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Banks Are Magic!

Aug 11, 2011
Banks are magic - they create money out of thin air. They do it for their own good, of course. But by helping themselves they're actually helping...
Posted In: explainer

WHITEBOARD: What is a ratings agency, anyway?

Aug 7, 2011
How credit agencies work from Marketplace on Vimeo. Here's how I look at it. Imagine a house, full of medical students, none of whom have a ...
Posted In: downgrade, explainer, ratings agency

Why the debt ceiling debate is affecting the economy

Jul 27, 2011
If the U.S. economy were an airport, the debt-ceiling debate on Capitol Hill is like a dark cloud causing flight delays, says Senior Editor Paddy Hirsch in his latest Whiteboard video

Meet the Maes: Whiteboard explores the Mae family tree

Mar 31, 2011
Paddy Hirsch returns to the Whiteboard to explain the history of the Mae Family Tree. The fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-spo...
Posted In: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, video

Anatomy of a State Budget, Now Try to Balance It

Feb 9, 2011
If you're curious what it takes to keep a state budget balanced this amazing visual explainer from infographic-star Jess Bachman of JessNet break...
Posted In: Economy, infographic, state budget

U.S. Employment Picture at a Glance

Feb 4, 2011
CORRECTED 3/4/2011: This illustration has been updated to display the correct number of employed Americans who work part-time (shown in light gre...
Posted In: bureau of labor statistics, infographic, Jobs, Unemployment

VIDEO: A history of wealth and lifespan visualized

Jan 26, 2011
Special thanks to LA comedian and Office star Rainn Wilson for pointing us to this amazing video explainer from the BBC via his hilarious Twitt...
Posted In: explainer, history, visualization, world economy

Spotting a double-dip recession

Jan 18, 2011
While fears of a double-dip recession have receded in the U.S. for now, there's still some talk about a double-dip recession striking other markets around the world. Paddy Hirsch explains what a double dip is, and what it might look like.
Posted In: recession, double-dip

The ideal explainer

Jan 12, 2011
Tristan Harris of Apture asked me an interesting question yesterday: what makes a good explainer?...
Posted In: explainer

Reader Question: Bonds, yields, and Hershey bars

Dec 9, 2010
A Whiteboard watcher wrote in this week, saying she watched the Whiteboard video on the Fed buying bonds (Uncle Ben Goes Shopping), but still wasn...
Posted In: bonds, The Fed, yields

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About this collection

"Freakonomics" and "SuperFreakonomics," by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, are groundbreaking books that explore "the hidden side of everything." Now there's Freakonomics Radio, a project that includes a weekly podcast, regular segments on Marketplace, and one-hour specials to be broadcast on public-radio stations across the country. Prepare to be enlightened, engaged, perhaps enraged, and definitely surprised.