She went to work as an assistant editor with Vogue magazine, eventually becoming a writer and financial columnist. In 1981 she co-authored the book The Woman's Guide to the Stock Market and that same year joined the Wall Streetstockbrokerage, Dean Witter Reynolds where she remained until January 1984. She returned to writing on financial matters at Money magazine and in late 1986 accepted an offer from Forbes magazine to work as an editor and an investigative business writer. In mid-1993, she left Forbes magazine to become the executive editor at Worth magazine but in September 1995 took on the job of press secretary for the Presidentialelection campaign of Steve Forbes following which she was appointed assistant managing editor at Forbes magazine.
In May 1998 Gretchen Morgenson became the assistant business and financial editor at The New York Times. She has written about the conflicts of interests between financial analysts and their employers who generate income money from the companies that the analysts assess.
Beginning in 2005, Morgenson has been focusing on executive compensation packages being paid by American companies that she asserts have reached levels far in excess of what can be justified to shareholders.
In 2006, Morgenson broke a story about a Wall Street analyst (Matthew Murray) who was fired shortly after he reported emails to Congress concerning potential violations of SEC regulation AC by the investment bank (Rodman & Renshaw) that he worked for at the time. The emails allegedly documented that the investment bank wouldn't let the analyst lower his rating, or have his name removed from coverage, of an investment banking client. A subsequent article by Morgenson highlighted a letter she obtained from the Senate Finance Committee in which Senator Grassley stated that the investment bank's Chairman (General Wesley Clark) had acknowledged to his staff that the analyst had been fired from the investment bank as a result of reporting the emails to Congress.
In 2009, The Nation called Morgenson "The Most Important Financial Journalist of Her Generation". In 2002 she won the Pulitzer Prize for her "trenchant and incisive" coverage of Wall Street.
She has appeared on Bill Moyers Journal, and Charlie Rose.
The Wall Street Journal
In November, 2017, Wall Street Journal investigations editor Michael Siconolfi announced that Morgenson was joining that paper's investigative team as a senior special writer, working closely also with reporters in the money and investing group and the financial enterprise group.
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