Bloomberg News Reporter Remembered Bloomberg News reporter Mark Pittman died last week at age 52. Although he was not well-known outside Bloomberg, Pittman was a legend inside it. His reporting on credit default swaps suggested the likelihood of a market collapse. Pittman also questioned the financial viability of the pre-crash mortgage culture.
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Bloomberg News Reporter Remembered

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Bloomberg News Reporter Remembered

Bloomberg News Reporter Remembered

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MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Michele Norris.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

NPR's David Folkenflik recalls that Pittman was one of the few journalists to warn early and often of the risks threatening the global financial system.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK: For months, I've had a folder on my desk jammed full with stories by Mark Pittman of Bloomberg News. Pittman realized nearly two years before the rest of us how fragile the world's financial system really was because he couldn't understand why financial companies were betting on the housing market to tank. So he wrote about mortgages made with little regard to the means of borrowers, about investments derived from bundling those shaky home mortgages together, about credit rating agencies obscuring the risks of those investments. Pittman was all along at the forefront of journalists in doing so.

MARK PITTMAN: So in 2006, I took a trip out there to Riverside, California, and found, you know, sort of, you know, ground zero of where the cancer was starting. And we'd just drive by whole subdivisions where every other house had a brown lawn and realty a sign in front.

FOLKENFLIK: It probably makes sense that Pittman cut his teeth reporting on the police beat at a small paper in Kansas. The guy thought it was a crime how much was at risk and he thought people ought to know.

PITTMAN: There's a lot to do. It's really important. There's a lot of pressure and there's a lot of - there's a lot of people who don't want you to do your job. But, you know, it's like, this is the time to do it now.

FOLKENFLIK: David Folkenflik, NPR News, New York.

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