I was told two rules about editors when I joined BusinessWeek:
- If any of them actually knew what they were doing, they would be millionaires from playing the stock market.
- By the time something reaches the cover of BusinessWeek, it has already peaked and it’s on the way down.
Of course, both of those rules were relayed to me by grumpy editorial technology team members who spent their days and nights helping editors figure out why their XyWrite files wouldn’t print.
I was thinking about those rules when I read a story about the SEC nailing a group of insider traders. Some of them had used their roles in the printing plant to read BusinessWeek’s “Inside Wall Street” column as it was being printed and pass on information to family members to make money buying and selling stocks.
Wow, I hadn’t thought about the Inside Wall Street column for years, but I remember back when I worked at Business Week that only a handful of people were allowed access to the contents until after Wednesday night when the issue was closed. When I first heard about those restrictions, I was told that it was overkill.
But these insider traders made close to $7 million with their scheme, so I guess these BusinessWeek editors know something valuable after all!