Unintended Consequences : Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong
Overview - In the aftermath of the Financial Crisis, many com-monly held beliefs have emerged to explain its cause. Conventional wisdom blames Wall Street and the mortgage industry for using low down pay-ments, teaser rates, and other predatory tactics to seduce unsuspecting home owners into assuming mortgages they couldn't afford. Read more...
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More About Unintended Consequences by Edward Conard
In the aftermath of the Financial Crisis, many com-monly held beliefs have emerged to explain its cause. Conventional wisdom blames Wall Street and the mortgage industry for using low down pay-ments, 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 spend-ing 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 politi-cal 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 fas-cinating 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.
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Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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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)