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Listen to yesterday's FreshAir

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 by Dave Winer.

If you want to spend 40 minutes getting a high-speed update on the financial crisis, I highly recommend yesterday's Fresh Air interview with NY Times financial reporter Gretchen Morgenson.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named theTruthCanBeAdjusted.jpgThere's a chin-dropping number in the interview. $60 trillion. It's the dollar value of insurance purchased to back up the money market. It's as if all the neighborhoods in the world were on fire and the insurance industry is going to have to deal with claims on all of it. Obviously, they never planned for that. But there's a lot more shocking stuff in the interview, and it raises far more questions than it answers. If you're like me, and put off understanding how our financial system really works, I'd suggest clearing out 40 minutes and have a listen.  Permalink to this paragraph

Update: Aaron Pressman, in a comment on this post, suggests (gently, much appreciated) a rewording. "The $62 trillion (not $60) is the total amount of credit default swaps, or insurance policies, that financial firms have written on all types of debt, not just money markets. So: It's the dollar value of insurance purchased to back up bond market investments. It's the amount that banks and insurers are on the hook for if absolutely everything goes down the tubes." Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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