Lessons from 37 years of financial journalism

In the world of finance, there are several key lessons that have emerged over the course of 37 years of financial journalism. One important lesson is the recognition that individual incentives can lead to collective instability. This means that when individuals within the financial system are driven by their own self-interest, it can have negative consequences for the overall stability of the system.

Another crucial insight is the understanding that big banks are fundamentally different from conventional businesses. They operate within a heavily regulated environment, enjoy state guarantees, and can be considered quasi-public franchises. Their primary function is to create and distribute money on behalf of governments and central banks.

The role of CEOs in times of corporate turmoil is also worth noting. While they can have a significant impact in protecting or creating value during periods of crisis, their influence may be less pronounced during more stable times.

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that stock analysts often have a narrow focus when it comes to evaluating companies. They tend to focus on specific metrics and may not always consider the broader perspective or long-term implications.

Lastly, debt holds greater significance than equity in the financial world, which is unfortunate but true. Debt can have a profound impact on the stability and performance of companies