It’s always struck me that the news stories covering the real estate/sub-prime bubble and collapse have either been very superficial or too complicated for the average person to understand. When a friend or colleague casually chalks the problems up to “greedy Wall Street,” “stupid consumers,” “unprofessional real estate brokers/mortgage brokers/appraisers,” I wanted something I can refer them to – a source that will give them a more nuanced understanding of what amounts to a very complicated problem. I didn’t have one.
That changed yesterday – I listened to a one-hour program on public radio’s This American Life, called “Return To The Giant Pool of Money,” that provided the best balance of nuance, completeness, and comprehensibility to this subject that I have heard so far. Normally, I find this program a little annoying (not sure why), and even this episode gets a little sentimental at the very end. But if you want friends to understand how we got into this mess, regardless of their level of education or familiarity with economics and the business, I recommend this program.
Looks like it’s only available on iTunes as a podcast for a week after it plays on the radio. So if you want it, get it now!