credit default swaps

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.

Crisis explainer: Uncorking CDOs from Marketplace on Vimeo.

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!

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