The latest edition of the This American Life podcast has one of the best portraits and break-downs of the so-called subprime mortgage crisis. I say it is one of the best because, as TAL is good at doing, it puts the very human face on both who lends this money and who is the recepient of these loans.
There is nothing more disturbing and real then hearing the voices and feeling the emotion (or lack there of) when a mortgage broker explains that their office has 12 million accounts and therefore a piece of 12 million homes, 12 million lives. Or when a father talks about how he expected to be able to pay the loan back in a few months and years later, found himself taking money out of what had long been preserved as his son’s college fund… that man breaks down crying.. and again there is nothing more real to me. It is especially important to have such a program out there available for us to hear, when so often the commercial media outlets just play the numbers game or give it new titles like “the credit crunch” and shy away from the cold hard facts that lives have been destroyed, and that someone benefited from all this or even that banks allowed this to go on despite all the known consequences.
I highly recommend listening to this edition, entitled “A Pile of Money”. ( I even enjoy the fact that Ira Glass can barely speak throughout, a refreshing change of pace.)