It's Not All Books That Are As Dull as Their Readers (But Some Are!)

I started my summer reading with two rather boring tomes, or I find them boring -- which may be a shortcoming of my own brain, but at least I recognize that they are boring for contrary reasons: Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy is Wrong is by Edward Conard, a former managing director of Bain Capital -- and while it paints a rather different picture of the 2008 Financial Collapse than the documentary Inside Job or The Big Short by Michael Lewis (according to Conard, the collapse was a run on the bank, caused by a lack of faith in short term credit, not the fault of CDO's and credit default swaps -- and the government was largely to blame for this by subsidizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which allowed the creation of more and more sub-prime loans . . . his philosophy is: why would banks want to hold mortgages they thought would default, unless forced by the government to issue such loans, and he also blames "irrational exuberance" in the real-estate market . . . some people -- such as this Anonymous Banker --think Conard makes some good points, while other folks hate his guts and think the book is a "serious abuse of facts") and while I think he makes some logical points about how America is competing against 75 cents-an-hour labor overseas and needs to counter this with investment and innovation -- I mainly want to say this is one of the driest, most boring books I have ever read, and any attempt Conard makes to insert humor into the flow is forced and pathetic, and he offers no anecdotes from his time at Bain Capital, nor does he ever address the human cost of the crisis -- he's very cold and cavalier about the lost jobs, lost equity, the evictions, the short sales, and the general decay of the middle class -- so I can hardly recommend reading this thing unless you're really dying to learn more about the economic theory behind the Financial Crisis . . . on the other hand, I am six hundred pages through George R.R. Martin's A Dance with Dragons and this book is SO full of anecdote and detail and description that the plot barely moves . . . and I can't recommend this book unless you're dying to find out more things about the pantheon of Game of Thrones characters -- as it is NOT a thrilling read.

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