What killed the Bear? Leverage, of course, and, some allege, a rapid-fire rumor mill. Bryan Burrough, author of Barbarians at the Gate, recently accused CNBC of lending a hand in the collapse of Bear Stearns, according to the New York Post. In an article written by Burrough for the August issue of Vanity Fair, the Post reports, the writer alleges that rumors started by short-sellers made their way to the business news station where they, perhaps, exacerbated an already-volatile situation.
Charlie Gasparino, a CNBC reporter mentioned in the article, was quoted in the Post as saying, “…In those critical hours we were reporting what was happening in the markets. What are we going to do? Ignore it?” He then goes on to call Burrough’s reporting “sloppy.”
Despite Burrough’s apparent shock at the media’s response to the article, he remains unsure that he has actually done anything wrong. He says blaming CNBC was not his intention, and that to do so would be “ridiculous.” While he does not place the blame on CNBC, he believes that “there’s a few places where they [CNBC] stepped right up to the line and I think I point that out in the article.”
Gasparino assures the world that this incident won’t change his mindset as reporter: “There’s no change in the way I do my job.”