Financial Crisis: The Word Count

Dear John Thain has a wonderful list of a bunch of the Must-Read Articles that Important Publications have written about the financial crisis. He reckons he really should get around to reading them some time; the scary thing, for me, is that I reckon I’ve actually already read nearly all of them.

Why is that scary? Because if you add them all up, as I just did with the help of my trusty Firefox Word Count plugin, they come to 163,788 words. If you published them all in a standard 250-words-per-page book, it would come to 655 pages.

And that’s just a couple of dozen major features, remember. Any attempt to keep up with the blogs, let alone common-or-garden news coverage, will put some big multipliers on that number. In other words, by the time the first books on the financial crisis start coming out, many of us will have read many, many books’ worth of financial-crisis coverage already. And those of us without the time to read newspapers and magazines and blogs are probably unlikely to have huge amounts of time to read books on the same subject.

Still, the good news is that there are tens of thousands of unemployed former Wall Streeters who have nothing better to do these days than to read all this stuff. For all that the supply of financial-crisis material is overwhelmingly huge, demand for it never seems to slacken. Or that’s what all the book publishers are hoping, anyway.

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