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Unwarranted Intrusions: The Case Against Government Intervention in the Marketplace

ISBN: 978-0-471-68713-9
309 pages
May 2006
Unwarranted Intrusions: The Case Against Government Intervention in the Marketplace (0471687138) cover image


What happens when politicians substitute their wisdom for the market’s? The result is usually a government subsidy that provides advantage to a special interest group only–but costs everyone and drains the economy. In Unwarranted Intrusions, well-known financial commentator Martin Fridson turns his sharp eye for uncovering opaque financial reporting practices to the U.S. government and examines the economic reality of some of the most popular yet financially draining subsidies. Fridson debunks programs that claim to provide jobs, encourage savings, provide affordable housing, and preserve family farms–among many others. Unwarranted Intrusions is a provocative and exhaustively researched challenge to prevailing political claims of programs that purport to protect the public good.
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Table of Contents


1. The Politics of Market Intervention.

I. A Nation of Subsidies.

2. Here They Come to Save the Day!

3. Be It Ever So Deductible.

4. Protection Racket.

5. How Are You Going to Keep Them Down on the Farm?

6. Location and Misallocation.

7. Getting the City to Play Ball.

8. Art of the State.

II. Restraint of Trade.

9. Stock Arguments.

10. What Is Wrong with Payola?

11. What Is Big Brother Watching?

12. Getting Cash and Making the Rent.

III. Telling It Like It Isn’t.

13. Honesty Is the Worst Policy.

14. Campaign Finance Reform: The Permanent Campaign.

15. Here’s That Rainy Day.

16. A Case of Insurance Fraud.

Epilogue: Can This Mess Be Fixed?



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Author Information

Martin Fridson has achieved distinction both as a writer and as an investment professional. He has written on economics for Barron's and is a consultant to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Fridson received his BA cum laude in history from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He previously served as governor of the CFA Institute and director of the New York Society of Security Analysts. In 2002, the Financial Management Association International named Fridson the Financial Executive of the Year. The following year, he launched Leverage World, the first independent research publication focused on high-yield bond strategy. Fridson is coauthor of Financial Statement Analysis and author of How to Be a Billionaire, both published by Wiley.
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"UNWARRANTED INTRUSIONSMERITS INCLUSION IN THE SHORT LIST OF THE BEST BUSINESS BOOKS OF THE YEAR. MAKE THAT THE DECADE."-from the The Boston Globe, Politicians often play Robin Hood in reverse --By Cecil Johnson (07/14/2006)

Fridson . . . decries political meddling in everything from catfish imports to ballparks in his deliciously provocative book. . . Whether discussing Social Security or subsidized sports arenas, he argues his case with the cool logic. . . The book zips along, leveraging anecdotes and statistics to expose how politicians -- Republican and Democratic alike -- prefer quick economic fixes to deep structural changes that might really bolster long-term growth. From start to finish, he slaughters holy cows with a sharp blade.-- Bloomberg

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