Posts Tagged ‘economy’

The Economy Explained – This American Life

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment


If you’re like me, this whole recession thing is a bit mysterious. I mean, I read the news, used to watch a lot of CNN (before I canceled my cable), and actually have some knowledge of finance, economics, and the like. But even with all that media coverage and college core-class education, it is hard to really get what happened in the last couple of years. Who ever heard the terms “sub-prime,” “toxic assets,” or even “bank bailout” before 2008? Well I recently heard somewhere that the fabulous weekly public radio program This American Life did a couple shows that actually make sense of the whole mess, and I, being a TAL fan already, decided it was time to check it out.

Now I actually feel like I get it. Mortgages, bank failures, government bailouts, sub-prime, Wall Street, etc… It is no longer a mystery to me, thanks to Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson, the guys who co-produced the episodes The Giant Pool of Money (about the housing and mortgage lending crisis), and Bad Bank (about how and why our biggest banks got themselves knee-deep in bad bets).

If you want get a grasp on our economy, and just how scary it is, find a couple of spare hours to listen to the free podcast on’s website (or pay a buck for a download on itunes). It’s worth it, especially if you like to understand the world you live in. CNN and FOX (obviously) won’t give you this kind of clarity. Trust PRI.

Teaser: It’s not all the banks’ fault. I know, it pains me to say it, but they are not entirely to blame, greedy as they are.