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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Market data rivals battle for share of wallet as terminal sales wilt

In an unprecedented announcement, Bloomberg has admitted to a fall in terminal numbers, revealing a four per cent drop from November last year. The statement was released late Tuesday, the day before...

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The Bloomberg Way

Some time ago an editor at Bloomberg said to me "Are you ready to do things 'The Bloomberg Way'? I naively responded, "Is that like a style guide?"

"You could call it that, if you like," came the response.

Alas a career peppered with free cookies and senior managers decked out in Ozwald Boateng suites did not await me. But over the years I have heard that phrase repeated by more than one Bloomberg staffer. "Daaarling, you don't understand, it's just 'The Bloomberg Way'.

Rumours about how, when and for how much Bloomberg is going to sell Bloomberg have been running for over a decade. But for now, it is a privately-held company, and is under no obligation to release quarterly style reports like the ones that come out of Thomson Reuters. This is why yesterday's FT article reporting that Bloomberg announced to its employees a drop in terminal counts is so surprising.

Today with enterprise licenses and data feeds going direct into algorithmic trading systems the idea of clocking the market data leader race with terminals seems very 1993. (Then again, Bloomberg is probably the world's only remaining employer of Fortran programmers, so yes, 1993) But as all market data managers know, you don't aggregate Bloomberg data--a Bloomberg terminal is a Bloomberg terminal whether it comes in a plastic box or not.

More interesting is the one off payment Bloomberg plans to offer employees because their compensation programme will fall below the expected terminal count predictions. How does that work then--sell less terminals; still get a bonus?

I feel this is another place where you have to insert "It's just The Bloomberg Way."


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