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Wall-Street bonus decline: A Bloomberg reporter details how he got the story

Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange, stock market

Photo by Flickr user -Tripp-.

Bloomberg’s Max Abelson offers a great piece showing how the downturn has affected Wall Street bonuses, making it difficult for workers to maintain their lifestyles. One employee, for example, relied on sales circulars for shopping deals.

His story starts with Andrew Schiff, an executive who says he relies on his bonus because his $350,000 salary isn’t enough. Max writes:

“His family rents the lower duplex of a brownstone in Cobble Hill, where his two children share a room. His 10-year- old daughter is a student at $32,000-a-year Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn. His son, 7, will apply in a few years.

‘I can’t imagine what I’m going to do,’ Schiff said. ‘I’m crammed into 1,200 square feet. I don’t have a dishwasher. We do all our dishes by hand.’

He wants 1,800 square feet – ‘a room for each kid, three bedrooms, maybe four,’ he said. ‘Imagine four bedrooms. You have the luxury of a guest room, how crazy is that?’”

But getting people like to Schiff to talk so honestly isn’t easy, Max says.

Today’s Tip: “Quantity leads to quality,” Max says.

“I make an embarrassing amount of calls and send out a lurid amount of emails,” says Max.

Cold calls and sources help find people to interview. He admits he gets some hang ups, but often people will happily share their stories. His last bit of advice is to be honest about what you want and why.

 

 

About the Author

Rosland Gammon is a former business journalist turned college instructor. Her newsroom experience includes reporting for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and reporting and editing at Bloomberg News. Gammon currently teaches communications at Alverno College in Milwaukee. Follow her daily posts. | E-mail: Rosland Gammon

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