When I worked at KRON-TV in San Francisco in the 1990s, I was a publicist and got to see young financial print journalists Herb Greenberg cut his teeth in TV. His column in the business section of the San Francisco Chronicle was always a good read, even for a non-business or financial industry savvy person like me.
I remember his column speaking to me not just from a business perspective, but from a philosophical perspective. He may have offered sound financial advice, but what rang true for me were his observations described so simply, succinctly and honestly. Observations keenly attuned to the stories that brought meaning to numbers and businesses decisions impacting the market. His great writing spun analogies in my mind. Analogies to human behavior, to “gives and gets” and cause and effect.
After reading his April 26-27, 2008 story in The Wall Street Journal, “A Columinst’s Parting Advice,” I tore it from page B3 and kept it on my desk for a few weeks. I read it several times. I especially like Lesson No. 1 = the numbers don’t lie. For me, the numbers may be true but I believe people. And I see even great financial wizards see the sway power of people, even on absolute numbers. Here are some lines from his article I like most: