Jack McArthur, a former business editor and then long-time business columnist for the Toronto Star, died earlier this week. He was 79.
In a story in The Star, former business editor Kenneth Kidd wrote, “His pronouncements were often pithy, tart and knowing. And despite his intimidating appearance, younger reporters would often seek his expert opinion, usually in the minutes before deadline.
“McArthur’s standard response always began with a kind of howling, half-moan: ‘Aaaaagghh.’ That would be followed by something axiomatic, like this one about stock-market gains or losses that investors hadn’t actually realized by selling the stock in question: ‘It was only paper then and it’s only paper now.’
“‘God, how I loved him,’ recalls Diane Francis, who got her start in business journalism at the Star in the 1980s. ‘We were all kind of frightened of him, but his bark was worse than his bite. He was crusty, but boy, he knew lots.'”
“McArthur was likely the only person in the department who read every Bank of Canada Review from cover to cover, along with piles of Statistics Canada reports. But except for his weekly story on the stock market, numbers rarely made their way into his columns.”
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