Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Resources for "Current Events"

Here are a few more resources that I think you may find useful when discussing how we got to the current events. Some of them are more than you want for student use, but all of them provide some sense of background and/or perspective on current issues.

The first has actually been available since May of this year. Those of you familiar with the National Public Radio (NPR) program, This American Life, may have already heard this episode on "The Giant Pool of Money". You can listen to the episode or go for the free transcript (as I did). There's not a lot of data there, but the anecdotes are valuable - similar to what you would find in a book reviewed on this blog earlier, this summer, Confessions of a Subprime Lender. But the final point is important. There's lots of blame to go around.

The second resource popped up last week. Harvard University held a Financial Markets Roundtable on the situation last Thursday and included several prominent faculty members in the discussion. The program is long - over 90 minutes - but very informative. I did wish for fewer normative and more positive statements. But in asking for observations on policy, the door of politics gets opened. You can find a link to the realplayer video at the Econlog blog. Just click on "Harvard."

Finally, for those of you who wonder if there's any value-added from computer/video games in our world of economics. Someone took a chart of U.S. Home Prices from 1890 - 2007, adjusted for inflation, and applied it the computer game Roller Coaster Tycoon. Here's the result. (HT to Mark Perry at his Carpe Diem blog).

I look forward to your comments.

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