One of the biggest podcast downloads on iTunes is This American Life by Chicago Public Radio hosted by Ira Glass. It’s an hour long program that is diverse and interesting. The May 9th broadcast was particularly interesting to me called: The Giant Pool of Money.

It is a simple narrative on a complex subject and how the last five years evolved from a housing boom to housing crisis.


  • $70 Trillion Dollars
  • boiler rooms
  • keeping up with the competition
  • thirst for high returns
  • NINA loans
  • subprime investors
  • from tending bar to buying mortgage pools
  • Wall Street
  • 2% default rates actually 50% default rates
  • Very smart people using the wrong data to manage risk.

I listened to it twice just because it is rare to hear a complex topic that is presented so clearly.

Intelligence beat common sense to a pulp.

Listen to the episode.

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