'Recession Sessions' Reflects Economic Chill

Two recent college grads, who met in economics class, have collaborated to form the band The Bull & The Bear. Their album, Recession Sessions, includes tunes for downtrodden times such as "Main Street Venting Blues" and "Our Love Is An Illiquid Asset."

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For every generation, every era, there are songs that reflect or define the time, as could be said of the new album "Recession Sessions."

Our last word in business today is The Bull and the Bear. That's the name of the band formed by two recent college grads who met while studying economics at Tufts.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "QE-2")

THE BULL & THE BEAR: (Singing) My asset mix is huge, from Texas to Baton Rouge. We take on (unintelligible) and narrow MBS spreads.

MONTAGNE: That's "QE-2," as in quantitative easing. Other songs include "Main Street Venting Blues," "Our Love is an Illiquid Asset" and "Central Banker's Dilemma." Should you think this is a parody, band co-founder Kyle Thompson-Westra says no. It's actually quite serious. He tried to write songs from different perspectives.

KYLE THOMPSON-WESTRA: Bernanke has a song. Bernanke and Paulson have a lovely duet. Alan Greenspan has a chance to defend himself. And there are songs written from kind of the perspective of the average guy just trying to make sense out of what's happening around him, as well.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BEAR: (Singing) Subprime mortgages are what you sold to me. Securitize derivatives, you said would set me free. And now I'm here with nothing to lose, so you better be on the move. Mortgages won't rise, you said to me.

MONTAGNE: Thompson-Westra himself is among the ranks of the unemployed. He's now looking for work in Chicago.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BEAR: (Singing) And to you, I'm a textbook example of the lessons learned from taking too much risk.

MONTAGNE: That's the album "Recession Sessions." And this is the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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