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Marketplace Scratch Pad

A chat with Paddy

Scott Jagow Mar 25, 2010

Thought you might like to read an interview with our very own Whiteboard editor Paddy Hirsch. He’s featured at the Business Insider this week.

From Clusterstock:

PADDY: I can only take partial credit for the Whiteboard. It was born as a presentation tool to explain to Marketplace staff the origins of the crisis and the need to save Bear Stearns. I got the idea from a famous engraving of the disaster that befell the first party that climbed the Matterhorn. A man slipped and fell, and because he was tied to several others in his party, he dragged them to their deaths as well. It seemed like a fitting analogy for what people thought might happen to the banks if the big ones were allowed to fail.

And from that fitting analogy was born a Internet video star with a magic marker. Using simple drawings and language, Paddy has explained everything from interest rates to the repo market to collateralized debt obligations in a way you’ve surely never heard before:

PADDY: I try behave a bit like a a 9-year-old, in terms of breaking it down. The best part is that a-ha moment where you know you’ve explained it in a way people can understand.

Are you an artist at all?

PH: ::laughs:: No I suck at art! I actually went out and bought some books by a guy called Ed Emberley that teach you how to draw and I’ve learned a lot from that. I’m getting better!

Below is Paddy’s favorite Whiteboard of all time. View the Whiteboard archive here.

The credit crisis as Antarctic expedition from Marketplace on Vimeo.

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