03/29/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Econ 101: Credit Crunch For Dummies

Is your head spinning these days trying follow what is going on with the economy?

Subprime. Collateralized Debt Obligations. Liquidity.

Every day it seems as if these words -- which nobody you knew was using just a few months ago -- are being thrown around.

The stock market is down. Government officials are scrambling to find ways to help the economy. And a lot of people are talking about a recession.

So what does it all mean? And how did this all begin, especially when just a few years ago the economy was booming thanks to the red-hot real estate market?

Well, that's where the problem starts.

Keep Reading....

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See if there's anything else you ever wanted to know about the credit crisis (but were afraid to ask)