editorial). Business Week. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved November 11, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Slap a Limit on Leverage--Now". Business Week. October 1998. 
  9. ^ Thanks from the FBI BusinessWeek Online, December 25, 2000
  10. ^ Whelan, David (August 21, 2006). "Weiss Vs. Wall Street". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2006-11-02. 
  11. ^ Publisher's Weekly, Reed Business Information
  12. ^ Arango, Tim (2006-01-22). "Playing Musical Chairs - Moguls Eyeing Moves for Different Powerhouses". The New York Post (N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.). p. 30. 
  13. ^ Corporate Crime Reporter (2006). "Wall Street Versus America". Corporate Crime Reporter. Retrieved 2006-10-30. 
  14. ^ Antilla, Susan (2006). "Wall Street, Don't Let Customers Read This Book: Susan Antilla". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2006-10-30. 
  15. ^ Non-fiction review, Publisher's Weekly, 16 January 2012
  16. ^ Monbiot, George (2012-03-06). "How Ayn Rand became the new right's version of Marx". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  17. ^ Project Klebnikov (2006). "www.ProjectKlebnikov.org". Stern & Co. Retrieved 2006-10-30. "Project Klebnikov is a global alliance specifically devoted to developing new information on the Klebnikov murder and to furthering some of the investigative work Paul began." 
  18. ^ Gary Weiss Joins Forbes.com As Columnist press release, Forbes, Inc., Nov. 2, 2006
  19. ^ "Gary Weiss". Forbes. 
  20. ^ Gaffen, David. Blog Roll — Overstock Edition, The Wall Street Journal Online, February 14, 2007.
  21. ^ Mitchell, Dan, "Flames Flare Over Naked Shorts", The New York Times, January 20, 2007.
  22. ^ Antilla, Susan. "Overstock Blames With Creepy Strategy", Bloomberg, February 21, 2007.
  23. ^ Faille, Christopher. "The Gray Lady Fans the Flames, Hedge World , January 22, 2007.
  24. ^ "The Weiss File - Portfolio.com". Retrieved 13 May 2011. 

External links[edit]