So, the banks gained by association here; their rehabilitation into the broader society advances, even if a bit. Their reputations came in for some, if not laundering, certainly freshening up. Here was the Times treating them just like normal companies, like Pepsi.

But, as I’ve said, on Wall Street, nothing is ever for free, especially conference coin.

And my “dealbook” on this reputational transaction between the banks and the Times says it was definitely zero-sum.

 

Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014).

Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.