I went on a discovery exercise of most of the sources recommended here in the hope that they would help an economically-challenged historian cum librarian get a handle on all this. The Subprime Primer on BusinessPundit.com was my favourite. When I started second-guessing the dialogue I realized how simplified a view it was! It is good to have some clear sources if the public want to have them, but I think I understood the situation reasonably before.
I find it very hard in this environment to understand the huge amount of US$$ being raised for the presidential election campaign, on both sides but particularly Obama's. And as for the amount of money being spent on Palin's clothes and makeup, well I think the press has been having a field day on this. Oliver Burkeman's article in the Guardian "How to spend $1.5bn on elections - first lavish $150,000 on Sarah Palin's clothes" is just one comment. Spending to boost the economy? I am glad I live in Australia for many reasons.