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Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

Planet Money – Economic info made easy!

19 Sep

 John –  If any of you you listened to and were insterested in the story “Giant Pool of Money” that I linked to a few months ago. explaining in very easy to understand terms how we borked up our economy. A new podcast called “Planet Money” has taken this idea of making boring stale economic indicators and making them easy to understand. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, check out the Planet Money Podcast. They’ve also got a website up with some great stories and interviews. It’s still a little technical, but it’s chock full of information that explains why your 401k plan might be worth less than it was a few years ago.

 
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Too economically savvy for Guitar Hero? Try Budget Hero! (Much less manual dexterity required..)

29 May

Here’s a neat little game that lets you see if you can run the government better than our elected officials, which is surprisingly easy, and trying not to break the bank with Social Security and Medical Costs, which is surprisingly difficult! Here’s your chance to see how the budget would hold up if you were in charge!

All you do is play cards that represent changes to the budget, like cutting military spending, or revoking the Bush tax cuts andd then seeing how your budget holds up in the future. It’s fun, and you just might learn something!

 Budget hero

Note: What I learned is that we’re in some pretty serious financial trouble! No matter how you cut it! D’oh!

 
 

On the economy, an entertaining explanation…

13 May

   People who hang around me long enough are usually subjected to a stream-of-consciousness style babble about various political and economic facts which most people find boring, but I tend to find amazingly pertinent to my everyday life. Aside from me pushing the power of investing in the video game sector (which seems to be recession proof) I like to know why things in the greater economy are happening. Why so much interest in something as stale sounding as interest rate trends, foreclosure rates and credit crunches? Because it affects everything in our daily lives, from property taxes, the rate on our credit cards and the price of everything we buy, not to mention affecting the stability of our jobs.

   The problem arrives from the idea that the way this information is presented is usually less exciting than watching bread go stale. Thankfully, some very smart and funny people step in to take up the slack in these departments. Whether it’s the Daily Show making politics not only interesting, but downright hilarious, or the guys who wrote “Freakonomics” making the fascinating connection between the No Child Left Behind program and teacher cheating.

   Which leads me to the radio program “This American Life”. TAL is an excellent Radio and Television show that entertains as effortlessly as it informs. Specifically, this podcast is the best explanation I’ve ever heard about how we’ve ended up where we are with this stalled economy and the housing crisis. It’s told from a neutral perspective with a focus on the facts and how interesting they are when you strip away all the boring aspects.  If you’re curious at all (or want to be!) about how the housing market crashed and dragged down the economy, this is definitely worth a listen!

 Click here to be taken to the page where you can stream This American Life’s “The Giant Pool of Money” (stream link on the left.)

 
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