Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences

Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong

Book - 2012
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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. This book addresses many essential but overlooked questions, such as-

If the United States had become a nation of reckless consumers rather than investors, why did productivity soar in the years leading up to the meltdown? If predatory bankers took advantage of home owners, why did down payments decline, thereby shifting risk from home owners to lenders? If the risks were easy to spot, why did top politi­cal and financial advisers encourage lenders to make unsound investments? If new regulations encourage banks to hold enough capital to fund withdrawals and not just loan losses, how will the economy underwrite the risks necessary to reach full employment?

In an attempt to set the record straight and fill the void left by other analysts, Conard presents 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.

'This is a wonderful book, filled with wisdom by a guy who really knows what he's talking about. It is must reading for both businessmen and politicians.' John C Whitehead, Former Chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co.; Former Deputy Secretary of State

Publisher: New York : Portfolio, 2012.
ISBN: 9781591845508
1591845505
Branch Call Number: 330.973 Conard 05/2012
Characteristics: 310 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.

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StarGladiator
Feb 08, 2015

It would be charitable calling this author a whack job, or a charlatan, or a misinformation specialist! As they say in court, Hearsay! Read p. 204 of Erin Arvedlund's book, Open Secret [explains the LIBOR rates rigging most perfectly]. On that page, Prof. Greenberger of Univ. Of Maryland exactly explains the meltdown in a sentence.

r
rpavlacic
Jan 29, 2015

Not a bad breakdown of what went wrong with the economy in 2008, but this book places way too much blame on ordinary mortgage holders who "forgot" to refinance their teaser rates before the monster monthly payments kicked in. The author (a former executive at Bain Capital, which may explain some of the bias in the book) does correctly point fingers at the government for not explaining the role of deposit insurance which would have stopped bank runs and a lot of failures as well as credit ratings agencies for marking too much bad debt as AAA. Truly preposterous is his linking Roe V Wade to the investment boom of the 1980s - that's like saying a pet rock makes a car run! I don't agree with most of his solutions but he is entitled to his opinions - and he is writing about America.

m
mcsqwalms
Jul 15, 2012

Just saw Edward Conrad on Up with Chris Hayes. Though I have yet to read his book, my impression of him based on this appearance is that he is just another free-market evangelist, preaching that greed and globalism are good. He couldn't even concede that there was massive corruption in the financial sector the week of the Libor scandal, the Wells Fargo settlement with the DOJ concerning racist lending practices, and Russ Wasendorf's embezzlement of $220 million from investors.

johnf108 Jul 10, 2012

This book is excellent !
The author takes many of the ideas floating out from politicians, pundents and arm chair economists and examines them. He demonstrates many of them are without basis and just plain wrong.
He tries to not take political or ideological positions or sides and I think succeeds.

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