Rare prescience and clarity in business coverage
John Brummett, a columnist for the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock and author of “High Wire,” a book about Bill Clinton’s first year as president, writes about the columns that won Washington Post business columnist Steve Pearlstein aÂ Pulitzer Prize last week.
Brummett writes, “Be prepared to behold rare prescience and clarity about the looming international financial calamity. Notice how plain and simple he makes the greedy and nonsensical reliance on risky debt in home mortgages and broader investment securities based on those home mortgages.
“‘What we have here is a failure of common sense,’ he wrote. ‘With occasional exceptions, bankers shouldn’t make — or be allowed to make — mortgage loans that require no money down and no documentation of income to people who won’t be able to afford the monthly payments if interest rates rise, house prices fall and the roof springs a leak.’
“Makes sense when he puts it like that, doesn’t it?
“For once, the Pulitzer commentary prize offers less a celebration of celebrity and conventional political punditry than a lesson to those of us in the business. It’s to find our niche, write what we know and aim for simplicity, clarity and candor.”
Read more here.