Maria Bartiromo: CEOs Must Explain Themselves

CNBC anchor says investors demand answers.

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For an upcoming story, I recently spoke with CNBC's Maria Bartiromo about her take on the financial news industry. Here's part of what she had to say:

How has covering financial news changed since you started reporting?

There’s been a true democratization of information that’s enabled people to have confidence that they can be armed with enough information to actually dictate their own financial life and make their own decisions. It’s spawned the discount brokerage in­dustry and a whole new set of tools for investors. That’s been very powerful. That’s why more than 100 million Americans invest in stocks today, be­ cause people can. Look at the major firms that took on all this risk — maybe they didn’t know any more than we know. It’s been a real level playing field when it comes to investing.

Are CEOs more willing to go on television now?

Investors demand information. CEOs recognize that they have to com­municate. They have to be out in front, explaining their business. That doesn’t mean they need to give us earnings guidance every three months, I’m not a fan of near-term earnings guidance, but I want to know what the business plan is. I want to know what the long-term goals are. 

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Bartiromo also remembered learning the meaning of hard work from her father. She says, "The vision I have of my Dad growing up is walking into Rex Manor [his Brooklyn restaurant] and watching my Dad sweating over the oven with a bandanna on his head. I will never for­get that vision."