in which the economy and the bailout is simplified

I’ve been avoiding the political commentary; my obsession with the election, the economic crisis, and global unrest causes me enough stress. That said: I’ve been taking long walks, listening to every bit of podcast and radio broadcast possible trying to get all the information I can on the economy right now. I’m listening to CSPAN recordings of the bailout discussions, NPR, BBC commentary, and masses of podcasts- but of course, it’s This American Life that finally begins to explain the basic concepts in a way that is easily understood.

I’m recommending the hell out of this right now- This American Life’s "Another Frightening Show About The Economy," which carefully explains what- outside of the subprime mortgage market- happened, what is happening, and what we’re looking at happening in the future. It’s a free download this week, but I believe after that it costs ninety- nine cents. Despite the title, this is not fearmongering- it’s carefully paced and intelligently worded.

Want more? I recommend APM’s Marketplace Morning Report, Planet Money, The Bloomberg Votality Report, Slate’s Big Money podcast, and This Week In Barron’s, for starters. Forget about the links if you’re looking for audio- iTunes carries them all, at least, and most of them for free. And if you’re not already reading The Motley Fool, why the hell not? Get over there already and start getting smart about your money, or at least, what’s happening to everyone’s money right now.

Trust me- you don’t have to be an investor, a home- owner, the recipient of an ARM- style loan, or a big bank for this to matter to you- it matters. And it doesn’t matter JUST because this is an election year- hell, bipartisan decisionmaking helped create the problem, so you can’t just point fingers at a party for this one. (Ha ha, as an independent I think this means I could point my fingers at both parties, but that rarely does anyone any good in the end.)

At the least, check out that podcast and read some over at The Motley Fool– they tend to keep it pretty clear and manageable.

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