This post at Daily Kos is the best summary I've read about how we reached this point of near collapse of our financial systems. Spoiler alert: former Senator Gramm (McCain's chief economic adviser) and formed Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan are bad buys. Here are some interesting statistics, which come from a conversation between business correspondent Bob Moon and host Kai Ryssdal on American Public Media's "Marketplace" in the spring.
BOB MOON: OK, I'm about to unload some numbers on you here, so I'll speak slowly so you can follow this.
The value of the entire U.S. Treasuries market: $4.5 trillion.
The value of the entire mortgage market: $7 trillion.
The size of the U.S. stock market: $22 trillion.
OK, you ready?
The size of the credit default swap market last year: $45 trillion.
KAI RYSSDAL: That's a lot of money, Bob.