Congratulations to The Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein - being on the "economy is destined for calamity" bandwagon early. It has won you a Pulitzer Prize.
Pearlstein was named as one of the recipients of the 2008 Pulitzer Prizes, for his columns on the nation's economic problems. Granted, Pearlstein called the fundamental problems with some of the shenanigans going on in the home mortgage early. But, he hasn't stopped there.
If you keep banging the downbeat economy drum, you'll be rewarded. According to the Pulitzer Prize citation for his award, Pearlstein was awarded the most coveted award in print journalism for "his insightful columns that explore the nation's complex economic ills with masterful clarity."
The Washington Post's Web site listed the columns they submitted to the Pulitzer Board. These "insightful" columns included the following:
- Yesterday Brought to You By the Irrational Herd (Feb. 28, 2007)
- 'No Money Down' Falls Flat (March 14, 2007)
- Making a Play For the Dumb Money (March 21, 2007)
- Industries Could Take Cues From Hollywood on Self-Control (May 9, 2007)
- The Takeover Boom, About to Go Bust (June 13, 2007)
- Credit Market Weight Puts Economy on Shaky Ground (Aug. 1, 2007)
- New Order Ushers in A World of Instability (Aug. 10, 2007 )
- Running Right Back to the Bank (Aug. 22, 2007)
- The Art of Managing Risk (Nov. 28, 2007)
- It's Not 1929, but It's the Biggest Mess Since (Dec. 5, 2007)
Moral to this story - catch the economic doom and gloom media wave at the right time and you can ride it to Pulitzer glory.
In February, Pearlstein wrote he was hoping for a collapse:
"So I hope you'll forgive me, dear readers, when I say that the best thing that could happen to our economy is for a dozen high-profile hedge funds to collapse; for investment banking to enter a long, deep freeze; for a major bank to fail; and for the price of a typical Park Avenue duplex to fall by 30 percent. For only then might we finally stop genuflecting before the altar of unregulated financial markets and insist that Wall Street serve the interest of Main Street, rather than the other way around."
With that, Pearlstein said he was having difficulty silencing the voice inside of his head "repeating that old '60s expression, ‘Burn, baby, burn.'"
It's that sort of insight that has taken him to the top of the journalism world.
Photo credit: Pulitzer Web site