When I saw the Reuters headline, “Goldman’s new money machine: warehouses,” I knew I had to read the story. After all, isn’t Goldman an investment banking firm?
Today’s Tip: Tell your readers something they don’t know.
That advice is the touchstone for judging entries in the Reynolds Center’s Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism.
In this Reuters report, reporters Pratima Desai, Clare Baldwin, Susan Thomas and Melanie Burton write:
“A string of warehouses in Detroit, most of them operated by Goldman, has stockpiled more than a million tonnes of the industrial metal aluminum, about a quarter of global reported inventories.
“Simply storing all that metal generates tens of millions of dollars in rental revenues for Goldman every year.”
From there the story notes that the with aluminum staying in storage, it reduces supplies for manufacturers. The resulting increase in prices has caused conflict among the companies, Goldman and the London Metal Exchange, the world’s benchmark industrial metals market.
Pratima, who covers warehousing, teamed with the London Metal Exchange team to do the story. She says contacts had been tell them about premiums rising for a while.
“You need to find out who knows what’s going on,” she says. “Quite a few people don’t have knowledge. Find the people who really understand how the market works.”
One way to think about finding those sources is through beat mapping, as explained in this post by Joe Grimm.