Saturday, March 21, 2009

How I keep up with the Global Financial Crisis – Part 1

So, the borderline economic emergency we were facing in the fall is now a full-blown Global Financial Crisis (GFC). You might ask, “how can I stay informed during a GFC? The people on TV seem more confused about it than I am, so they really are no help at all.”

What works for me is podcasts. I have three that I follow now that do a great job of explaining the GFC in an understandable way. The first one I will cover is The Wall Street Journal This Morning.

This is a daily, one hour news show based on business and financial news. It is put together by the good people at the Wall Street Journal, so you know going in it will be pretty conservative. This show really resonates with my and it has become an essential part of my daily routine. In my area, it is broadcast on the radio, but the show wraps up just before I get in the car each day. So instead, I download the podcast and listen to it that way. One cool thing is, by about the time I am halfway to work, their timechecks pretty much sync up with real time, so you lose the feeling that you are listening to a recording and it starts to feel real-time.

Another interesting thing about this show is the way I am right in their target demographic. As you get older, you start to notice that people stop aiming the full force of their marketing at people like you, and start hunting for younger people, you like things that don't really interest you. Not so with The Wall Street Journal This Morning.

There is a long list of little things this show does that help me bond to it. First, the music. It is all music I recognize, mostly from the 80's. Their theme music is Golden Earring, “When the Bullet Hits the Bone.” You may not think you know this song, but when the show starts up, you will recognize it. Coming in and out of commercials, you hear Devo, the Cranberries, Van Halen, all kinds of songs that you know. Second, the show's host, Gordon Deal, is extremely likeable, and pretty much like me. If you look at my older posts here, you will see I am completely self absorbed and view everything through the lens of my own experience. Mr. Deal is a man about my age, with a daughter about my daughter's age. He uses Firefox, is on Twitter, loves the NBA, and is in many ways a down to earth, regular guy. If we must have a GFC, this is the kind of person I want to get my news from.

So go to Itunes and give it a try. I am to the point now where my day doesn't start off right if I don't get to begin it with Gordon and Gina.