Greg Mankiw plugs Unintended Consequences by Edward Conard
What I've been reading
I am down here on Long Beach Island, NJ, visiting my mom with my younger son. It has given me a chance to catch up on some reading, and I have a recommendation to pass along: Unintended Consequences by Edward Conard. The subtitle (Why everything you've been told about the economy is wrong) is unnecessarily contentious and not really an accurate description. But 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.
You can read the beginning of the book by clicking here. Be sure to check out Figure 1-6 on page 22, which I found quite illuminating.