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Tag Archives: finance

Why Greece is in a Debt Crisis

After Greece joined the European Union, its government started borrowing money and spending lavishly. It nearly defaulted on its debts and needed a massive bailout. The Greek debt crisis unfolded, not just in Athens, but at a bond trading desk in Newport Beach, California.  Listen here.

We Bought a Toxic Asset; You Can Watch It Die

Toxic assets — home mortgages packaged into complicated bonds that no one wanted to touch when the housing bubble collapsed — are starting to trade again.  We wanted to figure out how this chapter of financial history will end.  So we decided to buy a toxic asset of our own.  You [...]

A Failed Bank: One Year Later

One year ago this week, we brought you the story of a bank failure. The Bank of Clark County was a small bank in southwest Washington state. One Friday, in what has become a weekly ritual of the Great Recession, the FDIC stepped in to take it over. We told you about [...]

Where Were the Watchmen?

Since Congress hasn’t held 1930’s-style hearings into the causes of the financial crisis, we stage one of our own.  The subject? The regulators and watchdogs who were supposed to be overseeing the banks and the finance industry—to make sure things wouldn’t blow up like they have.  Clearly something went wrong. Today we [...]

Anatomy of a Bank Takeover

The story of what it really looks like when a bank fails and is taken over by the FDIC.  Listen here for the NPR story and here for a longer This American Life version.

What Exactly is a Trillion?

The International Monetary Fund this week estimated that it will eventually write down $2.7 trillion dollars in assets.  Just what is a trillion.  Some ways to think about it.  Listen here.

Currency Traders Spy Opportunity In Crazy Times

Tiny changes in the dollar can mean huge gains or losses or currency traders.  Over the last couple of months, currencies have moved so much these guys aren’t getting much rest.  Listen here.