How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism

Book - 2010 | 1st ed
Average Rating:
Rate this:

Why are we in such a financial mess today? There are lots of proximate causes: over-leverage, global imbalances, bad financial technology that lead to widespread underestimation of risk.
But these are all symptoms. Until we isolate and tackle fundamental causes, we will fail to extirpate the disease. ECONned is the first book to examine the unquestioned role of economists as policy-makers, and how they helped create an unmitigated economic disaster.

Here, Yves Smith looks at how economists in key policy positions put doctrine before hard evidence, ignoring the deteriorating conditions and rising dangers that eventually led them, and us, off the cliff and into financial meltdown. Intelligently written for the layman, Smith takes us on a terrifying investigation of the financial realm over the last twenty-five years of misrepresentations, naive interpretations of economic conditions, rationalizations of bad outcomes, and rejection of clear signs of growing instability.

In eConned, author Yves Smith reveals:

--why the measures taken by the Obama Administration are mere palliatives and are unlikely to pave the way for a solid recovery

--how economists have come to play a profoundly anti-democratic role in policy

--how financial models and concepts that were discredited more than thirty years ago are still widely used by banks, regulators, and investors

--how management and employees of major financial firms looted them, enriching themselves and leaving the mess to taxpayers

--how financial regulation enabled predatory behavior by Wall Street towards investors

--how economics has no theory of financial systems, yet economists fearlessly prescribe how to manage them

Publisher: New York : Palgrave Macmillan, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780230620513
Branch Call Number: 330.973 SMI 2010
Characteristics: 362 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 01, 2013

OK, but somewhat restrained and sedate, would much more recommend Satyajit Das' "Extreme Money" and "The Billionaires' Ball" by Linda McQuaig, "All About Derivatives" by Michael Durbin (especially final two chapters of Durbin's book), "The Divine Right of Capital" by Marjorie Kelly, "The Web of Debt" by Ellen Brown, etc. Yves Smith was (and may still be) with McKinsey & Company, long an evangelist in the movement to offshore as many American jobs as possible. Yves Smith recently stated that President Obama's choices were always right? ? ? ? (And I mention this as someone who has always voted for the democratic candidate!) Also of interest: Yves Smith has frequently railed against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, proclaiming her to be a phony (while she may not be the most sophisticated person in the bunch, I disagree with Ms. Smith, strongly so!).

q22 Dec 07, 2011

The depth and quality of knowledge and thinking that went into this book is very rare. Economics got the western world into the current financial mess - Yves Smith provides a full critique of that con - but economics will NOT get us out. She has such a thorough understanding of the financial world and sees no sign or reason for it to self-correct. In fact, the established response to bank failures - bailout - will induce further looting by management - the incentive to maximize extraction value. Perhaps Yves Smith should run the Federal Reserve.

Mar 06, 2011

Excellent insight into the political control of economics and the depth of corruption that prevents economists from true analysis of the financial sector.

May 14, 2010

Rare to find this level of insight into how the US financial sector actually operates, and too bad nothing will be done to change the deeply entrenched level of corruption

Mar 14, 2010

Very much looking forward to this; author Yves Smith blogs daily at

[sometimes at 3:00 AM while going over the Lehman examiner's report]

Her preferred title was “How the Invisible Hand is Picking Your Pocket”

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SL

To Top