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Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told about the Economy Is Wrongby Edward Conard
Synopses & Reviews
In the aftermath of the Financial Crisis, many commonly held beliefs have emerged to explain its cause. Conventional wisdom blames Wall Street and the mortgage industry for using low down payments, teaser rates, and other predatory tactics to seduce unsuspecting home owners into assuming mortgages they couldn’t afford. It blames average Americans for borrowing recklessly and spending too much. And it blames the tax policies and deregulatory environment of the Reagan and Bush administrations for encouraging reckless risk-taking by wealthy individuals and financial institutions. But according to Unintended Consequences, the conventional wisdom masks the real causes of our economic disruption and puts us at risk of facing a slew of unintended—and potentially dangerous—consequences.
Unintended Consequences is not a book that takes a couple of insights and expands them into 300 pages; rather, it covers the entire scope of the economy. It's a fascinating and contrarian case for how the economy really works, what went wrong over the past decade, and what steps we can take to start growing again. Whether you agree with the book’s provocative and counterintuitive conclusions or not, Unintended Consequences will reward you with a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary economy, one no other book has yet provided.
To read an excerpt from Unintended Consequences, please visit http://www.edwardconard.com/book-excerpt
For up-to-date information on everything related to Unintended Consequences, visit www.edwardconard.com
"Conard, a former partner at Bain Capital, the venture capital firm founded by Mitt Romney, and a Romney megadonor in the 2012 presidential campaign, expounds on U.S. economic policy and the future, defending private investment against government regulation and redistribution. The result will not please the Occupy Wall Street crowd. Conard lets banks off the hook for the subprime and mortgage-based bank debt debacles. Blaming government financial and housing policies, he claims 'bankers, investors, and credit rating agencies and regulators all suffered from the same mistaken optimism.' Conard reminds readers of America's past economic success and exceptional affluence, citing the cost of food, which has declined from 25% to 10% of household budgets since 1930. But he looks forward to a nation 'exiting manufacturing' and continuing to innovate, sidestepping the problem of unskilled U.S. workers in a 'world awash in unskilled labor.' Aging baby boomers and 'changing U.S. demographics will make it harder and harder' to save and invest, he admits. A laissez-faire optimist, Conard sees venture capitalists and investors as the true American heroes, and lionizes these risk takers, insisting that entrepreneurial spirit and innovation will guide America's economic future. His defense of private enterprise deserves the attention of policymakers in Washington. Agent: Cathy D. Hemming, Cathy D. Hemming Literary Agency. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Since the financial crisis, amid outrage at the likes of Citigroup and JPMorganChase and Washingtonand#8217;s rejiggering of the financial system, the banking industry has had one major defender: Richard X. Bove. Now he explains why big banks are the nationand#8217;s lifeline to success, and why financial disaster will ensue if we make it impossible for them to fill their role in the economy.
Bove argues that big banks are necessary to ensure Americaand#8217;s position in global finance; to assist corporations in achieving their goals against foreign competition; and, most importantly, to defend the average householdand#8217;s access to financial services.
Limiting the major banks, he shows, is an attack on our future growth. Bove offers ways to improve the economyand#8217;s stability, including allowing some banks to be and#147;too big to failand#8221; and lessening the demand on liquidity so they wonand#8217;t need to sell existing loans. His main argument, that we need to stop fighting our greatest guardians of prosperity, is sure to be controversial.
Was our countryandrsquo;s economic success before the Crash of andlsquo;08 built on false pretenses? Did we simply borrow and spend too much, or was something else really going on?
The conventional wisdom now accuses Wall Street and the mortgage industry of using predatory tactics to seduce homeowners. Meanwhile, average Americans are blamed for increasing consumption to unsustainable levels by borrowing recklessly. And the tax policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations are blamed for encouraging reckless risk-taking.
Edward Conard disagrees. In an attempt to set the record straight he presents a fascinating new case for how the economy really works, why the U.S. has outperformed other countries, what caused the financial crisis, and what improvements might better protect our economy without damaging growth.
About the Author
EDWARD CONARD was a partner at Bain Capital from 1993 to 2007. He served as 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. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School.
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