355: The Giant Pool of Money

355: The Giant Pool of Money

May 9, 2008
A special program about the housing crisis produced in a special collaboration with NPR News. We explain it all to you. What does the housing crisis have to do with the turmoil on Wall Street? Why did banks make half-million dollar loans to people without jobs or income? And why is everyone talking so much about the 1930s?

Download a transcript. Read the German translation by the magazine of Swiss daily, Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

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.

  • Host Ira Glass talks with an NPR business and economics correspondent about two gatherings he attended—one at the Ritz Carlton and one at a community college in Brooklyn. The first was an awards dinner for finance professionals who created the mortgage-based financial instruments that nearly brought down the global economic system. The other was a non-profit conference for people facing foreclosure. Ira explains that today's show lays out how the finance guys and the people facing foreclosure are connected by a chain of middlemen, and that together, they all brought about the current housing and credit crisis. (4 minutes) BusinessEconomicsHousing

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