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Mike Bloomberg on Technology

Mayor of New York City (Independent)


1979: On Wall Street at dawn of the computer age

Bloomberg was the firm's first Harvard MBA & as a result, in the vanguard of change at Salomon and on Wall Street.

13 years after he began at Salomon, Bloomberg was effectively demoted, transferred off the trading floor to the "information services" department, Tech Support. Bloomberg found himself literally isolated from the action.

Some Salomon traders expected Bloomberg to walk. He says he never considered resignation; he was a loyal Salomon man no matter what. So he stayed, and if the demotion was a blow it nonetheless turned into another of those Bloomberg strokes of good fortune.

The computer age was dawning. Few on Wall Street realized the transformations the machine would bring. But Bloomberg had an early insight. He understood that technology was going to make trading easier and faster, that with computers every trader's information would be more accurate, more timely. Though no one could know it then, Bloomberg had devised a prototype of the computer that would make him a mogul.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p. 31-34 , Sep 28, 2010

1981: Invented "The Bloomberg terminal" for financial news

Bloomberg recalls that at least a week's copies of the "Wall Street Journal" were always leaning against someone's desk leg on the floor because traders had to search them, to track the recent record of some security.

In 1981 the Philbro Corporation, a publicly-held commodities trading firm, acquired Salomon Brothers. Bloomberg was fired. Bloomberg used his $10 million in going-away money to start his own business, developing a unique computer terminal that assembles and digests financial information. The splashily handsome desktop became the machine that ate Wall Street.

Innovative Market Systems, as the company was called at first, began with 4 people and grew to 10,500 people working in 63 countries by 2008. "The Bloomberg," as it quickly became known, runs new stories produced by 2,300 journalists and editors working in 140 bureaus around the world. It can also be mined for other information, including relevant legal decisions, mounds of financial records and even celebrity gossip.

Source: Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, by J.Purnick, p. 36-40 , Sep 28, 2010

Teamed with Gov. Rendell on "Building America's Future"

Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell in 2008 teamed up with California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to form Building America's Future (BAF), a bipartisan coalition looking, in Rendell's words, to "deliver a message to Washington that if America is going to have a future, an economically viable future, a quality-of-life future, a future that involves public safety, we have to begin the business of repairing infrastructure." In a February 2010 speech at an economic conference, Rendell warned, "If we don't do something quickly, by the time 2030 rolls around, America will be a second-rate economic power." Telling the businessmen in the room that "nothing significant will change until the businessmen step up and say, 'Guys, we're having the living daylights beaten out of us. If we don't do something quickly, we're sunk--we're a cooked goose.'"
Source: Third World America, by Arianna Huffington, p. 97 , Sep 2, 2010

Wireless network for better NYPD and NYFD communications

This year, we’ll be launching the New York City wireless network--which allows first responders to get more information, more quickly. Maps, mugshots, rap sheets. It will move us from slow dial-up to high-speed broadband with 100 times the capacity of the old analog system.

At the same time, we’ll expand its functions to serve all of City government--even the more mundane things that influence our quality of life.

Source: 2008 State of the City Address , Jan 17, 2008

Investing in infrastructure critical to competitiveness

Investing in infrastructure is critical to a nation’s competitiveness. China is finishing what will be the world’s largest airport terminal in Beijing. It is building 20,000 km of railway lines and has already built the world’s fastest train, which runs at a top speed of 267 mph. These are the kinds of investments we need more of in America if we are to keep pace with our international competition.
Source: Bloomberg article in Financial Times, “Resist Protectionism” , Dec 11, 2007

Publicity helps business, but it's best to say it yourself

You'd think I'd be blase about publicity by now. But the truth is, recognition is heady stuff, and receiving even insincere adulation is a kick.

Let's not forget the business reason to have bookstores globally displaying our logo. Name recognition improves access for our salespeople. Building a widely recognized brand and a favorable image in consumers' minds takes decades and costs zillions. Every bit of publicity helps; you never know which imprint makes the difference. With radio, television, Internet access, and magazines competing for the public's attention, the old adage, "As long as they spell your name right," applies more than ever.

Another thought was more prophylactic. If we don't, someone else will. Having a rogue writer out there taking journalistic liberties to commercialize the truth is dangerous. I'd just as soon get in our best shot first.

In the end, though, there was only one compelling reason to go ahead. I wanted to say something.

Source: Bloomberg by Bloomberg, by Mike Bloomberg, p.252 , Aug 27, 2001

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Other big-city mayors on Technology: Mike Bloomberg on other issues:

Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
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Page last updated: Jul 06, 2014