OLD Media Moves

The best subprime mortgage coverage

November 6, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Slate media critic Jack Shafer polled experts in economics coverage to determine what reporters had done the best job in covering the subprime mortgage crisis.

Subprime mortgageShafer wrote, “As a layman, I’ve gleaned much from the Financial Times‘ coverage. A Nov. 5 feature by Gillian Tett and Paul J. Davis (‘What’s the Damage? Why Banks Are Only Starting to Uncover Their Subprime Losses’) reports that private-sector economists believe that the mortgage problems, which the U.S. government has estimated may destroy $100 billion in value, may actually reach $200 billion or more. But nobody really knows.

“I polled a dozen journalists and economic thinkers for recommendations on whom and what to read on the topic. David Warsh of Economic Principals seconds my FT nomination and praises Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal, writing that Ip ‘has been consistently more interesting since June on the Fed’s response than any other reporter i read regularly.’

“Slate Editor Jacob Weisberg singles out the FT‘s Martin Wolf. Slate ‘Moneybox’ columnist Dan Gross writes that the FT‘s Tett ‘has done the best job covering it from the capital markets/bank perspective—not the sad sack stories of individual homeowners losing their homes.’ He admires the way FT coverage has given an international dimension to the story—’the way German banks, Australian hedge funds, and London financial institutions have come undone on this issue.'”

Read more here. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been wrapped up in other projects, so when Shafer asked me this morning who I thought was doing a good job covering subprime mortgage woes, I couldn’t think of any story I’d read on the issue that stood out. But obviously there has been plenty good work.

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