My eternal gratitude to Dan Ariely and his Predictably/Irrational blog for pointing out the existence of a radio programme and its transcript in PDF, which for the first time properly explained to me why we're in such a mess. I wonder what collective idiocy is next up.
It also provides a sobering reminder that it's usually a bad idea to throw money at a problem. In this particular instance, Gordon Brown's fantastic idea to "save the world" by hosing all our cash and then some into the banks' pool of money supply was such a bad idea that it must stand as one of the most monumentally stupid decisions of all time. Read the transcript yourself to find out why.
Anyone without the requisite quarter of an hour to hand can refer to this very much more succinct, but necessarily less thorough, tale. It seems prescient, having been posted in 2005!