These two three four five six radio programs on This American Life do an excellent job of giving an on-the-street perspective from the Wall Street investors to the lenders all the way down to the individual home-buyers and finally the results of the recession in everyday life. In addition, there is a very good explanation of how banks work and why they are becoming insolvent. If you haven’t dug in to understand how we have gotten into this mess, you must listen to these programs. Excellent journalism.


More in-depth economic analysis can be found here:

(Update: 9.28.2009 – Though they don’t come to this conclusion in these shows, after much investigation and personal reflection on the events of the last two years, I have come to the conclusion that the Federal Reserve is ultimately at fault for meddling in markets, making money super cheap to obtain, and promoting an environment of pure moral hazard. Certainly, all those who took the bait, everyone from lenders, to consumers, to those on Wall Street, are all responsible in some manner. But ultimate responsibility for the over-arching cause of the crisis is the reckless policy decisions of our central bank over the last 30 years, starting with Paul Volcker (as I understand it), who is oddly one of Obama’s economic advisor’s. It is unfathomable to me that the same people who promoted reckless macro-economic policies are supposed to be the same people to get us out of this mess … by spending us even further in the hole. Unbelievable. And contrary to the assumption that “no one saw this coming,” think again … watch below.)