Learn About Financial Regulation on the Treadmill

I recently decided that one way to get smarter might be to start listening to NPR podcasts at the gym. There’s lots of good content on NPR all the time, after all, but in practice I rarely listen to more than 15 minutes of Morning Edition while getting up. The answer: podcasts.

I think it’s working. I particularly recommend the This American Life episode called “The Watchmen” which gives a ground-level view of regulatory failure around derivatives and then looks at the credit rating agencies. Then in good new media fashion some of the material from the episode that wound up on the cutting room floor becomes the main pillars around which the Planet Money podcast “Secrets of the Watchmen” was built. Good stuff. Planet Money is also a blog. Here they observe that reduced smoking rates may well exacerbate the long-term budget deficit.