Monday, March 2, 2009

Bad Bank

A reader forwarded me a link to a recent This American Life episode in which Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson . . .
tackle a very tough subject: trying to explain exactly what a bank is and does. They talk to a number of experts about what has gone wrong in banking, but not before bringing us all up to speed on some banking basics, like understanding a bank balance sheet, and a bank’s assets and liabilities, and the squishy business of what banks say about their balance sheets compared to what they are.

Alex and Adam walk us step by step through the complications of the US government buying up bad assets from banks, and explain why, when it comes to footing the bill, the government might just prefer to not be in charge of the very banks it is having taxpayers bailout. From a dollhouse, to a hypothetical bank worth tens of dollars, to the trillions of dollars being spent to keep banks afloat, Alex and Adam talk economy, and where we might be headed. (39 minutes)
Listen to the episode for free here.

1 comment:

Alexandra said...

This was great. I just wish they would have mapped out the pros and cons of nationalizing the banking system.