This American Life Demystifies the Housing/Credit Crisis

There's been no shortage of articles trying to explain the ongoing housing and mortgage crisis. But none does a more clear and entertaining job than this recent episode of This American Life, "The Giant Pool of Money" (iTunes - Feed - MP3). Step by step, the show traces how we got into this mess. Along the way, you'll discover how 70 trillion dollars of global money needed to get parked somewhere, and it found the US housing market. As the money poured in, the American investment community cranked out as many mortgages as it could. And when there were no more qualified home buyers left, the banks started lowering lending standards until there were none left. In the end, even dead people were getting mortgages (sadly, a true story). Give the podcast a listen. The whole debacle gets pieced together in a way that you've probably never heard before.

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