Bloomberg on instant access to information before he entered politics, and after

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Bloomberg. (Allan Gregg via youtube)
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"The impact of better communications isn't necessarily all good," said the media-mogul-turned-mayor Michael Bloomberg last month on his weekly radio show, discussing the immediacy of social media-facilitated public reaction.

"How do you govern when there's an instant referendum on everything, before you get a chance to build a constituency, before you get a chance to do a pilot?" Bloomberg said.

His co-host, John Gambling, said something about ideas being "twittered to death." 

Bloomberg didn't always feel this way.

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Back in 1998, before he got into politics, he gave an interview to Allan Gregg, a well-known Canadian researcher and pundit (and formerly the "official pollster of the Progressive Conservative Party").

In that interview, posted on YouTube last year, Gregg asked Bloomberg whether the new financial-media landscape was responsible for volatility in the marketplace.

Bloomberg's response:

"There are clearly people who think that that it's bad, and they blame all of this information, whether it's the press or the web sites or whatever. I find that a little bit offensive because what they're saying is 'Well, the people who had the information before, it's OK for them to have it but I don't want everybody else to have it. Either you believe in democracy, in egalitarianism or you don't. In an egalitarian world everybody has the information, that's great. And if they choose to buy and sell who are you to criticize? Who made you-- it's very elitist to say that only some people should have information."

He went to say that some decisions by investors "don't have a basis in reality, but that's what you get when everybody has information. If that's the way they want to trade, let 'em trade."