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Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong Kindle Edition

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Length: 321 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


''Ed Conard has written a provocative and important book about the economy that challenges conventional wisdom about the financial crisis, the trade deficit, government policy, and the path to prosperity.'' --William A. Sahlman, senior associate dean, Harvard Business School

''Ed Conard provides a provocative interpretation of the causes of the global financial crisis and the policies needed to return to rapid growth. Whether you agree or not, this analysis is well worth reading.'' --Nouriel Roubini, chairman of Roubini Global Economics

''Ed Conard's book presents the most cogent and persuasive analysis of the financial crisis to date.'' --Andrei Shleifer, Bates Clark Medal winner, Harvard University

''There are an amazing number of good ideas and interesting points made in this book.'' --Steven Levitt, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Freakonomics

''Unintended Consequences will be the most talked-about economics book in 2012.'' --Kevin Hassett, senior fellow and director of economic policy, American Enterprise Institute

About the Author

EDWARD CONARD was a partner at Bain Capital from 1993 to 2007. He served as the head of Bain's New York office and led the firm's acquisitions of large industrial companies. He sits on several boards of directors, including the boards of Waters Corporation and Sensata Technologies. Prior to Bain, Conard worked for Wasserstein Perella, an investment bank, and Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, where he headed its industrial practice. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Michigan.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2804 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Reprint edition (May 7, 2012)
  • Publication Date: May 7, 2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1101602589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1101602584
  • ASIN: B007ZQ3AKO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,529 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Edward "Ed" Conard is the author of the New York Times top-ten bestselling book, Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong (2012). He is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, he was a founding partner of Bain Capital, where he worked closely with his friend and colleague, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

In May of 2012, Conard published Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong. The book was featured on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Magazine and went on to become a New York Times top ten non-fiction bestseller. Because of the publicity surrounding the publication of his book, Conard was the tenth most searched author on Google in 2012.

Since its publication, Mr. Conard has made over 100 television appearances in which he has debated leading economists including Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Alan Kruger, Austan Goolsbee, and Jared Bernstein; journalists including Jon Stewart, Fareed Zakaria, Chris Hayes, and Andrew Ross Sorkin; and politicians such as Barney Frank, Howard Dean, and Eliot Spitzer.

Prior to Bain Capital, Conard worked for Wasserstein Perella & Co., an investment bank that specialized in mergers and acquisitions, and Bain & Company, a management-consulting firm, where he led the firm's industrial practice.

Conard has a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School and a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Michigan.

For up-to-date information on Ed, visit the homepage

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Sean Lannan on August 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Edward Conard has good ideas and themes. But, his thought process is scattered and he makes many unsubstantiated statements that do not come together to create a complete model of markets and applied economics. I liked the list facts/myths on the Financial Crisis (2007-9) that Mr. Conrad listed toward the end of his book.

THEME: Capital markets play an important role in underwriting of risk (equities) and distributing risk to risk takers (equity investors and sellers of insurance) that increases productivity and economic growth. Underwriting risk is easier in economies with large, liquid capital markets. Efficiently priced insurance reduces the risk of moral hazard and reduces the risk of panic-driven withdrawals of short-term deposits. Successful risk-taking creates equity which can be consumed or reinvested. Prudent risk-taking is a good for society. Risk properly priced in the market leads to higher employment and greater wealth creation than when risk is mispriced (asset bubbles) which wastes investment dollars and leads to inappropriate decision making on investment/consumption. Society as a whole captures 100% of the benefit of investments: 1) Investors capture about 30% of the total value. 2) Consumers capture 70% of the total value. 3) Government redistributes some of the benefits. As an economy becomes richer, it is willing to take more risks.
Commerce is the salvation of the poor. Prosperity of a society has the greatest impact on the plight of the poor.

THEME: Financial panics and capital withdrawals cannot be accurately predicted. Government guarantees provide effective counter-measures to these unforeseen events. Government guarantees (properly priced) is the cheapest way to insure against panic and financial crises.
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157 of 205 people found the following review helpful By Jackal on June 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a book written by a management consulting kind of guy. One key argument is that the wealthy class adds a lot of value to society because they invest money (as opposed to spend money). I think the author is half-right in this statement because risky equity capital is neither provided by the Fed, the banks nor small investors. However, it is only half-right, because the US economy is to some 70% driven by end-customer demand. If Americans lack purchasing power, new products will not be in much demand. Any thinking person would realise that total income inequality (one guy earning everything) or total income equality (everyone earning the same) would be pretty bad societies. The optimal level of inequality is not much discussed in this book. More seems better for the author. (Just as less seems better for economists Krugman and Stiglitz. It is a bit sad that we get just another book saying that more/less is better.)

The author wants to make an impact as a thought leader, but that will not happen for a couple of reasons:
- He is far too dogmatic in accepting market prices as unbiased. He seems to defend market prices in all situations, even when those markets are not very efficient. So while he rightly praises the highly paid IT or biotech entrepreneur, he also seems to praise all bankers. Somebody bought the subprime debt so some value must have been added, the author thinks. He does not take seriously the fact that some markets are seriously inefficient (e.g. banking salaries, CEO salaries, CDOs). Had he analysed the lack of efficiency in some markets, the book would have been much stronger.
- Sometimes it is more intelligent, both intellectually and impact-wise, to concede a few points.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By auilachs on May 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to understand right-wing economics, this is a fair attempt. If you just want the short version, here goes: "we should try to make the pie bigger first, and then try to split the pie fairly second. If you reverse the order, you handicap the biggest producers such that we all end up with less." That is basically the book. I thought the book could have made this point more strongly if it were a little more technical. However, I have a lot of economics texts, so maybe I am not the intended audience. If you are trying to get a scholarship from the young republicans, this would be a great place to start. If you wanted to restructure a nation's socio-economics, this will not help much. If you want something in between (for example, explain to your friends why using economics for social engineering is doomed to fail) this book is reasonably good.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By fitzalling on September 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Conard put an impressive amount of research and intellectual effort into this book. In short, he argues that innovation underwritten by risk capital increases society's wealth available to the upper, middle and lower economic classes. Actions that inhibit risk and innovation inevitably reduce overall U.S. wealth. The Great Recession has caused the U. S. to dial back the use of risk capital, which slows innovation, inhibits employment and reduces prosperity. He examines the arguments on taxation and income redistribution from all sides of the political and economic spectrum. Those of a socialist or liberal political persuasion will probably find the author's arguments unpersuasive and perhaps troubling; political conservatives will probably be more persuaded. He argues, for instance, that much of the wealth that innovation and risk create flow to the middle and lower economic classes. He further argues that excess consumption feeds the egos that drive the risk-taking that leads to innovation that increases the wealth available to society. While I am certain that some political viewpoints will react adversely to these arguments, I think any reader will have to concede that the intellectual breadth of the author's effort deserves respect.

The sections of the book addressing the effects of technical regulatory changes and accounting interpretations on the Great Recession were enlightening. The author explains that these arcane regulatory and accounting matters had an unexpected influence on the market forces in the subprime loan debacle. He also discusses the political and market impulses that led to the Great Recession arising out of the misuse of subprime loans. His discussion of the political impulses behind these loans is fairly well known.
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