Of all places, This American Life spent a good amount of time last Friday (the third) getting into the details of the credit crisis. You can listen to it online or as a podcast. It's the best explanation of the credit crisis I've heard yet. The episode goes over the problem with "credit default swaps" and how a crisis of confidence and a lack of regulation crashed the economic system. Also of interest was the observation that the West has accumulated far too much debt over the last 30 years, which really means, if you're under 50, everything you know is wrong.
What comes next? The bailout package is discussed, especially how many economists believe the real method for fixing this is to infuse that $700 billion into buying up preferred shares of banks rather than their crappy assets. This gives them the cash they need to operate and lets the market work out how to deal with toxic assets. The real issue is that it's unlikely the West will get a chance to run with such a high debt level in the future. This means everyone: consumers, banks, and governments. Oh yeah, and there's plenty of blame to go around for everyone.
On the positive side, many new ideas and new businesses pop up after a crisis like this. Current business owners and entrepreneurs are deep thinking about their role in that new future and what opportunities they can take advantage of.