The Spread

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Thursday, January 03, 2013

On today’s show: ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger takes a look at why public trust in banks is at an all time low. Then, Charles Morris describes the first industrial revolution in the United States, which started in the 1820s. Also, a history of peanut butter. And, we’ll investigate whether lead in gasoline was a cause of fluctuations in violent crime over the last 50 years.

What's Inside America's Banks

More than four years after the 2008 financial crisis, public trust in banks is as low as ever. Sophisticated investors describe big banks as “black boxes” that may still be concealing enormous risks— the sort that could again take down the economy. Jesse Eisinger's investigation, written with Frank Partnoy, is called  “What’s Inside America’s Banks” and appears in the January/February issue of The Atlantic.



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The First American Industrial Revolution

Charles R. Morris tells the history of the Industrial Revolution in America and explains how, after the Civil War, the United States blew by Great Britain to become the greatest economic power in the world. In The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution, Morris paints a portrait of a new nation buzzing with the work of creation.






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A History of Peanut Butter

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Tetraethyl Lead and Crime

Mother Jones political blogger Kevin Drum discusses what may be the hidden villain behind rampant crime, lower IQs, and even the ADHD epidemic: tetraethyl lead. In his article "Criminal Element," he postulates that lead in gasoline may account for 90 percent of the fluctuations in violent crime over the last 50 years, and he shows the upside to investing in lead abatement. The article appears in the January/February issue of the magazine.

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