Thanks to the large-scale fallout of the mortgage crisis, I'm doing some retrofitting in my knowledge. It turns out that knowing 17th-century voice-leading rules doesn't really help to understand the economic hoohah.
But then again, it explains it as well as anything. More so than twelve-tone techniques and set theory as applied to atonal pieces after 1945.
Anyway, enough of that. I'm catching up by means of the Planet Money Podcast, thanks to which I can now not my head in the appropriate places when someone talks of fiscal rather than monetary policy. I highly recommend it. And I recomment getting all episodes and just letting it play and saturate your cranium. At first it's depressing and confusing. Then things come into focus and you can resign yourself to the fact that everything's a mess.
And, though my dad may be surprised to hear that I can acknowledge something like this, I still maintain that one of the main historical events during my lifetime (if not the formative one, then somehow most symbolic) was not the fall of the wall but the abolition of the Gold Standard.