Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Banking is Hard to Explain

Basic banking seems simple, until you try to explain it. Paul Solman tried on yesterday's PBS Newshour:

You see, the bank has money it takes in from depositors. These actual dollars are called the bank's liabilities. The bank gives money to people who promise to pay it back – people do, sometimes – and these hoped-for dollars are called the bank's assets.

Found myself thinking that many a Newshour viewer would be more confused after the explanation than before. Solman shouldn't feel bad. Banking proved just as confusing in the 1950's, as Randy Cassingham demonstrates with this Jumbo Joke.

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