This business journalism racket can be pretty easy when seen in a certain light -- either day or moon. All you have to do is give something with which you're not emotionally involved a flat gaze and say what is wrong or right about it as it currently stands. Journalism, after all, is about what is. The essential problem is that business, especially stock prices, is about what will be.

And God help many (uh, any) of us who actually attempt to offer proactive solutions to what might make a once-great but now-ailing company great again. Sure, we can tell you what went wrong. But what has to go right?

That's why I am going to give my coveted Business Press Maven "Nod of Approval" to a lame little effort from The Economist.

I know, I know: This truncated story and a twig or two will barely kindle a fire. But the point, I say with my tendency to condescend in full flower, is the effort.

Even in failing to fully explain how to resuscitate Gap ( GPS), this article is more instructive to the investor than so many others. At least it gives you a road map of sorts: If you see a surge of new advertising hitting the airwaves, a la 2002, does that necessarily mean the Gap's problems are solved? Remember that creating an iconic ad campaign to sell widgets, or khakis, is a little like writing the Great American novel to sell books: easier said than done. Or, if you see the company hire a new captain, even one with an impressive CV, will that be enough to right the ship?

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