In a post on the Somalian piracy issue, the folks at NPR’s Planet Money point out how odd it is that some ships fly the flag of landlocked Mongolia (it comes down to tax/regulatory incentives), photo courtesy our own Joe Jones!
He’s got a bunch of other great photos on his Flickr site.
Though it may be an online-only podcast, Planet Money is fast becoming my favorite NPR program after This American Life and On The Media. They slow everything down and give context to the news, avoid shorthand and jargon, and generally make the day’s developments imminently accessible and understandable. Too often the news seems out of context and complicated, and no doubt turns away a lot of people before they can really even try and get a handle on things. Their approach is refreshing and sorely needed in other areas of the news!
The show originated as a spinoff of the amazing work they did for TAL, which is a must-listen to get a decent idea of what’s happening with the financial crisis:
The Giant Pool of Money (step-by-step, player-by-player breakdown of the subprime crisis)
Bad Bank (A follow-up made in February that similarly explains the developments of the financial crisis and what should be done with the banks)
Scenes from a Recession (This is a more traditional This American Life episode that takes a man-on-the-street approach to see how the recession is affecting people)
I’ve said it before, but I really can’t recommend these enough for anyone who’s not a “finance expert” but still wants to know what the hell is going on. In essence this stuff is really simple but made intentionally complicated by industry insiders.