How to Learn About the Financial Crisis

Considering I went to business school to focus on marketing, this is a weird term. I’m taking Investments (the first finance course), Central Banking (an advanced macroeconomics course, taught by the former head of the German central bank, Axel Weber), and Probability (PhD level, taught by a finance-focused Bayesian statistician). Oh, plus I’m a TA for microeconomics. But in the current economic climate, this is where I’ll learn the most.

For Central Banking in particular, I feel like I’m running as fast as I can to keep up with what I should understand. I wasn’t an investment banker before school, and my economics classes from ten years ago were long-forgotten. So what’s going to let me survive the class?

  1. Historical backbone: I read the Washington Post (which bothers to cover international news) daily and have for 20 years, plus lots of other online news. I’m still trying to get in the habit of reading the Wall Street Journal consistently.
  2. Economic policy: I read Ezra Klein. If you believe in data and graphs, and that government and business interact in unpredictable ways, Wonkblog is your friend. The daily Wonkbook post/email links to the most thoughtful economic discussion from papers, blogs, and think tanks. This year Ezra has a team of reporters to expand their coverage – very different from when I started reading his blog while he was still in college.
  3. Macroeconomic theory: I read my old Macroeconomics textbook from college during the month before classes started. Its preoccupations are Japan’s Lost Decade and the Clinton budget surpluses rather than the current financial crisis, but that means I can see how much of the discussion sounds the same.

And then there are my current reference posts, the best explanations I’ve found of what’s happened and intervention options. I’m planning to add to this list, so I don’t just keep these tabs open in Firefox all term.

And the people like to publish the next reference post:

Let me know if you have a favorite reference to add….

About Jennifer Berk

I'm an Analytics Director at edo Interactive in Chicago, IL. I'm an alum of MIT and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. I like online newspapers, science fiction and fantasy, and ugly fish.
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