Editor's Desk
By Rik Kirkland/Managing Editor

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Consistent extraordinary performance. That quality defines the companies that top FORTUNE's Most Admired list. It also defines photographer Michael O'Neill (above left, at work on his latest subject, GE CEO Jeff Immelt). Over the past five years no one has produced more covers for us than Michael, for a simple reason--he always delivers an outstanding image. Make that a choice of outstanding images, which is why we keep him signed up to shoot exclusively for us in the business field (he also does a lot of work for Vanity Fair, which can't really be called our competition). Speaking of consistency, in a lengthy interview with editor-at-large Justin Fox, Immelt adamantly rejected the notion that, after the Enron scandal, there's any reason to rethink the GE way of delivering smoothly rising quarterly earnings growth. For more on what the leader of the world's most admired company had to say, plus the latest on who's up and who's down, don't miss our cover package.

Time for a quiz. Which industry is bigger--videogames or movies? (Correct answer: videogames.) Second, who's the hottest sports star among teenage boys--Michael Jordan or Tony Hawk? (Tony Hawk.) Third, who's Tony Hawk? (The cool dude in sunglasses on the far left.) If you have a 14-year-old boy in your house, you already know that Hawk is a mad rad skateboarder turned mega-celebrity by the success of a best-selling videogame, Tony Hawk Pro Skater. If you wiped out on my little quiz, turn to "X-treme Profits," by reporter Mark Borden, the cool dude in sunglasses sharing that Citation X with Tony. As Mark explains, by developing games based on the obscure (to us old fogies) stars of sports that are hot among young American males--surfing, wakeboarding, BMX riding, as well as skateboarding--a company named Activision has soared to No. 2 in the videogame biz and seen its stock climb 100% over the past year. Check it out.

Love Bing? You're not alone. From Delhi to Detroit, Boston to Bonn, I'm struck by how often readers tell me when I'm on the road, "Bing is the first thing I turn to when I get my new copy of FORTUNE." Well, we've just made your favorite business humorist even easier to find. As of this issue, Stanley Bing is taking his wit and wisdom to a redesigned column on our back page. Now repeat after me: Bing Is (in the) Back!

Who's the Warren Buffett of bonds? This guy. His name is Bill Gross. Who cares? You should. Never mind that for the past two years bonds have outperformed stocks. More remarkable, since 1973 Gross has delivered average annual returns of nearly 11%--just by trading bonds. To learn how he does it, read David Rynecki's fascinating profile, "The Bond King."

As soon as Washington sates its justifiable anger over Enron, it should turn its attention to places like this courthouse in Lexington, Miss. They are the breeding ground for what legal-affairs writer Roger Parloff calls "The $200 Billion Miscarriage of Justice." After 30 years, asbestos litigation has come to this: Suits are forcing companies only marginally involved with the deadly stuff to shell out ever more massive sums to ever less impaired plaintiffs. The subsequent bankruptcies are destroying the 401(k)s of innocent employees on an even bigger scale than Enron--so far without a murmur of outrage from Congress. Deeply reported and magisterially written, Roger's piece is one of the most shocking and important stories you'll read this year.