The one joy of WSJ’s otherwise mirthless interactive graph showing bank failures across the country from Jan ’08 to present is that when you slide the time scroller back and forth, it looks like, as Marketplace’s Paddy Hirsch just tweeted, looks like a series of nuclear impact zones.
The business and financial news are full of something called “derivatives.” But, okay, what is that? You’re not the only one who’s wondering. That’s why Paddy Hirsch from the public radio program Marketplace put together a whiteboard, some stick figures, and a bunch of metaphorical turkeys to explain it all to us.
Hey, remember the TARP program? If banks are now paying back TARP funds, then what happened to those toxic assets? Are they sitting in a canyon in Wyoming for the next 10,000 years? Not exactly.
Leverage leverage leverage. Everyone’s talking about it, but what does it mean?
Antarctic explorers trudge across the icy wastelands, heavily laden with rucksacks, bound together with rope. This is a good metaphor for understanding the credit crisis, and Paddy Hirsch from American Public Media is going to lay it down on you. Oh no! There’s a crevasses. Yay! Here comes Henry Paulson to come save the banks in his helicopter. The money meltdown is definitely much more digestible, and fun, in stick-figure and whiteboard form. Full video inside.