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April 23, 2014

Getting Served Is No Way To Start Your Morning

“You can’t fully know Wall Street until you behold it in its purest distillation. This is the gift of Morning Money.”

“Written by a man who calls himself Morning Money Ben,  Ben White, the newsletter targets a Washington, D.C., and New York audience. It began under the Politico banner as an offshoot of Mike Allen’s popular political tip sheet, Playbook, and offered a useful compendium of events, news and assorted nuggets relevant to a Wall Streeter with an interest in the affairs of Washington. It has since gone native, and now specializes in Wall Street proselytizing, often in language that would make even the least self-aware trader blush.”

“Ben spends a lot of time on Wall Street,” Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith said about White on “Morning Joe” recently. “It rubs off a little.”

“True to Wall Street form, the opinions in Morning Money are offered with rock-ribbed confidence, and any dissenting view is waved away as not just wrong, but as pure stupidity, the product of a feeble mind unable to grasp the complexity of men’s work: dark pools or flash trading or credit default swaps.”

“Morning Money Ben, to be clear, is not the problem. He is merely a symptom of a very disturbed culture, one that finds itself at the top of society’s food chain, yet feels constantly under siege; one that holds itself up as the essence of meritocracy, its wealth the only evidence needed of its greatness, yet is almost universally derided. Squaring these nettlesome inconsistencies — call it comforting the afflicted — is the daily charge of Morning Money Ben.”

“The newsletter’s stock in trade is a confident blind quote from a random somebody associated with Wall Street. HuffPost turned up one of its own: “The early days of Morning Money were useful, they summed up the day ahead nicely. Now I delete as soon as I get it,” said somebody. “It’s become a pathetic place where wannabe Washington big shots get their bosses to buy advertising so they can actually get quoted by Politico. I mean who gives a shit what Richard Hunt thinks?”

“Don’t know who Richard Hunt is? Don’t worry about it.”

“If Hunt is a newsletter hero, the goat of recent days has been Michael Lewis, whosebook Flash Boys savages high-frequency trading for effectively engaging in mass front-running, wherein someone make trades based on advance knowledge of someone else’s pending transaction. “The market is rigged,” Lewis said on “60 Minutes.” Morning Money sprang into action, starting with the declaration “Is the stock market rigged? (No)” in one email’s subject line, with the characteristic flat-out rejection of an alternative view.”

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Read full Huffington Post article here.

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