Understanding the Banking Crisis: MeckMom Style

I like to consider myself a fairly intelligent person.  I’m no financial guru mind you, but I like to think I have at least a reasonable understanding of our financial system.  Well, I did think that…right up until this financial crisis hit our country.  Now I hear phrases like ‘toxic assets’ and ‘mutual investment liabilities’ tossed around in the news and it all seems a bit fuzzy.

I must not be the only one because a few months ago one of my favorite podcasts, This American Life, dedicated an entire show to de-mystifying the financial mess.  They did away with the confusing economic jargon and put the banking crisis into terms I could easily understand.  The entire show was less than an hour in length, but it was jam packed with information to help me get a better grip on how the banks got into this mess in the first place and how we can protect ourselves from repeating these mistakes in the future.

If you’re in need of a little financial know-how and want to be entertained in the process, I highly recommend listening to This American Life: Bad Banks (2/27/09).  The podcast is free on iTunes or through their website.  Take the time to listen.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.  Just thought I’d pass it on.


  1. Shelly B.

    I sooo needed this. My husband is in the financial industry and I never feel like I can keep up in the conversations with his coworkers. Maybe this will help. THANKS!

  2. I have a whole different take on the financial crises that I think makes more sense. I even did a blog post about it a while back. I think the banks were a factor in the crisis, but not nearly as much as the gas companies. Remember those $4 and up gas prices from last summer? Isn’t that about the time the recession started? Those gas prices affected every home and business in America, didn’t they? And at that time everyone started pulling back and drastically cutting expenses to afford the high gas prices. That put companies out of business and people out of work – voila you hsbr s financial crisis. And it bugs me that the gas companies got away with it and skipped off into the sunset with their pockets full of our money and no restrictions to keep this from happening again.

  3. I think this is an interesting podcast, but I wish it dealt more with the government responsibility in these matters. I’m not sure I understand what Adrian’s point was…please tell me we’re not talking about the relatively small US oil companies manipulating global markets?

  4. I really enjoyed listening to this podcast and think it’s something every American should listen to. We all need to understand the basics of why things are happening the way they are today, so that we can better deal with the future. It may not be all roses, but knowing the truth about things helps us deal with them more realistically. I think I’m hooked on This American Life now as my go to source for getting straight answers I can understand! Thanks for the referral Meck Mom.

  5. Christine

    I subscribe to the TAL podcast and this was my favorite episode of the year. I’ve recommended the podcast episode to anyone that will listen. Thanks for giving it a little more play.

  6. I’m so poor I can’t even pay attention. ~Ron Kittle, 1987

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