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Bankers' losses are going to be certain authors' gains: Book proposals about the Wall Street debacle have already landed on publishers' desks, reports Leon Neyfakh in the Observer. Times business columnist Joe Nocera (right) and former Fortune reporter Bethany McLean (left) are asking for offers in excess of $1 million for their "definitive chronicle" of the financial crisis, and Newsweek's Daniel Gross is pitching a "quickie electronic book" with a similar premise. Meanwhile, Publishers Marketplace reports that Melanie Jackson has sold Roger Lowenstein's Six Days That Shook the World, "a look at last week on Wall Street and in Washington, illuminating the origins of the crisis," to Ann Godoff at Penguin.

Of course, some books already in the pipeline are either looking prescient—like Michael Lewis's Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity, coming out in December—or will require hasty rewriting. We have a feeling that Dr. Doug Hirschhorn's Street Smarts: How Wall Street's Elite Stay on Top Even When the Bottom Falls Out, "revealing the eight secrets to thriving in one of the most pressured and volatile sectors in the business world," sold to Penguin in July by agent-to-blog-stars Kate Lee, might have to be reconceptualized just a tad.

Crashing the Crash: Business Writers Lay Ground on Lehman [NYO]
Publishers Marketplace (subscription required)