Articles » Institutional Investor

Elizabeth Spiers’s New Deal

Originally in: [Institutional Investor]

May 4, 2006

Call it The Daily Show for the CNBC set. That’s how Elizabeth Spiers, a former New York magazine reporter and founding editor of infamous celebrity-gossip blog Gawker, describes her new, satirical Wall Street blog, DealBreaker.

“The press does not talk about the things you talk about at cocktail parties,” says the 29-year-old Duke graduate, who worked as an investment analyst for several hedge funds before launching Gawker in 2002. “Most mainstream financial coverage seems to imply you need to cover business in a deadly serious manner.”

DealBreaker, which debuted late last month, is anything but dry. The site gossips about financial kingpins’ foibles in much the same way that Gawker roasts big media swells. Mixed in with personality-driven commentary are generous doses of original reporting and entertainment. Among the site’s first posts: fake contributions from J.P. Morgan Chase chairman Bill Harrison relaying his fixation on his maid, Lucia, and from “Muffie Benson-Perella,” a privileged 20-something preppie-turned-investment-banking-associate.

“There aren’t that many Wall Street blogs, period,” explains Spiers. “The editorial route we’re taking doesn’t really exist right now.”

The new venture has the financial backing of Vanderbilt heir Carter Burden, who’s CEO of Web hosting company Logicworks, and Justin Smith, general manager of newsmagazine the Week. The partners intend to launch a Gawker-like network of blogs.

Spiers, who regularly jabbed at New York’s financial elite when she edited Gawker, expects that Wall Street’s penchant for secrecy means that its denizens will welcome a gossipy blog. She hopes that some of the site’s content will come anonymously from people who work in the industry, as it did at Gawker.

“There are tons of financial sites out there,” she says. “But there are none that cover the market like DealBreaker.”

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