Ed Driscoll

Louis Rukeyser Died

Michelle Malkin notes that the genial, longtime host of PBS’s Wall $treet Week passed away yesterday at age 73.

I used to really love Wall $treet Week in the late 1980s (until I became an investment advisor myself for a spell, and eventually dreaded taking my work home with me). James Lileks wrote a piece for the American Enterprise Magazine last year on how swanky and sophisticated the panel of What’s My Line seemed in the early 1960s. Wall $treet Week was one of the last shows to maintain anything approaching that sort of atmosphere–the group discussion that followed Rukeyser’s wry monologues felt more like sophisticated after-dinner conversations (albeit around a single theme, hence the title) than what passes for discourse on most cable talk shows these days. When Austin Bay first described his roundtable Pajamas Media podcast concept to me last month, Wall $treet Week was one of the models he specifically mentioned as a prototype.

The obituary that Michelle links to quotes a fund manager and frequent guest as saying that “No one can replace” Rukeyser, which is sentimental nonsense: on television, everyone is replaceable. But few will describe common stock, convertible debentures, and closed-end REIT mutual funds with as much class as Rukeyser did.