We’ve already noted (several times) that the Wall Street implosion has been a nice booster shot for the business press (at least for now). But what about the people who actually work there? How can they benefit from the Dow’s misery?
With a book deal. The WSJ’s Roger Lowenstein and the NYT’s Andrew Ross Sorkin are both mulling book proposals, the Observer reports. And the NYT’s Joe “Slime Bucket” Nocera and Vanity Fair’s Bethany McLean already have one circulating and are reportedly asking for $1 million. It will be worth it, Joe says. Just ask him:
“We want to write the big book, and I’m not afraid of saying that,” Mr. Nocera said. “It will be a book for the ages and—I know this is going to sound egomaniacal, but—between our contacts and our reporting skills and our writing skills, I think we’ll be pretty tough to beat.”
The one downside with financial crash book deals — or any book deal tied to current events — is that they tend to be eclipsed by events. Like all the deals struck after the fall of Bear Stearns earlier this year.
Portfolio has a Bear Stearns book under contract from Wall Street Journal reporter (and Observer alumna) Kate Kelly. According to Mr. Weisser, its structure will remain intact. But Charles Gasparino’s forthcoming book, The Sellout: How Wall Street Greed and Stupidity Destroyed America’s Dominance of the Global Financial System, which Collins Business acquired about a week after the Bear Stearns meltdown, is likely to require some re-jiggering, as will the book that Financial Times‘ global markets editor Gillian Tett is writing for Free Press. Ms. Tett said in an e-mail that her book (which was originally going to focus on JPMorgan) “is being expanded in light of current events.” And The Journal‘s David Wessel, who signed on to do a book on the Fed and the Treasury for Crown after the Bear collapse, said he has been “re-framing the book as events unfold.”
And not to seem churlish and small-minded, but we do have one other concern: If the best newspapers’ star reporters are all writing books about the financial crisis, who’s going to be writing about the financial crisis at the newspapers?
Update: Charlie takes exception to the Observer’s reporting on his book: The deal was signed prior to Bear’s collapse, he tells us, and in any event, his book won’t have to be substantially overhauled, because he figured the story would be evolving as he was writing it: “I don’t think I have to rejigger that much. I always planned on the whole landscape changing. And I’ve broken a lot of these stories. I’m reporting as it’s happening.”
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