The nuts and bolts of economics

Sep 12, 2012

We’ve been inundated with economy-speak over the past few years.

Derivatives, credit default swaps, mortgage-backed securities; ten-dollar words like “leverage” and “securitization,” and everybody’s favorite, “quantitative easing.”

How to make sense of this alphabet soup? And why bother? Because what we don’t know about the market – as we’ve seen – can hurt us. To the rescue comes Marketplace’s Paddy Hirsch, who has put his famous Whiteboard explainer series on paper.

In his new book, Hirsch deconstructs these and other financial mysteries for the non-expert, using analogies, illustrations and very short words.

Default swap? It’s no more complicated than trading your cake for your lunch buddy’s jello. Collateralized debt obligations? That’s just…uh…well, we’ll find out. What economic concepts make your eyes glaze over?


Paddy Hirsch, author of “Man vs. Markets: Economics Explained (Plain and Simple); senior producer at APM’s Marketplace

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