The current economic meltdown is scary and confusing. A good source for information and understandable explanations is NRP's Planet Money blog and podcast.
Four of NPR's best reporters are asking good questions and explaining what's going on in uncomplicated terms. Last week, Planet Money broke the story that the Congressional bailout bill would allow the government to purchase stock in troubled banks ("stock injections" ... see what I've learned already?). That's a big deal because Republicans in the House made a big stink over just such a move last week.
How things have changed!
Planet Money also helped produce last week's excellent edition of This American Life: "Another Frightening Show About the Economy." If you're wondering what "credit default swaps" are, this is the primer you've been looking for. This episode is free right now but will cost you $.95 after Sunday, I believe.
One silver lining to this disaster is that we're all going to know a hell of a lot more about the economy and Wall Street than we ever thought we would.