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Photo by: nromagna

I know I wasn’t the only person who read about or watched the news of Wall Street’s chaos and felt completely confused about what happened, how it happened and why it mattered to me. To be honest, I’m still getting a grasp on it. But as I hoped it would, my favourite podcast This American Life has tried to explain it in its latest episode, “Another Frightening Show About The Economy.”

In this podcast, journalists Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson detail the financial crisis in plan English. They start with the day the market died, specifically examining the fall of the commercial paper market, which is explained as “an industrial sized I.O.U.” They also discuss credit default swaps and examine whether the $700 billion bailout bill signed last week was a good or bad deal for the average American.

This isn’t something you’ll want to listen to while grocery shopping. It deserves your attention if you’re interested in how this affects you, which it will–even if you’re a Canadian watching the situation from north of the border.

You may also be interested in listening to Alex and Adam’s older episode “The Giant Pool of Money” which examines the American housing crisis, one of the reasons Wall St. is in this mess to begin with. Download the latest podcast for free now and stream (or pay $1 to download) the archived episodes of TAL.

If you have other resources for simpletons like me, please share them in the comments.