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This week has been a nightmare for many people: The U.S. is getting a ratings downgrade, dramatic market losses and gains, people sitting on the sidelines not knowing what to make out of it.

So this week Marketplace Money tried a little something different. We opened the phones up and answered your questions LIVE! And while we can't air every question on the show -- you know, time limitations and all -- we thought you might enjoy hearing the full raw conversation.




Listen to the full audio:





Thanks for all of your questions and to the panel of people who helped us out: Chris Thornberg, an economist and founder of Beacon Economics, Ron Lieber, who writes the "Your Money" column for The New York Times, and Carl Richards, a certified financial planer and founder of Prasada Capital Management. Send us a note to let us know what you thought of our conversation. And stay tuned for this weekend's Marketplace Money show for more of our coverage.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.