This week only 13% of the op-eds published in the Wall St. Journal and the Washington Post were authored by women, the lowest percentage for both papers over the course of the byline survey. The New York Times, the publication with the lowest average of female authored op-eds, published a slightly higher percentage this week at 18%. All three of the college newspapers are temporarily discontinued due to exams or vacation, so those numbers are not included in this weeks survey.
NYT WSJ WP SA HP DB
%W 18% 13% 13% 21% 15% 35%
%M 82% 87% 87% 79% 85% 65%
This past Sunday, reporter Louise Story published an investigation—“A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives,” in the New York Times. Story’s article examined how “nine members of an elite Wall Street society,” described by critics as the “derivatives dealers club,” gather each month, attempting “to block other banks from entering the [derivatives] market, and … also trying to thwart efforts to make full information on prices and fees freely available.”
Today, Linda Keenan and Janine R. Wedel published a column in the Huffington Post, arguing that the investigation proves the banking elite are working against the most fundamental values of capitalism, at a cost that “ trickles down to all Americans.”
Keenen and Wedel draw a comparison between the privatization of information by America’s banking elite and the informal networks that arose after the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. These networks “amassed and guarded vital information didn’t collapse with it, but rather rose up to configure, and sometimes even become the new system.” Similarly, the effort by the banking elite to keep competition low and withhold price information are profit maximizing tactics that go against free market policy.
Fighting against a sea of criticism published in response to Story’s article in the Times, Keenen and Wedel’s piece stands apart from the crowd in arguing the banking elite are working against free market system and capitalist values, the very ideas the United States financial sector stands to represent. Female-authored commentary on issues related to the financial sector is few and far between, and it is great to see such a strong argument voiced by two women! If you have your own perspective on the Times investigation, now is the time to voice it!