Inside Bloomberg LP's abusive 'trading floor' culture, where current and former employees say complaints about wrongdoers were ignored for years

Current and former employees of Bloomberg LP, the financial data and news organization founded by Mike Bloomberg in 1981, say the company has harbored a toxic, macho workplace culture fueled by fear, in which powerful people screamed at underlings and bullied them with impunity, a Business Insider investigation has found.

The investigation sheds new light on Mike Bloomberg's claims during the Nevada Democratic Debate that he doesn't tolerate wrongdoing at his company and that wrongdoers would be "gone that day." Complaints to human resources about bulling and harassment were routinely ignored, according to interviews with more than 40 current and former Bloomberg LP employees.

For example, more than a dozen former Bloomberg News insiders told Business Insider that former Washington editor Al Hunt bullied staff and touched women inappropriately, and continued in his role for years despite repeated complaints and two financial settlements. Hunt denies touching women inappropriately and said he was a supportive boss.

Asked about the accusations against Hunt, a Bloomberg LP spokesperson said there are "certainly instances where we wish we had handled some complaints differently."

Mike Bloomberg's girlfriend Diana Taylor defended him against a long history of claims that he has made crude and sexist remarks, telling CBS News, "It was 30 years ago. Get over it."

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El precandidato presidencial Mike Bloomberg habla durante un evento de campaña en Hardywood Park Craft Brewery en Richmond, Virginia, el sábado 15 de febrero de 2020. (James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch vía AP)
A Mike Bloomberg supporter holds up a sign as protesters gather outside Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, where Democratic presidential candidate Bloomberg was speaking during a campaign event at the brewery in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is joined on stage by supporters during his campaign launch of "Mike for Black America," at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg speaks during a campaign event at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, right, is introduced by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner during his campaign launch of "Mike for Black America," at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during his campaign launch of "Mike for Black America," at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg greets former North Carolina Gov. Beverly Purdue as he arrives to speak at a campaign event in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg arrives to speak at a campaign event in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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Former North Carolina Gov. Beverly Purdue addresses the crowd before introducing Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to speak at a campaign event in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks to a crowd at Footnote cafe in Winston Salem, N.C., Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. This is the first day of early voting in North Carolina. (Walt Unks/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks to supporters during his visit in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (Khadejeh Nikouyeh/News & Record via AP)
People lineup outside of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg Mike Bloomberg, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn. (C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, signs autographs as Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, right, joins him onstage at a campaign event Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Providence, R.I. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Campaign worker Wendell McCoy hands out signs at a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Providence, R.I. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg talks to supporters Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg addresses supporters during a campaign stop in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to reporters after a campaign event, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
A supporter of Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wears an "I Like Mike" button during a campaign event, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a campaign event, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, speaks to State Rep. Samuel Young, center, and State Rep. Daniel Noyes at Kestral Coffee Roasters, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, with Portland, Maine Mayor Kate Snyder, center, greets a patron at Becky's Diner, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Democratic presidential candidate, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at the ​U.S. Conference of Mayors' Winter Meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Michael Bloomberg hablando en un acto en Tulsa, Oklahoma, el 19 de enero del 2020. Bloomberg se postuló a la nominación presidencial demócrata y realiza una campaña poco ortodoxa, ignorando a sus rivales en las primarias y apuntando todos sus cañones a Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, left, talks with Rev. Robert Turner, right, during a service at the Vernon American Methodist Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Okla., Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks to supporters Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks to supporters Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Democratic Presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg waits to speaks during a rally Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks with supporters at the Bounce Innovation Hub, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Akron, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Democratic presidential candidate, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, walks upstairs at a coffee shop in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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But a former Bloomberg LP executive tells Business Insider that his sexist comments persisted even after Bloomberg returned from running New York City in 2014. "It's the way he talked, and everyone knows that," this person told Business Insider. "As a woman, I didn't push back, and I didn't say, 'Don't do that.' Many of us just tolerated it. And I'm really ashamed about that."

Another former employee, who worked at Bloomberg LP in the 1990s, recalled that Mike Bloomberg and his male colleagues would shout out a code — "SFU! — when a woman they considered unattractive was nearby. It stood for "short, fat, and ugly," the former employee said. She added that Bloomberg used nicknames like "dogface" and "Stopatruckski" (which rhymed with one target's last name) for women he found unattractive.

The former employee said that she once heard Mike Bloomberg turn down a suggestion that a female employee be given a job working with clients by saying, "I will not have that fat woman representing my company." The woman he turned down continues to work for Bloomberg LP, and is featured in a Bloomberg campaign ad touting his record on championing women in the workplace.

The woman, Maggie Berry, tells Business Insider that Mike  Bloomberg has encouraged her to work with clients. A Bloomberg LP spokesperson said the company "strongly supports a culture that treats all employees with dignity and respect."

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