Barron’s, chronicler of personal and national finance, turns 100 in 2021
Historian Kenneth Pringle writes for Barron’s about the 100th anniversary of the markets publication.
Pringle writes, “‘All history is bound up in the human problems of personal and national finance—personal and national protection to daily subsistence,’ Barron wrote in the forward to his 1920 essay collection, A World Remaking. ‘It has been my ambition and life work to find the root causes for economic changes.’
“Barron lived in extraordinary times, and he knew it. The world was at a turning point, a hinge moment. One era was ending and another beginning. This was the birth of the modern world, and Barron wanted to understand and make sense of it.
“This led Barron into journalism, starting as a reporter with hometown Boston newspapers and working up to become the financial editor at the Transcript. But he had bigger plans. In 1887, he founded the Boston News Bureau, which supplied financial news to brokers. Fifteen years later, he bought Dow Jones & Co., including The Wall Street Journal, from its founders for $130,000 (equivalent to about $4 million today).
“Barron believed that the press should be Wall Street’s watchdog, not its cheerleader. He pushed his reporters to scrutinize corporate records—that is, to follow the money, still the battle cry of financial journalists everywhere.”
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