Reviews

THE UPSIDE of INEQUALITY
  • The conservative answer to Thomas Piketty that you’ve all been waiting for. . .a rousing, well-studied defense of conservative beliefs about how markets and incentives drive prosperity, what’s holding back our economy today, and how to get it roaring again.”
    National Review
  • “Conard’s central idea is that risk-bearing equity capital is the truly scarce asset in most economic situations, and economic analysis should adapt accordingly. He is very creative in seeing some of the implications of this view. I. . .found it very stimulating to ponder. It puts many of the pieces together in a new and different way.
    —Tyler Cowen
  • “Conard’s contrarian argument for pro-growth policies…couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune moment. He propounds a way forward that comports with free-market principles and common sense.
    The Weekly Standard
  • “The Upside of Inequality is a well-written, thought-provoking book. It will be invaluable to anyone who wants a clear-eyed look at the country’s economic problems and their possible solutions.
    Commentary
  • “Ed Conard’s voice is a much-needed injection of fresh thinking (and) deserves a considered reading from anyone concerned about inequality.”
    RealClearPolitics
  • “Ed Conard challenges misconceptions that distort our economic debates. He debunks the myth that inequality is a conspiracy perpetuated by robber barons, and sheds light on the complex economic phenomena that shape America’s success. Readers of all political persuasions will benefit from this highly-informative book.”

    —Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute

  • “This provocative new book by Ed Conard is a must-read for serious students of economic policy. Conard’s core thesis—that advancement in living standards is constrained by risk capital and properly trained talent—suggests an inequality borne of returns from innovation. Some of his arguments may rankle the left or the right, but his solutions are sensible and all the more compelling in the context of this paean to risk taking.”

    —Glenn Hubbard, Dean, Columbia Business School, and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers

  • “Conard makes a fresh argument for the productive value of inequality, which is that scarce entrepreneurial effort and risk-tolerant capital are the resources that are both most central to economic growth and most sensitive to the potential distortions imposed by taxation and regulation. Whether or not one accepts this argument, it’s an argument well worth having.”

    —David Autor, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • “I profoundly disagree with much of what is in Conard’s book but respect the clarity with which he makes his case. Agree or disagree, this book can sharpen your thinking on critical economic issues, making it a very valuable contribution.

    —Larry Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury and Director of the National Economic Council, President Emeritus, Harvard University

  • “Ed Conard puts forward a comprehensive explanation of the modern economy. Critics may dismiss it as a defense of the 1%, but it’s much, much more than that. I rarely see economic analysis as insightful as this.”

    —Julian Robertson, Founder, Tiger Management

  • “Page after page, Ed Conard challenges conventional wisdom about the causes of growing inequality, the constraints to growth, and the feasibility of commonly proposed solutions to advance a thought-provoking blueprint for growing middle- and working-class incomes in a world with an abundance of workers. Whether you agree or not, this is serious thinking for serious thinkers.”

    —Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts

  • “Ed Conard provides a much-needed reappraisal of the role of inequality in a free-market economy. The most crucial insight of economics is that incentives matter, and those incentives will inevitably show up as an unequal distribution of economic resources. Conard argues forcefully that the well-intentioned policies of reducing inequality in the short term are not necessarily beneficial in the long term, as inequality and economic growth are closely linked.”

    —George J. Borjas, Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, author, Labor Economics and Immigration Economics

  • “Ed Conard reminds us that inequality sends a signal of what society lacks most, in America’s case, entrepreneurship and risk taking. That is why it is highly rewarded. Intellectual and political attacks on those who use these attributes will prove to be counterproductive.”

    —Lawrence Lindsey, CEO, The Lindsey Group LLC, former Director of the National Economic Council

  • “In this significant contribution to economic thought, Ed Conard extends our theory that equity and risk-underwriting constrain growth and uses it to identify important consequences for economic policy.”

    —Bruce Greenwald, Co-author (with Joseph Stiglitz), A New Paradigm in Monetary Theory, Heilbrunn Professor of Finance, Columbia Business School

  • “Economists tend to be enslaved by their models, and too often their work is obscure, unimaginative and irrelevant. Conard’s visionary take on the constraints to growth and their effect on inequality is nothing short of revolutionary.

    —Kevin Hassett, Resident Scholar and Director of Research for Domestic Policy, American Enterprise Institute

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
  • “A full-throated defense of economic dynamism”
  • “Conard offers deep and well-argued analyses on almost every issue
  • “…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

  • “One of the must-read books of the year
    —Tyler Cowen
  • “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

  • Should be read by anyone who takes for granted the superiority of progressive taxation and has not thought carefully about the trade-offs involved.”
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  • “Unintended Consequences reveals the author’s intelligence and skill at elucidating economics.
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  • “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, New York University; 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, Council of Economic Advisors

  • “Edward Conard’s book represents 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

  • “His defense of private enterprise deserves the attention of policymakers in Washington”
  • “…an excellent new book.”

    —Andrew Ross Sorkin, co-anchor of CNBC’S “Squawk Box”

  • “…perhaps the most controversial book of the year.”

    —Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s “Global Public Square with Fareed Zakaria”

  • “Unintended Consequences presents a fascinating and refreshing view of our financial system and how the reactions of Congress and regulators to the near meltdown of 2008 may make our nation less competitive and our banking system less stable. Anyone interested in the future of our financial system needs to read this.”

    —Judd Gregg, former Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee

  • “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 business- men and politicians.”

    —John C. Whitehead, Former Co-chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co; Former Deputy Secretary of State

  • “My dear liberal friends, I have a confession to make: I like this book quite a bit.”

    —Bankers Anonymous, an “honest and reflective conversation about finance”

  • “Conard has attempted something much more ambitious and important: a systematic defense of the pre-crash U.S. economic system against its post-crash critics.”

    -David Frum, Senior Editor, The Atlantic. Chairman, Policy Exchange

  • “…I agree with much of what he writes.”

    —Arnold Kling, founder and co-editor of EconLog

  • “His insights into the kind of risk taking we need to spur innovation and job creation are particularly salient, given the inevitable flight from all risk coming out of the crisis. I hope policymakers and business leaders will pay close attention to Conard’s framework.”

    —William A. Sahlman
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  • “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, Director of Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute

  • “Finally, common sense! Voters, politicians, and policymakers should take a careful look at this counterintuitive explanation of the contemporary economy and the Financial Crisis. It dispels misconceptions that hamper the recovery and replaces them with insights essential to accelerating it. Even sophisticated economists will find this valuable reading.”

    —Bruce C. Greenwald, Coauthor of Globalization, Professor of Finance, Columbia University, Graduate School of Business

  • “Ed Conard identifies the root causes of the financial crisis. Washington policymakers will debate Ed Conard’s analysis for years to come.”

    —Emil W. Henry, Jr., former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions

  • “Conard’s is one of the better books written on innovation and economic growth over the past few years.”

    —Nick Schulz, American Enterprise Institute

  • “Virtually everyone who reads Unintended Consequences will feel the pain of knowing that we may never get EVERYONE to read it. The clarity of Ed Conard’s explanation of where we are, how we got here, and what we do now is profound.”

    —Bill Bain, Founder of Bain & Company

  • “The world needs to do more work to understand the recent crisis and its aftermath. Ed Conard has written a compelling book that challenges conventional wisdom and provides an important contribution to the debate about what we must do to build the economy and increase prosperity. It is an intelligent and fresh look at where we’ve been and where we need to go. It should be widely read.

    —Robert Steven Kaplan, author of What to Ask the Person in the Mirror and Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School