January 23, 2009

Are We in a Recession or Depression?: The Economy Clarified

Are we in a recession or depression? Do you feel like you still don't understand everything that is going on in today's economy? With melancholy stories about foreclosures, bank closures, job losses and more hitting our news waves every day, it leaves one's head spinning and begging the question, "What caused this?"

If you'd like to get a grasp on this question, here are two shows that are absolutely superb in clarifying the situation in an easy to understand way. Both shows are broadcasts from This American Life.

The Giant Pool of Money. A special program about the housing crisis produced in a special collaboration with NPR News. We explain it all to you. What does the housing crisis have to do with the turmoil on Wall Street? Why did banks make half-million dollar loans to people without jobs or income? And why is everyone talking so much about the 1930s? It all comes back to the Giant Pool of Money. Listen to this program here.

Another Frightening Show About the Economy. Alex Blumberg and NPR's Adam Davidson—the two guys who reported our "Giant Pool of Money" episode—are back, in collaboration with the Planet Money podcast. They'll explain what happened to banks in the last quarter of 2008, including what regulators could've done to prevent this financial crisis from happening in the first place. Listen to this program here.

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