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."

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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