One of the most well-received stories about the 2008 financial meltdown is the This American Life episode titled “The Giant Pool of Money“. It’s from “way back” in May and goes into great detail without sounding like Ben Stein’s bored teacher character from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. Don’t worry if you find Ira Glass off-putting; he barely shows up in this episode. Instead the reporting is done by Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson.
At the beginning of October, Alex and Adam returned with a follow up story called “Another Frightening Show About the Economy“. What’s more, they’ve started their own show in the same “jargon-free” style of economics reporting called “Planet Money” (blog | podcast | twitter).
For example, in the interview from yesterday, they explain that regular people like me shouldn’t look to the Dow Jones Industrial Average if we want to be freaked out about how bad things are. We should instead look at the Treasury 3-month bond rate. The higher that number goes, the calmer we should be. I appreciate this kind of reporting.