Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Financial Woes and Other Brain Teasers...

Hey All,

so I've been doing something new lately that I'm actually finding quite fascinating. I started keeping up with the Rachel Maddow Show purely out of curiosity and now she's got me reading all these conservative and liberal news sources about politics and the the ins and outs of the financial system. I was never interested in Government or Economics in school but now that I'm experiencing some self-directed exploration I can't seem to get enough. I love understanding the lingo when reading about the minority abuse of the filibuster in Congress or the shady back door relationship between Wall Street and Washington. I want to do more reading to get a better handle on the information I'm coming across so that I am educated enough to have my own filter on the subject, but the process is truly exciting. I never thought I'd find any of this interesting but the nerd in me just loves to know something about everything.

There's an article coming out in next month's Rolling Stone by a guy named Matt Taibbi. In it he explains how dangerous it is that the majority of the country is completely illiterate when it comes to financial lingo. Basically Wall Street and the Washington policy makers (that all seem to come out of Wall Street) have a monopoly on the information that the majority of us are totally inept at dissecting. It's dangerous and Taibbi does his part to illuminate some of the more dense concepts for the average lay person. The article is called "The Big Takeover" and I'm looking forward to reading it in its entirety.

I'm also looking forward to going home next week so I can get my dad's perspective on all of this. As a banker and self-defined roving reporter he should have some insight and an educational perspective on AIG, government regulation of financial institutions, and the idea of "too big to fail" companies and what should be done about them. I'm also curious to see how he and my mom feel about Obama's rapid policy-making (health care, education and energy reform as tools for economic sustainability), and the partnering of the "conservadems" with the Republican minority in Congress that seems to have lots of liberals up in arms.

That's all for now, I'll write again soon about my last few days here in Berkeley and my thoughts on my experience as a whole. My seven-month adventure comes to an end in less than a week and it's been quite a ride. Be back soon!


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