When I was young M&A reporter on The Daily Telegraph landing fact-based deal scoops I always used to wonder why economics journalists didn't attempt to do carry out a similar style of reporting.
To me, an economic reporter's scoop always appeared to be a "scoop of interpretation" or just a general ripping off of real economists' ideas (this used to be regular complaint from an old mate who is an economist).
So, I once asked the Ed Conway - who I used to sit next to at The Daily Telegraph but is now Sky News economics editor - that exact question: why didn't economics reporters try to find out what was going to happen ahead of major of event, such as the Bank of England's decision on whether to raise or lower interest rates, from primary sources and then publish it as a fact-based scoop?
But Ed (who, by the way, I rate very highly) assured it just wasn't the done thing in the economics reporting world. Indeed, I was told that attempting to find out what the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is planning to announce and then reporting it as a fact could land an intrepid economics hack in some very hot water.
Today, though, it would appear the world of economics reporting is on the cusp of some major change after Ed tweeted this (see below) ahead of the MPC announcement on rates:
Whilst Ed's first tweet appears to be an "interpretative scoop" (subsequently proved correct) based on other economists' views, the second tweet would imply he does appear to have gleaned some hard facts from off the record sources about some MPC members' views on the future direction of British interest rates for the next MPC meeting.
Hat tip to Conway then but cue manic confusion on foreign exchange trading floors and a barrel load of expletives (that are too rude for these pixels) directed towards poor Ed on Twittersphere.