Bloomberg editor brings Keene insights to campus

Journalist offered observations and insights, and reviewed students’ work

“In the business I’m in, you get up at 2 a.m. – period.”

Nearly 15 hours after his wake-up call, Bloomberg News editor-at-large Tom Keene was still a lively and gregarious presence as he wrapped up a day-long visit to Brandeis International Business School on Monday.

Keene met with students and faculty, trading insights on Bloomberg technology and giving a talk to an overflowing lecture-hall crowd about the sustainability of the global financial system.

Keene serves as a host for Bloomberg Radio and anchor of the Bloomberg TV program "Surveillance Midday.” Tom KeeneHis appearance on campus proved invigorating and exciting for students who have spent countless hours down at the school’s Bloomberg Lab mining data and conducting real-time financial modeling.

In a visit sponsored by the Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance as its fall economic outlook event, the journalist offered a constant stream of observations and insights while also displaying genuine interest in the students’ own research. After urging members of the Global Markets Investment Club (GMIC) to present the group’s portfolio, he engaged in a dynamic back-and-forth session with club leaders and gave a point-by-point analysis of some of GMIC’s picks.

“It was especially challenging to be asked all of those questions about our portfolio,” said Stefan Stoev MA ’12.  “Mr. Keene seemed very eager to understand what we do at GMIC and offered us many suggestions and tips.”

Keene also applauded Brandeis International Business School's forward-thinking focus on technology, exemplified by the 11 double-screened workstations in the Bloomberg Lab, the largest such facility for analyzing financial information among Boston-area business schools.

“A lot of American schools are math-phobic and have pushed back on embracing these technologies,” he told students at lunch. “They wouldn’t know a long-tail if it hit them in the head. Places like Brandeis are leading the way because they know the importance of following the numbers.”

Throughout the day Keene waxed poetic about Gaussian distribution functions and the interdependencies of the global economy. He told anecdotes about barroom conversations with U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and quizzed students on derivatives and collateralized debt. He even offered advice for the soon-to-be job seekers, encouraging them to keep up a life-long passion and curiosity for learning.

“Are you brave enough to read five books about a topic and truly know your history?” he asked the students who packed Thomas H. Lee Lecture Hall. “Do you have the courage to read in the margins?”

Categories: Business

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage