Oct 04 2008

“Business Syphillis” – Colbert debates himself on the causes of and the cure for America’s sick economy

Published by at 5:34 am under Fiscal Policy,Humor,Market failure

Formidable Opponent – Business Syphilis | Thursday October 2 | ColbertNation.com

Business syphilis infects the market after a corporate orgy…

About the author:  Jason Welker teaches International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Economics at Zurich International School in Switzerland. In addition to publishing various online resources for economics students and teachers, Jason developed the online version of the Economics course for the IB and is has authored two Economics textbooks: Pearson Baccalaureate’s Economics for the IB Diploma and REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course. Jason is a native of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and is a passionate adventurer, who considers himself a skier / mountain biker who teaches Economics in his free time. He and his wife keep a ski chalet in the mountains of Northern Idaho, which now that they live in the Swiss Alps gets far too little use. Read more posts by this author

8 responses so far

8 Responses to ““Business Syphillis” – Colbert debates himself on the causes of and the cure for America’s sick economy”

  1. Mr. Don 07 Oct 2008 at 11:57 am

    Wow. This is outstanding. I usually try to catch this and the Daily Show, but I missed this episode. I'm sure my students would get a kick out of it too, but with Parent-Teacher conferences around the corner, I think I'll let them discover this gem on their own. My students have commented on the usefulness of your website several times now and I'm constantly referring to it while I teach. Thank you for such an excellent resource!

  2. jason welkeron 17 Oct 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Mr. D.

    You're welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting! I understand why you may not want to direct your students to this video with parent teacher conferences right around the corner! Hopefully there are some posts you can have them reading!

    Thanks again for your comment!


  3. Maren Rackebrandton 22 Oct 2008 at 1:49 am

    I really liked the video, because I think it's a funny way to learn about what's going on. Personally I knew that there was trouble with the banks in the United States, but I didn't know exactly what was going on and how much money was involved and is needed to fix the bank crisis. Also new to me was that this all happens because of the free market. And I think that many people think that the free market can fix itself. But that is not true and what I think was especially important in this video was that he pointed out that not only economists are involved. Everybody is involved who has any sum of money in a bank in the United States. Moreover I liked the comparison with the syphillis, because it underlines that what is happening right now spreads rapidly.

  4. Thibault De Keersmaeon 22 Oct 2008 at 3:13 am

    I really enjoyed this video, it was an entertaining clip about the crisis, which explained it more clearly to me by using a metaphor and such, but they still used the terms for people to understand. I knew about the crisis, and knew about some parts of them, but there were parts I simply didn't get. Although this movie is quite short, and does not go in that much detail, it explains the crisis really briefly, and quite well I think. I would recommend this video to anyone, it will definitely help understand the crisis, while having a good laugh.

  5. mike wilkeson 22 Oct 2008 at 10:37 pm

    This video made me lol :D. Its quite a different way to look at the "solution" which they have suggested. On the news i see all the time about how they are putting all this money in to fix the problem and i must admit i have just gobbled it up. I didn't even think about the fact "will it acctually work?". I am sure the people with the money have a much better understanding on the topic than i have, but this video has made me wonder if putting all this money back in the system will "cure" it, maybe it will help but to stop something happening like this i think protocols need to be rerote right from the beginning. I have to say though, great video it sure shed a new perspective on the topic for me.

  6. kai dieteron 24 Oct 2008 at 4:40 am

    After hearing Mr. Hauet talk about this video in class the other day, pointing out the educational value it has, and it being amusing at the same time, I decided to watch it myself and get an impression of what "this guy debating himself about the financial crisis" would look like. Along with the others having left a comment here, I really enjoyed watching this explanatory video of the financial crisis, in which we find ourselves in right now. In my opinion, Colbert gave an excellent summary of what happened to create this crisis and what needs to be done to dispose of it, again. On top of that, it was quite funny. 🙂

    What makes me look interestidly into the future, is the question whether the (global) free market system will ever be the same to what it's been like, before the crisis. People believe that the free market is partially blamable for the crisis to have occured at all, and in this severity. So the question will be, if struck governments across the globe leave things as they were or put in some kind of controls, on banks for example, to prevent a major economic slowdown like this from happening again. The reason why governments might be tentative in establishing controls for the free market is, that it conflicts with the systems principles and could look like an outlawed socialistic action.

  7. jabbobbon 04 Mar 2009 at 5:15 am

    This is a great way of portraying such a recent and broad topic. Colbert packages it so it becomes applicable for a broader audience that the real secretary of the treasure would probably never have. He summarized the way that we got to this crisis by using a rather inappropriate (at least for schools) metaphor. As we all know, sex sells: the audience is having a blast and at the same time getting an economics lesson. What a brilliant way to manipulate the audience.

    In addition to the debate between Mr. Colbert and his formidable opponent, I would like to see the opinion on this from the real Henry Paulson.

  8. Helene Gleitzon 04 Mar 2009 at 6:18 am

    I liked the video very much, funny indeed. This explains what is happening quite well and the metaphors used are great! This is when we realize that Economics is funny…

    I liked the part where he mentions the market 'fixing' itself and 'regulating' itself. It's something you have to have faith in, otherwise it doesn't work. Colbert is quite brilliant in this episode, and as people have mentioned above, sex sells.

    Let's just hope the 'cure' works.