Bloomberg Finance Team Expands

Last week, Mike Tackett welcomed to Bloomberg a slew of new finance reporters – Maura Reynolds, Phil Mattingly, Meera Louis, Jesse Hamilton, Clea Benson, Carter Dougherty and Silla Brush. 

In an internal email announcing the newbies, Tackett said, “this reinforces the best crew covering the intersection of Washington and Wall Street and gives us the critical mass to write for the Terminal, BGov and Bloomberg Businessweek.”

FishbowlDC has reported some of the aforementioned hires but Tackett’s email roundup really portrays the hiring spree taking place at BGov.  For those of you counting – that’s three from CQ and one from The Hill – and that’s just the Finance team.  Memo after the jump.

Oct. 14, 2010

To: Washington Finance Team

I’m extremely pleased to formally announce some changes and additions to the Washington Finance team in coordination with Bloomberg Government. This reinforces the best crew covering the intersection of Washington and Wall Street and gives us the critical mass to write for the Terminal, BGov and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Maura Reynolds, economics and finance editor at Congressional Quarterly, joins us as an editor to help me and Greg manage the expanded team. She went to CQ in 2009 after the LA Times slashed its Washington bureau and has been running the reporters who cover many of the topics we do. As an LAT reporter, Maura covered economics, the White House and Congress after four years as Moscow correspondent. Her Russia reporting made her a Pulitzer finalist. She also worked in Moscow for the AP, and was an editor on the wire’s international desk. Maura has a master’s in international affairs from Columbia. Her wide experience in wire and newspaper reporting and editing, beat coverage and narrative writing will help get us where we want to go.

Phil Mattinglymoves into an expanded Congress and Finance beat. Phil quickly emerged as a go-to player after joining Bloomberg from Congressional Quarterly last January. He was a news-breaking machine during the debate over the Dodd-Frank bill, keeping us ahead of the competition on derivatives rules and other topics. His collegiality is already legendary. Phil will cover the interchange between the Hill and Wall Street, including the banking committees and other lobbying and accountability matters. With his stellar sources, street smarts and speed, we will look to him to facilitate Congress-related stories across teams in Washington, New York and elsewhere.

Meera Louis, who has been covering European banks for Bloomberg from Brussels, comes to town as our Banking Regulation reporter. Meera has been writing about European finance and economics for six years. During the financial meltdown, she scored multiple scoops that exposed the weaknesses in the bank stress tests and in Europe’s response to the Greek debt crisis. Often she snared internal documents; in one notable case she recognized a central banker’s bodyguards in the elevator, staked out their boss and scored an exclusive. Meera studied microbiology before getting a master’s in communications. She started her career at the Wall Street Journal, then came to her senses.

Jesse Hamilton, former Washington bureau chief for the Hartford Courant, replaces London-bound Jesse Westbrook on the SEC team. Since The Courant shut its D.C. bureau in 2009, Jesse has been at BestWire, an insurance news service owned by AM Best, covering the finreg bill and other industry issues. Before Washington he covered the military for The Courant, including a stint with the Marines in Iraq that made him a finalist for the Michael Kelly Award. Earlier, at the Yakima Herald-Republic, he shared in George Polk and IRE awards for a powerful series on a fatal forest fire and the Forest Service’s mistakes. He earned a Sigma Delta Chi feature writing award for a narrative reconstruction of a triple murder in a tiny Columbia River town.

Clea Benson, senior writer at Congressional Quarterly, becomes a general assignment reporter. Clea will work on enterprise stories for the Terminal, BGov and BusinessWeek, add to our flexibility on breaking news and partner frequently with beat reporters. As a statehouse reporter for the Sacramento Bee and a metro reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Clea demonstrated how to report aggressively on budget and political stories and how to pull it together with graceful writing. At the Inquirer she broke a story about a serial rapist at large, and leveraged that work into a team project on the police department’s failure to respond to sexual assaults, for which she shared the Selden Ring investigative award and was a Pulitzer finalist.

Carter Dougherty, former European economics correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, will track Elizabeth Warren, among other things, as Consumer Finance reporter. Carter reported on the financial crisis from Europe and returned to the U.S. about a year ago when his wife was transferred back; he has been freelancing since. Carter also tramped around central Africa for a couple years for The Economist, Newsweek, NY Times and Boston Globe. Before that he was a trade and business reporter for the Washington Times. At the IHT, Carter contributed to the big team that produced the NYT’s Reckoning series on the crisis, a project that won the Gerald Loeb award and was a Pulitzer finalist in the public service category. He holds a master’s in European history from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Silla Brush, a reporter for The Hill newspaper, takes on the new derivatives regulation beat. Silla was The Hill’s main reporter on the bailout and financial regulatory overhaul. Among other things he made effective use of FOIA to figure out how little oversight OTS provided to AIG in the months before taxpayers infused billions into the failed insurer. Before The Hill, Silla was lead congressional reporter and associate editor at U.S. News & World Report and a writer at the Chronicle of Higher Education. He was managing editor of the Daily Princetonian. Silla holds a master’s in international relations from the LSE. His interest in financial instruments stretches back to his 2002 summer internship with the New York City Comptroller’s office, where he researched and wrote briefs on bond obligations.