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Understanding the Global Economic Crisis

Understanding the Global Economic Crisis

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Learn About the Financial Crisis and American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009

Help with immediate needs

AFL-CIO “unemployment lifeline.  Includes discussion forums and links to local resources.  

Online applications for state safety-net programs.  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.   


Causes of the economic crisis

Economic Meltdown Funnies by Jobs with Justice and the Institute for Policy Studies. A 16 page comic book on the roots of the economic crisis. 1/6/09  

The layman's finance crisis glossary by BBC News. Understand a "credit default swap," a "derivative," and more. 11/14/08  

Radio: Another Frightening Show About the Economy by NPR's "This American Life" radio team.  Listen to an excellent hour-long show, or download the transrcipt. 11/9/08  

The $10 Trillion Hangover: Paying the Price for Eight Years of Bush.  This January 2009 Harper’s Magazine article by Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz relates the costs of the Iraq war to the economic crisis. 

Wall Street Meltdown Primer by Walden Bellow.  A global perspective on financial bubbles and a crisis in capitalism. Foreign Policy in Focus 9/26/08  


Blogs and daily updates

Baseline Scenario explains key issues in the global economy and suggests policy proposals. Includes “The Financial Crisis for Beginners.” 

Real World EconomicsDaily updates

The Goat Rope by Rick Wilson of AFSC’s West Virginia Economic Justice Project. Devoted to economic and social justice in West Virginia, the U.S. and the world.

Create Real Democracy by Greg Coleridge of AFSC’s Northeast Ohio Economic Justice and Empowerment Program.  Dedicated to creating a system where the voice of every person counts. 


The human impact of the crisis

Race and Recession: How inequality rigged the economy and how to change the Rule by the Applied Research Center, May 2009. (PDF)  

Mapping a Bird’s-Eye View of Foreclosure Misery. Artist Damon Rich represents the sprawling nature of the foreclosure crisis in New York City using 9,335-square-foot Panorama of the City of New York.  

Values should guide response to financial crisis. Op-ed by AFSC General Secretary Mary Ellen McNish posted on The Huffington Post, Sept. 29, 2008.  

Reform is needed. Reform is in the air. We can't afford to fail by Joseph Stiglitz.  As chair of the UN commission of experts on reforms of the international monetary and financial system, he explains if we fail to reform the system the pain will strike most cruelly in the world's poorest countries.   

Philadelphia Unemployment Project. Personal stories from an AFSC partner    

Where does your state rank? - An interactive map that shows state by state unemployment levels, state budget deficits, and forecoslures. CNN - 2/11/09  


Banks and bailouts

Bailout Watch. A clearinghouse for information and analysis by trusted think tanks and groups. 


Budget 101

Congress Passes Budget Outline: President Fills in the Blanks
When Congress passed its Budget Resolution on April 27, it generally endorsed the President's priorities. Coaltion on Human Needs 5/11/09

Policy Basics: Introduction to the Federal Budget Process - The way Congress develops tax and spending legislation is guided by a set of specific procedures laid out in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Center on Budget and Policy and Priorities - 12/17/08


American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009

Official website on how states and federal agencies are spending economic stimulus funds. 

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: State-By-State Estimates of Key Provisions Affecting Low- and Moderate-Income Individuals.  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 


Looking forward

Repossessing Virtue – Krista Tippet’s public radio series exploring the moral, spiritual, and practical aspects of the economic downturn.  

Putting Dignity and Rights at the Heart of the Global EconomyAFSC commissioned this report in order to stimulate reflection and discussion on the structural changes needed to build a just global economy. 

Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy by Peter G. Brown, Geoffrey Garver, et al. Drawing on the Quaker principle of "right relationship," this book proposes a way to bring our economy, our ethics, and our environment into alignment.