|Zachery "Zach" Kouwe|
March 17, 1978 |
Geneva, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Financial public relations strategist
Zachery "Zach" Kouwe (born March 17, 1978) is an American financial public relations strategist and former journalist. He has written extensively about Wall Street, private equity and white-collar crime, most recently for The New York Times and Dealbreaker. He served as a researcher for Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean on their book All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis.
Early life and education
Kouwe began his journalism career in 2000 as a reporter for the trade publication Wall Street Letter, owned by Institutional Investor. In 2002, Kouwe edited Institutional Investor's Spring ETF Report, a publication on the burgeoning market for exchange-traded funds. He joined the Times in October 2008, aged 30, becoming one of the newspaper's last hires before it announced a 5% cut in wages and a 10% reduction in its newsroom staff. At the Times, Kouwe wrote for the DealBook blog, which covers mergers and acquisitions, hedge funds and private equity. He also wrote articles for the business section.
Before joining the Times, Kouwe was a business reporter at the New York Post for three years. Prior to joining The Post, he worked for the Dow Jones Newswires covering the private equity industry. He also worked as an intern for the Wall Street Journal and The Denver Post while earning a masters degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder's School of Journalism & Mass Communication.
Kouwe wrote, co-wrote or contributed to more than 1,600 articles and blog posts for the Times and authored 969 articles for The Post. He gained the attention of the financial journalism community by being the first to report that then New York Stock Exchange CEO John Thain had accepted a job to become the new head of Merrill Lynch in the midst of the global financial crisis.
At the Times, a writing team that included Kouwe was a finalist for a Gerald Loeb Award for their reporting on the Bernard L. Madoff Ponzi scheme in 2009. He was also the paper's lead reporter covering the massive insider trading case centered on the Galleon Group hedge fund and its founder, Raj Rajaratnam.
In 2008, he was co-listed, with Peter Lauria, at #62 on the Silicon Alley 100, compiled by the web site SiliconAlleyInsider.com, for their reporting on Microsoft's failed takeover of Yahoo! in 2008. Kouwe also wrote a widely read front page article in the Times about the progress of the federal government's Troubled Asset Relief Program and another about a little-known insurance company, named the Customer Asset Protection Corp. (CAPCO), owned by several Wall Street firms.
In Feb. 2010 Kouwe was suspended from The New York Times after being accused of plagiarizing portions of an article. He resigned from his position shortly thereafter. The wrongdoing was originally brought to the attention of The Times on February 12 by Robert Thomson, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, stating that portions of an article written by Kouwe and published on February 5 "were identical or nearly identical to a Journal article published online hours before...". Before Kouwe's resignation was announced, The Guardian had obtained and posted online a copy of Thomson's letter to The Times. The Times performed their own search and found what they described as "other cases of extensive overlap between passages in Mr. Kouwe's articles and other news organizations’." However, The Times never officially corrected any other articles.
Responding to the accusations in The New York Observer, Kouwe was quoted describing the action as inadvertent. "I was as surprised as anyone that this was occurring," he said of the revelations. He explained that his high volume of work ("7,000 words every week") and particular researching and writing style conducted "[i]n the essence of speed" were what led to the occurrences. The article pointed to an incident in which a document from a competing website, Dealbreaker.com, which had deliberately "inserted ... a trap to catch competitors ripping off material without credit" was posted on an article Kouwe had authored. According to editor Andrew Ross Sorkin, Kouwe said it was an honest mistake. An editor's note with proper attribution was then issued.
While Times' standards editor Philip Corbett stated that most of what Kouwe lifted was "pretty banal stuff", like background material, the paper's "Public Editor" Clark Hoyt said the incident was still unacceptable.
Kouwe soon thereafter was a freelance contributor at a gossip blog called Dealbreaker.com. Of the hiring, Breaking Media CEO Jonah Bloom stated: "Zach has an asterisk next to his name now, but I don’t believe he’s a bad guy (even if he’s done a bad thing); I do believe in second chances...". The relationship lasted just over two months. Anonymous posters to the Dealbreaker blog had made comments to Kouwe that were described as "ruthless."
- Kouwe, Zachery (February 5, 2010). "Madoff Family Members Agree to Asset Freeze". DealBook (The New York Times Company). Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- Kouwe, Zachery (November 14, 2007). "Citi Snub: Thain Going to Merrill". New York Post.
- Lauria, Peter; Kouwe, Zachery (May 4, 2007). "Bill's Hard Drive". New York Post. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- Kouwe, Zachery (July 31, 2009). "Billions in Lehman Claims Could Bury an Elusive Insurer". The New York Times. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- A list of other articles authored or co-authored by Zachery Kouwe for The New York Times; accessed April 27, 2015.
- A researcher for: McLean, Bethany; Nocera, Joe (November 16, 2010). All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis. ISBN 1-59184-363-4.
- Official website
- Clark, Andrew (March 26, 2009). "New York Times set to impose 5% pay cut on all staff". The Guardian (New York). Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- "Times Business Reporter Accused of Plagiarism Is Said to Resign", nytimes.com, February 17, 2010; retrieved April 27, 2015.
- Carney, John (November 14, 2007). "Merrill Lynch Taps Thain". Dealbreaker.com. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- New York Times articles upon which the Gerald Loeb Award nomination was based
- "2009 Gerald Loeb Award Finalists Announced by UCLA Anderson School of Management". Businesswire.com. May 13, 2009. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- Lattman, Peter (May 12, 2011). "Raj Rajaratnam — Galleon Group Founder Convicted in Insider Trading Case". The New York Times. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- "SA100: Peter Lauria and Zachery Kouwe". Business Insider. October 30, 2008. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- Kouwe, Zachery (August 30, 2009). "As Banks Repay Bailout Money, U.S. Sees a Profit". The New York Times. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- Salmon, Felix (July 31, 2009). "Capco: WTF?". Reuters.com (blog). Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- "Robert Thomson's letter to Bill Keller" (PDF). The Guardian (London). February 12, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- "Read the Wall Street Journal letter accusing New York Times of plagiarism" Posted by Stephen Brook on the Greenslade Blog, guardian.co.uk, February 16, 2010; retrieved 2010-02-18.
- "Corrections: Editors' Note". The New York Times. February 14, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- "The Accidental Plagiarist" by John Koblin, The New York Observer, February 16, 2010; retrieved 2010-02-18.
- Hoyt, Clark (March 6, 2010). "The Public Editor - Journalistic Shoplifting". The New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- Taylor, Mike (April 5, 2010). "Former Times Blogger Zachery Kouwe Freelancing for Dealbreaker". Mediabistro.com (WebMediaBrands Inc.). Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- "Zachery Kouwe Loses Second Job". Newsonnews.net. June 14, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- Rovzar, Chris (June 14, 2010). "Zachery Kouwe Fired From Blog He Used to Plagiarize". New York. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "Kouwe Promoted to Director at Dukas Public Relations" (February 6, 2013) Bulldog Reporter's Daily Dog; retrieved April 3, 2015.
- Roach, Garnet (March 9, 2015) "Guide: How to Take Action Against Activist Investors", IRMagazine.com; retrieved April 3, 2015.