Looked at one way, the current flailing economy is a victim of invention—Wall Street invention. Investors and banks and brokers created all sorts of stuff the world would've been better off without.
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Host Ira Glass goes to Union Square, a 15-minute subway ride from Wall Street, where it doesn't look like we're on the edge of an economic abyss.
Ira talks with Michael Greenberger, a former commodities regulator, who tells the story of when it was decided not to regulate credit default swaps. And how that decision was emblematic of the way we didn't regulate a lot of the toxic financial products we're hearing about now.
Host Ira Glass talks with an NPR business and economics correspondent about two gatherings he attended—one at the Ritz Carlton and one at a community college in Brooklyn. The first was an awards dinner for finance professionals who created the mortgage-based financial instruments that nearly brought down the global economic system.