A very good article here from Newsweek about how the birth and evolution of the financial instruments that got us into the bailout mess. Especially useful as a primer on Credit Default Swaps. Election-year politics have begun to sneak into some of the coverage of the mortgage meltdown, especially in pundit-heavy havens such as talk radio, and to a lesser degree the cable news programs. This piece illustrates that at the core of the problem are (mostly) well-intended financial products that ballooned way out of control.
On a side note, I switched my Newsweek subscription to Time a few years back because I felt the quality of Newsweek had gone downhill with an increasing tendency to lean on pop-culture items. Perhaps an election year and a major crisis has been good for them, in that there’s been a noticeable uptick in substance of late. Fareed Zakariah’s work in particular is always good.