LB: We are going to have a series which is going to be online and in print looking at how the world of investing has changed because of the crisis. We’re deliberately trying to look forward. I think it’s very important especially these days as traditional media is very challenged, you’ve got to deliver more than analyzing the news, reporting the news. Obviously we’re going to be covering the regulatory battle from Washington. But we’re going to be looking very clearly at who are the winners and losers on Wall Street. And there’s still a huge job to explain. Everybody was saying the traditional investment-banking model was dead, that was just conventional wisdom a year ago. Well maybe not —who says so? If you look at what’s happening now. But then there’s a big job to explain why is it that Goldman for example is going to have record profits and revenues this year. Just explain it. Don’t go along with just easy, “they’ve got a great culture,” then they’ve got these wild allegations of having people in all the high places so the system is tilted toward them. Look, there’s less competition than there was. Actually with all these extraordinary fiscal and monetary measures that have been taken this year, with less competition, those that survived, they were going to do well. There’s still a big question about how solvent the banking system is. We’re going to look at all that.
And also, critically, which is harder for American news organizations to do. For us, we can say, maybe the world is changing a bit. Look at the new balances of power. China is not going to replace America as the locomotive of growth. But China is increasingly informed as a financial, economic and political player. Look at the Gulf. The Gulf bailed out the Western banking system, or lots of banks, with private capital. That’s again a new, we’ve got to write about this as well.
TA: The WSJ under Murdoch, is it trying to be like FT or the NYT? I can’t decide.
LB Well, I think that they are practicing the sincerest form of flattery—I think they are! They are clearly adopting the lessons that we’ve learned, and they’re adopting some of the tactics and some of the approach that we’ve taken. Their stories are shorter. They’re trying to catch up on global news coverage. And yeah, I think they are trying to be a bit more like us.