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Pick of the Day: Planet Money to unglaze the eyes

This week saw the opening hearings of the newly named (and appropriately ominous-sounding) Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission - an attempt, like the 9/11 Commission, to get the story of the meltdown in the banking, mortgage and global financial systems.

Market maker. Mortgage-backed securities. Positions. Shorting. Eyes glaze over yet? Chair Phil Angelides had some blunt words for the investment bankers testifying before him: "It sounds to me a little bit like selling a car with faulty brakes, and then buying an insurance policy on the buyer of those cars. It just - it doesn't seem to me that that's a practice that inspires confidence."

For more blunt words and comprehensible explainers on the economic tangle, download Planet Money Podcast, Bad Bank, today's pick of the day, plug in your iPod and take a brisk walk. It will help with the agitation. As This American Life host Ira Glass said, "Act One. The Collapse of the U.S. Banking System Explained in Just 39 Minutes."

By Brigid Schulte  | January 15, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks  
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