This American Life's hour-long show on "credit-default swaps" is the best explanation I've heard so far for what the hell these things are and how they ended up causing so much havoc. I keep asking economists, bankers, and finance people what this is all about and while I understood that somehow an exotic, unregulated, non-standardised financial instrument had created trillions in semi-illusory wealth, I just couldn't really understand exactly what that meant. This hour-long audio show does a great job of explaining the technicalities of CDSes, and then delves into their history, regulatory context, and problems, ranging from Congress to bankers to people on the street. Great stuff — an hour well spent.
- How credit cards become asset-backed bonds – Boing Boing
- Brown Monday: open thread on today's economic panic. – Boing Boing
- HOWTO Pay for America's health insurance – Boing Boing
- Subprime mortgage primer — online comic – Boing Boing
- Dr. Housing Bubble Interview – Boing Boing
- Sad Guys On Trading Floors – Boing Boing
- How SEC rule-exemptions led to the Wall St collapse – Boing Boing