Mayor Michael Bloomberg might have officially stepped away from running the company that made him a billionaire, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped giving it a plug whenever he can.
In a speech this morning on the dire topic of the struggling financial markets, Bloomberg sounded like he was making an advertising pitch for those split-screen computers his company sells.
“Our customers always referred to it as Other Bloomberg,’ so we started to do that, too,” he told the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s annual meeting at the Marriott Marquis according to a transcript. “Our marketing tagline became: ‘If you’re not in front of a Bloomberg, you’re behind.’ And even though you’re not at your desks today, you’re still in front of a Bloomberg. I hope it’s still a rewarding experience!”
Bloomberg then shifted into pure salesman mode, appearing to shamelessly promote the product. “The widespread use of Bloomberg terminals also says a lot about the culture and operation of today’s financial markets,” he said. “Because not only do those terminals provide loads of real-time information to the companies smart enough to lease them, other computers now decide when to buy or sell stocks and bonds.”
And the computers make great Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa gifts, he went on to say, adding, buy two, and you get a free Bloomberg for Mayor 2009 t-shirt. Just kidding on the last bit.
So was that a conflict of interest? We won’t hold our breath waiting for the city board, which examines such things, to investigate.