Fun with the Economy: A Breather from Global Disaster

So here we are: smack between the ravages of tax day and the despair of Earth Day. I’ll admit that I’m tired of the gloom and doom this week. I’m also tired of being a “Yes You Can” cheerleader. If Good Morning America says “AmeriCAN” one more time, I will scream. So, rather than scream or tear my hair out or crawl into a hole to hide until the world is all better, here’s a quick collection of links I found on the web. True, they’re not “ha ha” funny, but they’re more fun than learning how to make your own laundry detergent.

What a Trillion Dollars Looks Like
With all this budget talk about multiple trillions of dollars being spent, it’s sort of hard to grasp just how much money that is. (Other than “a lot.” Really, really “a lot.”) Check out this quick illustration of just how much money you’d have if you received $1 trillion in $100 bills.

How’s that TARP Working Out?
Okay, this one might actually make you tear your hair out, but Jon Stewart gets some jokes in there, so it almost makes it better. His guest, Elizabeth Warren, is the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel. She’s also a very, smart and accomplished lady. If you want an update on how the TARP reporting is going (hint: not well) or a quick explanation of how the government got us into this mess, watch her two Daily Show segments.

How Everything in the Financial Crisis Works
Okay, not quite anything, but this great series of videos from American Public Media’s Marketplace detail some of the more confusing things you hear about on the news. It’s a pretty snazzy set-up: they have a whiteboard. But they come up with clever metaphors to explain the crises and the deals that got us into it. My favorite is the Antarctic backpacking adventure.

Do you have any fun videos to help people make sense of the economy, or at least have a good laugh at it? Share them in the comments.

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