Understanding The Financial Crisis
I run into people all the time who don't understand the present financial crisis. It is crazy and complicated, and it is hard to figure out what is going on. However, I am here to recommend a place to go for a simple, straight forward education about the situation. I highly, highly recommend NPR's "Planet Money" podcast and blog.
Planet Money was birthed from my favorite radio show/podcast, NPR's This American Life. That show did a program a few months ago entitles "The Giant Pool of Money." This one hour program completely removed all the mystery from the sub-prime crisis. I highly recommend going here and paying the 95 cents for the recording. It is well worth it.
In the time that has followed, This American Life has broken its format from time to time to bring financial updates. Now these updates have taken on a life of their own, and have become Planet Money.
Now, I'm no expert on what is going on. Far from it. However, I do know why neither political party is free of blame for this mess. I know enough not to lay too much blame on Fannie and Freddie, or Hedge Funds. I know what the commercial paper market is and how it basically works, or doesn't. I know all about credit default swaps and the non-regulation that Phil Graham and the entire Senate brought upon us. I know why the Dow doesn't really matter, but why the TED Spread does. I don't have any answers to all of this, but at least I understand what is going on. And I owe it all to Planet Money and This American Life.
And before you start saying "NPR, there a bunch of liberals," just give it a listen. I think you will be impressed. So, if you need to know what's going on (and who doesn't?), try them out.
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