Monday, October 06, 2008

Learning the Economy

No, I am not going to tell you about the economy, I barely know enough to explain the things that are going on to myself. Naked short-selling, mark-to-market accounting, LIBOR, etc ... are all foreign terms that I am just beginning to understand. If these things interest you, you probably already know a lot about the crisis. However, if you, like me, don't know too much and want to know more about the basics of the economy and therefore more about why we are in the economic pickle we are in, I have some recommendations for you.

First, I am a huge proponent of podcasting because you can listen to the programs in a lot of different venues or while you are doing other things. My new favorite podcast is called Planet Money, and it (like most of my favorite podcasts) is from NPR. You can follow the link and listen on-line, or you can get it free from iTunes or another podcast provider. This podcast just started last month, and it has tons of episodes full of interviews and explanations of the current financial crisis. For up to date information and different points of view on financial legislation and the state of the economy, this place is great.

For a more succint and shorter analysis of how we got to this point in the economy, I highly suggest two programs from This American Life (another podcast that also happens to be a TV show on Showtime). The program in general is tremendously entertaining, but I want to draw your attention to two shows, entitled "The Giant Pool of Money" and "Another Frightening Show About the Economy", both of which are actually colaborations with the aforementioned Planet Money. Between them, these two oustanding podcasts do the impossible, which is to give a thorough but simple explanation of how we got into the financial crisis we are in.

These days especially, I feel like it is part of our duty to ourselves and our future to understand what is happening, so we can use the information to guide our votes and actions and make sure this does not happen again. These programs help with that, so if you have the time, listen to them.

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