OLD Media Moves

Experiencing fear on the business reporting job

September 15, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Neil Irwin of the Washington Post writes what it was like five years ago to cover the financial crisis the weekend that Lehman Brothers closed and Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch.

Irwin writes, “So I went into the office, and indeed the source was correct. That evening, Lehman Brothers announced it would go bankrupt, Bank of America was buying Merrill Lynch, AIG sat on the precipice of failure, and a global financial rout was set to begin. We ripped up the front page of the next day’s Post and tried, in the late evening of that Sunday night, to figure out what we could about what had happened and what it meant. The lede on one of the stories I wrote that evening holds up well: ‘The U.S. financial system this weekend faced its gravest crisis in modern times, as regulators resorted to triage on Wall Street to contain the spreading damage from a meltdown in the housing and mortgage market.’

“Financial writers don’t usually experience fear on the job. War correspondents put their lives on the line as a matter of course; the biggest risk that economics writers usually face on the job is that they will eat an undercooked piece of chicken at some conference.

“But that fall, as I did my work as the Post’s Federal Reserve reporter, it was against a backdrop of deeply felt fear, for what the world’s economic future had in store.”

Read more here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.