Essays: The Bombshell in a Nutshell |
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The Bombshell in a Nutshell

The best article I have yet seen about the current global financial crisis appeared quite early in the day, just after the Lehman’s crash. To get it written, the Wall Street Journal put four journalists on the case, who called in a further three correspondents. So trying to praise a single author would be like looking for Snow White when there is nobody at home except the Seven Dwarves. There is nothing dwarfish about the article, though. Brief for its content, it's still extensive, and, to the extent that I can understand these things, definitive. Without articles like this I wouldn’t understand finance at all, but a waking lifetime of reading newspapers at all levels has convinced me that the piece that covers the case is less common than not. This is the way it should be done, and obviously it takes deep resources. What we need to admit is that no blog can do this. It takes a village. The clear prose is not a bonus, but an essential. Unlike too many big-ticket print institutions, the WSJ still has its grammar under control. Apart from a single blemish (“Not so Lehman” should be “Not so with Lehman”) there are no ambiguities: a crucial requirement when there is so much money at stake. Since the money started out as yours and mine, we need to know exactly what happened to it. Journalism like this, if it doesn’t exactly help us to feel less poor, is at least a consolation.

Read “Lehman’s Demise” from the Wall Street Journal.