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June 18, 2010

Social Contract

Richard Ravitch has helped fix three governmental crises, including when New York City nearly went bankrupt in 1975. What's changed, to make it so much harder for him to solve the state's current financial crisis?
A bag of stress balls in the New York Governor's budget office. The state has yet to pass a budget for the current fiscal year.

Prologue

We hear recordings from all over the country—and the world—of politicians arguing over budgets. (2 minutes)

Mister Fix It

Richard Ravitch has helped fix three governmental crises, including when New York City nearly went bankrupt in 1975. What's changed, to make it so much harder for him to solve the state's current financial crisis? Host Ira Glass reports. (34 minutes)

If You Were Stranded on a Desert Island and Could Only Bring One Economic Plan...

Why is it that Barbados and Jamaica faced almost identical financial crises, but now Jamaica is incredibly poor and Barbados is prospering? Alex Blumberg reports on the surprising strategy Barbados used to survive its crisis. Alex first learned about this story from a paper by Peter Blair Henry, the dean of the Stern School of Business at New York University. (22 minutes)

This story was produced in conjunction with Planet Money, a co-production of This American Life and NPR News. You can download a transcript here.

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