Two Ways of Understanding the Subprime Meltdown


The New York Times has an excellent article this morning explaining the financial underpinnings of the the subprime mortgage crisis, but if that’s still not simple enough for you, may we suggest “The Subprime Primer,” a very cool 45-image Google doc slideshow that explains it all in about two minutes.

Both focus on collateralized debt obligations, or C.D.O.’s— the bundled mortgages of varying risk that were packaged as investments on the false belief that real estate would keep going up and up— but the Subprime Primer also has a stick figure dramatization of how those Norwegian towns found out they lost at least $64 million in such investments.