This is why newspapers should want all their columnists to blog. Joe Nocera:
Although Lehman has been the number one rated equity research shop (again, according to Institutional Investor), that just shows how flawed such ratings are. Everybody on Wall Street knows that Sanford Bernstein does by far the best equity research on the Street. It tends to hire former industry players like Brad Hintz, who was once Lehman Brothers’ chief financial officer, to cover the industries they were once part of. Mr. Hintz; Craig Moffett, the lead telecommunications and cable analyst; Mr. Sacconaghi, who is the technology axe; and a raft of others give Bernstein’s research a depth — an intelligence, really — that no other firm can match.
Such unambiguous and forcefully-expressed opinions, backed up by genuine knowledge and expertise, are vanishingly rare in the world of newspaper journalism. You’ll see them safely ensconced in quotation marks, sometimes, attributed to someone who agrees with what the columnist in question is trying to say, but in general journalists are trained from day one at J-school not to present opinion as fact. That Nocera is able to do so in his blog is refreshing and encouraging.