Obituary: Jim Saft, Reuters columnist, a man of humor and insight

Reuters columnist James Saft poses for a portrait at the Thomson Reuters building in the Canary Wharf financial district of London March 25, 2009. REUTERS/Simon Newman

(Reuters) - “No one is paid to front run the apocalypse”.

This headline by Jim Saft, who died on Monday after suffering a stroke last month, was typical of the writing of one of Reuters smartest and most engaging columnists on investment and markets. [SAFT/]

Saft brought immense expertise, sensitivity and good humor to each of his roles over more than 20 years at Reuters.

An American, he joined Reuters in London, leading the financial reporting team during the early days of the euro zone and during the internet bust of the early 2000s.

He was global treasury editor from 2002 until 2007, when he became Reuters first columnist, in part so he could later relocate his family to Alabama.

Saft made an immediate mark with prescient commentary on the threat from the U.S. subprime mortgage bubble, a recurrent theme in columns that ran twice weekly on Reuters, in the International Herald Tribune and elsewhere.

His work won him an award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2008.

Writing three columns a week in recent years, Saft said he never felt short of topics.

Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler said Saft’s insight and humor will be missed by his colleagues.

Edited by Clive McKeef and Jeremy Gaunt