David and Chana's toxic asset, which has acquired the nickname Toxie, gets sick. And the payments that it's supposed to provide them every month stop.
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Former Bush Administration official David Frum explains a very surprising fact about Bush's economic failure, as it relates to health care. Frum is a regular contributor to the radio show Marketplace.
David and Chana meet another toxic asset owner, like themselves. Only difference, David and Chana bought theirs after it was already toxic, for a steep discount, 99% off.
Planet Money reporters David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein went to Kenya to see the work of a charity called GiveDirectly in action. Instead of funding schools or wells or livestock, GiveDirectly has decided to just give money directly to the poor people who need it, and let them decide how to spend it.
David and Chana buy a toxic asset, from a guy named Wit Solberg, who used to work on Wall Street and now helps small banks who've been saddled with toxic assets. Turns out...it's hard to buy a toxic asset.
David and Chana try to track down the actual homeowners in their toxic asset. The toxic asset is made up of 2000 mortgages all over the country.
David and Chana discover a dark criminal plot inside their toxic asset.
Though the name of the Federal Reserve includes the word "federal," it's not actually part of the government. It's an independent institution tasked with something very simple, but very huge: Creating money out of thin air.
Host Ira Glass explains how the Planet Money team spent a thousand dollars of their own money to buy a toxic asset, and introduces Planet Money reporters David Kestenbaum and Chana Joffe-Walt. Their stories about "Toxie" have appeared on the Planet Money podcast and daily public radio news shows, and are collected here for the first time, into one epic, Dickensian tale.
Alex Blumberg and NPR correspondent (and "Planet Money" reporter) Dave Kestenbaum examine what went wrong with the credit ratings agencies. When all these financial instruments that brought down our economy—the mortgage backed securities, the derivatives—were originally issued, the rating agencies (Standard and Poors, Moody's and Fitch) gave many of these things their top rating of triple-A.