- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
The crazy financial web of webs
Here's a combination of resources from the world of Public Radio that I recommend if you want to really dig into some of this huge financial mess that we are in.
First, listen to This American Life's episode #355, The Giant Pool of Money. This episode explains why there was such an appetite for a safe-yet-profitable investment, and how the American housing market came to be seen as that market when the U.S. Treasuries refused to be. Then it follows that appetite from the super-huge institutional investors to the merely huge institutional investor all the way down to the guy brokering the loans in Scranton and Tuscaloosa.
Okay, second, switch your loyalties to Marketplace, where Senior Editor Paddy Hirsch has made the video below about how Collateralized Debt Obligations work. What I like about this video is that he explains how investors made CDOs of CDOs, and therein lay the problem.
You may remember that I took a crack at explaining these things back in December. This video is better.
There's two more things you need to see: click Read More!
Third, head back to This American Life, for Episode #365. They did a follow up on just how bad the economy is. They really unpack Credit Default Swaps. These things are terrifying. They are nothing but a gamble that makes it really easy for the failure of one company to multiply into the failure of, well, everyone. This episode also explains the Commercial Paper Market (basically, the credit cards of big business) and explains what the talking heads mean when they say that disappearing short term credit can make it really hard for a functional business to make payroll.
I also like this episode because it lays some blame at the feet of Clinton Administration, too, showing just how widespread some faulty WSJ style ideas had gotten. The math in this market just doesn't add up. That should have been obvious to somebody.
Lastly, Credit Default Swaps are just too weird for merely one perspective, so let's go back to Marketplace Senior Editor Paddy Hirsch AGAIN for another good whiteboard video about the awful-interconnectedness of the big Credit Default Swap
Granted, this is about 2.5 hours of material, all told, but you can watch the videos on your lunch break and I did the radio shows at the gym. Totally worth the time and both are really entertaining, too.
If you're already feeling more and more misanthropic every day like I am, these definitely won't turn you round, but at least you'll be better able to justify your decline.