The news came to us at HBR just after our newest issue went to the printer; that issue contains, sadly, the last article he wrote for our pages. Because it is the July-August issue, and will arrive on newsstands two weeks hence, it will seem strange to many readers that the byline makes no note of his passing — and worse, that the editor’s letter is mute on the many accomplishments of his rich and long life. Such are the perils of print publishing, and for that we apologize.
But here let it be said that, when work began last January on envisioning the July-August issue — a special, double-sized issue devoted wholly to exploring how the business landscape would be transformed by the financial crisis and recession — Peter Bernstein’s voice was the first we sought to include. He was the master at explaining issues of financial risk, and there has scarcely been a time when the world needed his kind of clear analysis more.
In response to a vaguely worded invitation from us (deliberately so, in the interests of giving Peter full license to address what he felt needed to be addressed), he came back with a tightly crafted essay called “The Moral Hazard Economy.”