Monday, February 23, 2009

Visualizing the Credit Crisis

To say that most Americans don't understand the current financialocaplyse is, perhaps, an understatement. Confusion abounds concerning mortgage-backed securities, sub-prime mortgages, and the crippled condition of the banking system. And try as they might, most media outlets—however thorough or complete their coverage—fail to capture the problem in an easily digestible and understandable form.

So we're fortunate that Jonathan Jarvis, a student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, chose to share his Media Design thesis, "The Short and Simple Story of the Credit Crisis" with the rest of us.

"The Short and Simple Story of the Credit Crisis" captures the global financial condition in a masterful animation, easily showing the relationship between American homeowners and the dashed fortunes of investors and bankers the world over. It cleverly illustrates obtuse financial jargon, such as leverage and the federal reserve lending rate, making sense of a sometimes mind-bending financial puzzle.

Watch this video in high definition at

Jonathan's goal is to give form to a complex situation and to quickly supply the essence of the situation to those unfamiliar and uninitiated. And apparently a lot of us need that visual cue to help us sort out the crisis at hand—as of this writing, Jonathan's website was down due to the high demand on its bandwidth and the costs associated with that level of traffic. Hopefully this demand means we'll see a lot more of his explorations into the use of new media to make sense of our increasingly complex world. We could use it. FB

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Got to love the Internet!!
I live in Athens & found Steven Mihms via googling Nouriel Roubini("Dr. Doom" NYTimes, 8-17-08) & noticed he's a UGA prof of history so googled him, which led to PoorMartin, CloudJammer & then to Jonathan Jarvis' video visualising credit crisis. Absolutely great video!
Now to get Jonathan's okay to embed it in my MomsHugs blog. Thanks so much for making the introduction!

MomsHugs (Eve)