Friday, October 10, 2008

Oceanic flight 815

Who can you trust to explain what is going on?  You know, who can verbally take apart the complex specialized situation and then explain it in terms that everyman can grasp?  There are two news sources that I think function like this today:  The Daily Show, and This American Life.  Although, of the two, I can only trust This American Life  completely.  I love Jon Stewart and crew.  They cut through the crap, but I still wonder about the context of their footage considering their goal is probably humor.  Anyway,  I didn't have a clue about the financial crisis until I listened to this.  

Listen to this show on This American Life, and hear the fear in the voices of all of those involved.  I don't think we even grasp where we were, or where we still are.  I will address all this soon in my brilliant forthcoming post, but to prepare, listen to this show and FREAK YOURSELF OUT MAN!

I'm working on a post about ideology in terms of computer operating systems.  I've been thinking about this watching lefties and righties and the unchanging religious like fervor about their political beliefs.  The post is about:  L[os]t, [Aus]tralia, L[os] Angeles, NY->OZ.  What is your Operating System?  OS.  I've been thinking about capitalism.  Ideology, the lens through which we see the world.  That is the thrust of the post.  

Our economy is a plane crash.  Are we going to end up on an island alone?  Are our tiny city communities going to become little isolated islands?  I'vd been watching Lost for about a month now.  I love it!  One can find all the metaphors of life there.

I don't think I'll be getting to my "crazy town" post anytime soon.  I guess we have to wait for our current moment to slow down a bit first.  I can't turn my brain off......Before my L[os]t post though, I have another couple huge ones about snakes and mothers and Freud.  Enjoy!  Oh yeah, the new Cold War Kids is really speaking to the economic moment.  The song, "I've Seen Enough":  "Hows it gonna feel when summer ends.  Outta money out of friends."  Check it out, Loyalty to Loyalty.  The first song is great too:  "We don't gamble.  We don't do the stock exchange.  We paint paintings.  We write scenes for the stage.  We will talk about welfare..."  

365: 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 this week, including what regulators could've done to prevent this financial crisis from happening in the first place. You can learn more about the daily ins and outs and join the discussion on the Planet Money blog.

Host Ira Glass goes to Union Square, a 15-minute subway ride from Wall Street, where it doesn't look like we're on the edge of an economic abyss. (3 minutes)

Act One. The Day the Market Died.
Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson recount the 36-hour period, two weeks ago, when the credit markets froze. Plus, what it's like now for businesses to get short-term loans, and how the hardship is spreading to every sector of the economy. (16 minutes)

Act Two. Out of the Hedges and Into the Woods.
One more confusing financial product that's bringing down the global economy. And one of way to think about this product is this: If bad mortgages got the financial system sick, this next thing you're about to hear about, helped spread the sickness into an epidemic. These are "credit default swaps." Alex explains. (19 minutes)

Act Three. Swap Cops.
Ira talks with Michael Greenberger, a former commodities regulator, who tells the story of when it was decided not to regulate credit default swaps. And how that decision was emblematic of the way we didn't regulate a lot of the toxic financial products we're hearing about now. (8 minutes)

Song: "Bankrupt on Selling," Modest Mouse

Act Four. What's Next?
Ira and Adam answer the question: Was the $700 billion bailout bill signed into law today a good idea or a bad one? (10 minutes)

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