Thursday, 17 July 2008

Merrill Lynch to sell its Bloomberg stake

Yeah, sign of the times. Merrill Lynch is going to sell its 20 per cent stake in Bloomberg for $4.5 billion. It's a lot of money, and certain people are saying that Merrill needs fresh capital to fight off the credit storm. It's a point of view, I suppose. But I know better.

I have been speaking to my dear friend John Thain, the Merrill boss, and he told me, 'Sure, the money will come in handy, but that's not why we're selling. Bloomberg has had its day. Just think - can you recall one mention of mystical capitalism by Bloomberg in the last six months? The Mail and Telegraph websites are on the ball, but where is Bloomberg? Bankers and traders want to know about the latest developments concerning Big Herb, Ganesh, and the ghosts of the dead financiers, but Bloomberg just ain't delivering. Basically, it's shape up or ship out time.'

After that, John made me an offer - £25 million for 10 per cent of Money is the way. But I turned him down, and I'll tell you why. He thinks a stake in my blog would give him some control over the stories I write. Regular readers will remember how pissed at me he was when I revealed a little while ago that he was a Red Indian chief in a past life. Well, I always tell my readers the truth. That will never change. I'm keeping my independence.