375: Bad Bank

375: Bad Bank

Feb 27, 2009
The collapse of the banking system explained, in just 59 minutes.
Our crack economics team—the guys who explained the mortgage crisis, Alex Blumberg and NPR's Adam Davidson—are back to help all of us understand the news. For instance, when we talk about an insolvent bank, what does it actually mean, and why are we giving hundreds of billions of dollars to rich bankers who screwed up their own businesses? Also, two guys go to New Jersey to look at a toxic asset.

Download a transcript.

Other shows on the financial crisis: Giant Pool of Money and Another Frightening Show About the Economy. And you can get daily updates about the financial crisis on Alex and Adam's Planet Money podcast and blog.

These episodes of the Planet Money podcast go into more depth on the issues in this week's show:

2/9/09 Get Tougher Please—especially the interview with Adam Posen
2/27/09 He Nationalized a Bank
2/2/09 Japan's Lost Lesson

Simon Johnson, the former IMF official on this week's show, has a blog called BaselineScenario.com.

Also, on C-Span—Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner praises this episode:

View the full video here.

  • Not everyone hates the idea of "toxic assets." Reporter Lisa Chow goes to New Jersey to follow two guys on their quest to clean up some of America's bad mortgages—by buying them, and going straight to the homes themselves to have a look at how dire the situation really is. (13 minutes)

    Economics

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