The biggest little crisis in the world

Sign over a street in Reno, NV

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Renita Jablonski: As Marketplace continues its coverage of the financial crisis, we're hitting the road. A couple of our reporters are driving across America to see how real this financial crisis is for people. This morning, we begin what we're calling the Road to Ruin with Tess Vigeland. She's the host of our weekend personal finance show, Marketplace Money. Hi Tess -- I know you started in San Francisco yesterday. Where are you now?

Tess Vigeland: Well, let's do it this way, Renita -- take a listen to this and then I'm going to ask you a quick question.

Jablonski: OK.

[Sound of ringing bells]

Vigeland: So here's the question: Is this the sound of a casino . . . or Wall Street?

Jablonski: Haha.

Vigeland: You know, we've heard this comparison that Wall Street is a casino, and so we thought that coming to Reno might be a good way to ask that question.

Jablonski: So what are people saying about the bailout and the financial crisis as a whole?

Vigeland: Well there is definitely a trend, Renita, of people not believing what they're beign told be economists and politicans. I talked with several people here in Reno yesterday, including this couple, Steve and Diane, who were visiting from Colombia, South Carolina. And I started by asking Steve what he thought about my theory about casinos and investing.

Steve: Well, I don't compare it to gambling. I think that really, you have to continue to support American companies. And not all are poorly-managed companies. Greed is what got us into this.

Diane: That's what I was thinking. The bailout, of course, is helping the companies who made these mistakes to begin with. And of course we certainly want to see the individuals get some help. So we're really confused.

Vigeland: And I have to say that was a very common theme running through the comments I heard from people all day yesterday, which is, "I don't understand -- what's the panic?"

Jablonski: And, you know to be fair, Steve and Diane and people like them are opening up on this because you're asking them. How much are people talking about this on their own? I mean, it seems like it's all we in the media are talking about.

Vigeland: Well it certainly is, and we're very much immersed in it. And I did talk to folks about, you know, are you talking about this around the dinner table? Is this something that comes up in conversations with your friends? And they said yeah, a little bit, but it's not this big worry that they have. So it very well may be different as we head across the country, but at least here in Reno and in San Francisco, it's not top of mind.

Jablonski: All right, Tess Vigeland hosts our weekend personal finance show, Marketplace Money. Tess, I guess we'll be checking in with you soon.

Vigeland: I'll forward to it, Renita.

Jablonski: The next stop for Tess is Salt Lake City.

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