Summary: Money makes the world go around, faster and faster every day. On NPR's Planet Money, you'll meet high rollers, brainy economists and regular folks -- all trying to make sense of our rapidly changing global economy.
The U.S. Treasury Department and members of Congress are considering a $1 trillion plan to buy up bad assets on Wall Street. Economist Raghu Rajan says that looks like a move made in panic to him. He blames election-year politics, and proposes a way for Wall Street to save itself.
Ralph Reed provides one of the clearest takes on the financial crisis that we've yet heard, and then switches over to politics. Plus, more questions from listeners and answers from us.
Alex Blumberg takes a peek at the arcane Wall Street practice of naked short selling, while Adam Davidson considers what happens when the Street takes a break from moral hazard.
With the insurance big AIG on the ropes today, questions from listeners poured in. Mike Pesca joins Adam Davidson and Laura Conaway for another round of answers to queries from inquiring minds on Planet Money.
The financial world — and more to the point, the rest of us — woke up Monday morning to a whole new Planet Money. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. Merrill Lynch sold itself to Bank of America. And the questions came pouring in. We answered as many as we coul d in 22 minutes.
Whatever the cost to taxpayers, foreign financial ministers tell us the U.S. Treasury had no choice but to save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They say it was either act now or face economic Armageddon.
Economist Brad Setser obsessively studies the way China buys American debt. If the buying stops, he says, the American economy would be in trouble — and the laws of economic logic suggest that's almost inevitable.