A Snapshot Of America

Financial Crisis Tracker
Sourcewatch has developed a great widget to keep a running tally on what some call "The Great Recession".

Below is their explanation of where the numbers come from and just in case you are shocked by that 4.71 TRILLION DOLLARS number in the Wall Street bailout section in there. (4.71 trillion dollars number is taken from at the time I wrote this post)

From Sourcewatch:

The Financial Crisis Tracker gives a monthly snapshot of housing foreclosures, unemployment rates and the total cost of the Wall Street bailout. The Tracker is presented in the form of a widget that can be downloaded to your webpage.

The Foreclosure number is generated monthly by RealtyTrac, a private data source used by newspapers across America. The RealtyTrac data is released in the second week of the month for the previous month.

The Unemployment number is generated by the U.S. Department of Labor and released on the first Friday of the month for the previous month. The larger DOL data set is rich with information about unemployment and underemployment in the U.S. economy.

The Wall Street Bailout number is our original calculation of the total bailout expenditures to date. Our calculation was peer-reviewed by economists at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington D.C. Our table tallying all government bailout programs can be accessed here.

Updated: Open Thread - Bank Ratings

Promoted. Originally posted 2008-10-04 13:53:38 -0500. -- GH

Update: Just saw this on 60 minutes.. 60 Minutes: How Some Arcane Wall Street Financial Instruments Magnified Economic Crisis (An eye opening investigation - buzz word is "swap.")

...this market is almost entirely unregulated.

The result is a huge shadow market that may control our financial destiny, and yet the details of these private insurance contracts are hidden from the public, from stockholders and federal regulators. No one knows what they cover, who owns them, and whether or not they have the money to pay them off.

One of the few sources of information is the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), a trade organization made up the largest financial institutions in the world. Many of them are the very same companies that created the vast shadow market, lobbied to keep it unregulated, and are now drowning because of unanticipated risks.

It's like what Luaptifer worries about: We have the people who created the mess in control of the mess.

The hits just keep on acoming!.

The CBS 60 minute piece is a lot like the NPR American Life transcript of the Ira Glass program The Giant Pool of Money that JeninRI pointed out a while ago... It is fabulous... audio link here.

In that piece, they talk about some of the people who did these deals... like the guy who was a bartender until he became a mortgage backed securities guy, or the guy just out of college, doing the same thing as Mike and making $100,000 a month.

Bank Crisis 101 - The Simplest Explanation You Will Find

bumped by roxy. Originally published 2008-09-26 10:25:49 -1000

They try to hide what it is using fancy words like credit derivatives. Over and over again they tell you it is too complicated for the average person to understand.

They are lying to you. [shock!]

You can easily understand this if you read these pieces together. They keep talking about mortgages but they are the smallest part of this entire "shitpile." It is a scam and the bushies have been waiting for months to unleash this "crisis" as an election issue.