Following up from last week's Manic Monday post, I'm really struck how well journalists, academics, and even activists are leveraging social media tools to provide consumers with a wealth of information to understand just how the credit crisis started and how we might dig ourselves out of it. I wish I had these resources when I was working on financial services issues for the Senator.
I found it very interesting that a group of conservative political activists has turned to YouTube to lay the blame for the current crisis at the feet of the Community Reinvestment Act, and that video has been viewed more than 700,000 times. (Sorry guys, but as Chairman Frank explains, your argument is flawed.)
Via Open Culture, I've found two excellent podcasts from NPR's Fresh Air - one with Michael Greenberger (A University of Maryland Law Professor and former official at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission), the other with the New York Times' Gretchen Morgenson. The interview with Greenberger is the best description I've heard yet about the $62 trillion worth of exposure finanical companies and investors have taken on in the form of unregulated credit default swaps since the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. Morgenson talks about the prospects of a web of conflicts of interest as the pending bailout package is implemented. Terry Gross has done an admirable job finding people who can translate finance to English.
Twitter has been a decent source of information. Paul Kedrosky has been pushing out insightful commentary and links. I like his twitter feed even more than his blog. I first got a link to the 110-page discussion draft currently working its way through Congress from someone calling herself Miss Trade.
I'd be remiss if I didn't link to some of the better "bubble blogs" out there that have been warning people about this crisis for years now - Calculated Risk, Bubble Meter, and Professor Pigginton's Econo-Almanac for the Landed Poor are three of my favorites.
(and you guys thought I'd be writing about the debates. The pundits were wrong, the people were right. So there.)