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Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong Hardcover – June 7, 2012
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“A full-throated defense of economic dynamism. . .refreshing at a time when so many take the failure of capitalism for granted.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Conard offers deep and well-argued analyses on almost every issue.”
—The New York Times
“One of the must-read books of the year.”
—TYLER COWEN, Marginal Revolution
“…the book, written by a former Bain partner, gives a good overview of the forces behind the financial crisis. It is far smarter and more thought-provoking than most economics written for the general public.”
—GREG MANKIW, Professor of Economics, Harvard University, Former Chairman of the Council on Economic Advisors
“There are an amazing number of good ideas and interesting points made in this book. The thinking underlying it, and the obvious depth of understanding of the author, are very impressive.”
—STEVEN LEVITT, Coauthor of Freakonomics; 2004 John Bates Clark Medal Winner
"Conard's contrarian chapter on the benefits of low taxation for the rich is powerfully written. It should be read by anyone who takes for granted the superiority of progressive taxation and has not thought carefully about the trade-offs involved."
—The New Republic
“Edward 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, Roubini Global Economics
“Edward Conard’s keen business insight and sharp eye on economic forces explain structural strengths and weaknesses of the American economy. While some of his proposed solutions are controversial, the U.S. economy can recover its mojo if policy makers understand Conard’s diagnosis.”
—GLENN HUBBARD, Dean, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University; Former Chairman, President’s Council of Economic Advisers
“Edward Conard’s book presents the most cogent and persuasive analysis of the financial crisis to date. It is deeper and likely more accurate than what we have seen so far from journalists, academics, and particularly former government officials.”
—ANDREI SHLEIFER, 1999 John Bates Clark Medal winner; Former Editor, Quarterly Journal of Economics; Professor of Economics, Harvard University
“This is a wonderful book, filled with wisdom by a guy who really knows what he’s talking bout. It is a must reading for both businessmen and politicians.”
—JOHN C. WHITEHEAD, Former Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co.; Former Deputy Secretary of State
“Unintended Consequences will be the most talked about economic book in 2012. When Ed Conard points the spotlight at recent economic history, his uncanny ability to cut through the confusion provides something totally unexpected: a fresh, nonpartisan perspective on what is right and wrong with America.”
—KEVIN HASSETT, Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy, American Enterprise Institute
“Edward 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. I hope policy makers and business leaders will pay close attention to Conard’s framework.”
—WILLIAM A. SAHLMAN, Senior Associate Dean, Harvard Business School
“Virtually everyone who reads Unintended Consequences will feel the pain of knowing that we may never get EVERYONE to read it. The clarity of Edward Conard’s explanation of where we are, how we got here, and what we do now is profound.”
—BILL BAIN, Founder, Bain & Company
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: www.EdwardConard.com
Become a fan of Ed on Facebook www.facebook.com/EdwardConard
Follow Ed on Twitter www.twitter.com/EdwardConard
Connect with Ed on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/EdwardConard/
Top customer reviews
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Isn't it odd that our modern technology and "contentedness" has enabled us to do so many more things locally... to simplify and create tremendous inefficiencies. Markets force performance, accountability and transparency. What part of the "progressive" machine resembles that? We can't even see what legislation looks like before it becomes law...
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.
Here are my criticisms of the arguments. He argues that the runs on banks in 2008 led to a series of political, social and regulatory actions that inhibit risk taking that slows innovation which is the primary way that the U. S. has grown its economy. When he talks about risk taking I believe that the author mainly means the financial industry, although he clearly recognizes that the financial industry deeply influences the wider economy. He forcefully makes the argument that bankers were not the only parties encouraging and benefiting from subprime loans. However, he does not address the argument that the financial industry by 2008, and probably even today, operates on a compensation model, not a business model. By this, I mean that many participants in the financial industry work very hard and take large risks in the hopes of substantial and immediate compensation because they do not necessarily expect to have a lengthy career in banking. Also, with the substantial underwriting of risk by the federal government, the financial industry essentially is playing with "house money," not their own funds. Certainly, as Mr Conard argues, bankers were not the only parties at fault; political actors also bear a great deal of fault in this fiasco. The challenge becomes how does one introduce more risk into both the financial and political spheres?
My second criticism arises from the author's argument that offshoring manufacturing to China to take advantage of "seventy-five cent an hour labor" has lead to longer term prosperity. Underlying this argument is the assumption, which I believe is fairly well accepted in the field of economics, that any unemployed person can always find another job. This assumption seems flawed. While Mr. Conard makes an impressive argument that this trend over the last twenty-five or so years has increased the overall prosperity of this country,this prosperity may have come at the price of rendering many Americans largely unemployable. This issue probably lies outside the scope of this book, but perhaps Mr. Conard will apply the impressive work ethic and intellectual skills to this issue in a future book.
I recommend the book highly and strongly recommend that you read it.
Most recent customer reviews
Anyway, I thought I'd better jump on here and warn anyone hoping for big things from this book that they've come to the wrong place.Read more