Updating ‘Conjuntion Junction’ to Explain Credit Woes
If you watched a lot of television as a kid like I did, you are no doubt familiar with “Schoolhouse Rock,” the cartoons and songs that tried to explain the way the world worked to children. The one stuck in my head to this day is “Conjunction Junction.” (Conjunction junction, what’s your function? Hooking up words and phrases and clauses.) There’s also “I’m Just a Bill” on Capitol Hill, which explains how a bill becomes law. It served as my first introduction to the political system.
Over at Slate’s The Big Money, they’ve come up with an inspired idea: Using the “Schoolhouse Rock” method to explain the credit crisis. Everyone knows it’s a truly awful, bad thing, but few would attempt in everyday conversation to sketch out history and usage of credit default swaps.
The Big Money isn’t going to tackle the really complicated things like mortgage-backed securities right away. Instead, they’re starting off with the basics, such as bonds. You can listen and watch here, as the bonds grow into maturity.
I’m just hoping the songs don’t stick with me the way “Conjunction Junction” did.