OLD Media Moves

How covering financial panics through the years has changed

January 24, 2009

FiLife.com editor at large Dave Kansas writes in the introduction to his new book “The End of Wall Street As We Know It” about how business coverage of economic turmoils has changed during the past decade.

Kansas writes, “As a financial journalist, I’ve witnessed other financial panics. The Asian financial crisis of 1997. The Russian crisis of 1998. The bursting of the Internet and technology strock bubble in 2000-2001. But all of these lacked the comprehensive nature of the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The notion that the ‘center might not hold’ — that the entire system of liberal capitalism might fail — almost never became a topic during these earlier crises.  But this time, the crisis took on these kind of existential terms.”

“I’ve written about the financial markets in both good times and bad. As a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in 1995, I wrote about the Dow Jones Industrial Average bursting through 5,000. That sure feels like a long time ago. As editor in chief of TheStreet.com, I had a ringside seat to the crazy run-up of Internet stocks in the late 1990s. And during the early part of this century, I oversaw coverage of Wall Street for The Wall Street Journal during a time of rising markets.

“It was during that last stint that the early seeds of our present problems were sown. My colleagues and I wrote frequently about the overabundance of ‘easy money.'”

The book will be released Tuesday.

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