A shorter companion version of this story appeared on NPR's All Things Considered.
Stay updated! Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson (the guys who did this program) have a free daily podcast and blog applying that same explanatory power to each day's breaking news on the financial crisis: Planet Money.
- This American Life producer Alex Blumberg teams up with NPR's Adam Davidson for the entire hour to tell the story—the surprisingly entertaining story—of how the U.S. got itself into a housing crisis. They talk to people who were actually working in the housing, banking, finance and mortgage industries, about what they thought during the boom times, and why the bust happened. And they explain that a lot of it has to do with the giant global pool of money. (30 minutes)