From Arbitrage to Contango: Introducing CNBC Explains

Quick, what’s LIBOR? Why is it important?

You’re not so hot on that one? How about mark-to-market accounting, can you do a quick run down on that?

No? All right … just go over the ins and outs of the alternative minimum tax. Throw in an explanation of quantitative easing while you are at it.

Our readers run into these and other complicated financial terms and concepts all the time. Some terms may be familiar, especially to hardcore CNBC junkies. Others, maybe not. In fact, some bits of our daily jargon may be down right baffling.

And so we’re launching CNBC Explains … a library of videos and articles breaking down the essentials of some of the more complicated and confusing terms and concepts in the financial industry.

Many of these explainers come from Salman Khan, the former hedge fund manager who founded Khan Academy, a Web site dedicated to explaining every thing from math to chemistry to physics. His step-by-step virtual chalk board lectures can make even the most thorny concepts accessible. And a little entertaining too.

We’ll be adding to the library, found here, over time. If you have any suggestions for subjects you’d like to see addressed, let us know.

In the meantime when we use one of those jargony terms, we’ll mark it with a special tag that will take you to the appropriate explainer.

So we hope swallowing quantitative easing in our news offerings will become more palatable. Same for the alternative minimum tax , mark-to-market accounting , and my personal favorite … LIBOR .