The New Rules of Economics

Non-Fiction - Business/Finance
48 Pages
Reviewed on 04/18/2016
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Author Biography

Andrew Stevenson has had a 25 year career trying to make sense of the global economy as a macro hedge fund portfolio manager for Citadel Asset Management, Brevan Howard Asset Management, and
JWM Partners, an investment banker for Nomura and Merrill Lynch, and a climate and energy advisor for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

He graduated from the University of Michigan and lives in Darien, Connecticut with his wife Pam and his kids Joshua, Cole and Luke.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Cynicism: The New Rules of Economics by Andrew Stevenson is a cynical look at the evolution of economics. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let me tell you a story; the story of how I became a billionaire and a financial wizard – at your cost. Let me tell you how the financial wizards, the billionaires of today got there by rewriting the rules to suit themselves. I will tell you how we broke capitalism and replaced it with cynicism, the new rules of today. Tomorrow there may be different rules, who knows? What I really want to tell you is how to understand the economic system and how it has been written and rewritten to create short-term stability and wealth for the few, and how you can move forward by understanding the rules of the game as they are today. Tomorrow they will be different, I promise you. With 25 years of global financial experience under my belt, let me tell you the story of cynicism.

Cynicism: The New Rules of Economics by Andrew Stephenson is one of the funniest books I have read. The man has hit the nail firmly on the head and described economics today exactly as they are – written to suit the few, and the masses can either play the game or suffer for it. Mr Stevenson has written this book in a way that makes economics easy to understand for anybody. The language is clear and concise, straight to the point and it breaks down the rules into simple bite-sized pieces. I loved the addition of the illustrations, they just hammered home what had been written perfectly. Absolutely brilliant; even I understand the rules of economics now, maybe one day I will be that billionaire...

Sarah Stuart

In his book Cynicism: The New Rules of Economics, Andrew Stevenson sets out to explain world economics, past and present, in a way that can be understood by anyone. The history, development, motives behind and results of economics are covered in six chapters, each divided into bite size portions by colourful and cleverly apt illustrations. The key reference point is 1976, when American Milton Friedman became “the godfather” of economic sciences. Mr Stevenson is well qualified to write such a book, being a former hedge fund portfolio manager with twenty-five years of global financial experience, and the sort of sense of humour easily afforded by the extremely rich: the sort cultivated by gentlemen who avoid traffic jams by travelling in a private jet.

Andrew Stevenson may be both rich and unprincipled: I found him honest and likable, which will probably make him chuckle all the way to the bank. I read Cynicism from the fairy tale style opening to “THE END” with amusement. Only then did I realise that I actually understood the complicated basics of world economics, and how money manipulation works to make the rich richer at the expense of the poor. Anyone can employ this knowledge on a small scale and do it without worrying, according to Mr Stevenson! “The road to hell is paid with good intentions so if you never intend to do good you’ll be just fine.” Cynicism is a superb book, factual and fun. Buy it: find out the advantages and the disadvantages of asset stripping, and who really rules the world.

Jack Magnus

Cynicism: The New Rules of Economics is a business/finance work by Andrew Stevenson. The author presents a history of economics written in the format of a graphic novel or a children's picture book. He starts with the premise that the rules of economics have never had anything to do with fairness or equity. They began with the desire of a king for an answer to his money problems. By ordering decrees that made changes in his favor, he ensured that his coffers were filling and his businesses thrived. However, the success of his businesses and the evidence of his newly found prosperity made the business community envious and unhappy, and they began to think of ways to overthrow the king so they could make profitable rules for themselves. Stevenson follows the rise of the present economic system from its beginnings in feudalism through to mercantilism, capitalism and into the present economic stage of cynicism. He uses graphics throughout the work to make his message accessible to all readers.

Andrew Stevenson's business/finance work, Cynicism: The New Rules of Economics, is a sober presentation of the evolution of today's stunning income inequality presented in a capsulized, easily grasped manner. Stevenson masterfully presents the reader with a detailed history of economics and somehow makes it easy, if not exactly fun, to read. Why not fun? Well, to be honest, anything with the type and quality of graphics accompanying this work, has an element of play to it, even if the topic is as deadly serious as this one is. But the gravity of the topic does put a bit of a damper on the entertainment factor, as indeed it was meant to. The graphics are pointed and just about as eloquent as the text of this original and thought-provoking work is. And while the message is ultimately pretty depressing, it is only through understanding the nature of the beast, its development and evolution into the monstrosity that it is today, that those not directly benefiting from the current system can begin to formulate steps toward a more balanced economic system. Cynicism: The New Rules of Economics does a superb job of doing just that. It's most highly recommended.

C.J. Anaya

Cynicism by Andrew Stevenson took me some time to process. I actually read it twice because I spent the first pass laughing at all of the heavy laden sarcasm, and then the second pass was spent trying to figure out the point and purpose of the book. I guess I'm wondering if the whole point was to make fun of this new world order and reveal all of the flaws in what the author dubs The New Rules of Economics. If that was the point, then Andrew Stevenson managed a successfully biting diatribe on just how royally screwed up the new rules of economics truly are. If the point was to actually inform the reader on how these rules are applied in real life, then I think the book should probably be about a hundred pages longer, with smaller font and fewer illustrations, although the illustrations and the font were as entertaining and subtle as Donald Trump going about his everyday existence.

So we have the rules laid out before us, drenched in cynicism, and dressed up in a font so big there's really no excuse for not getting through it. Great. Marvelous. Highly entertaining. So now what? In other words, I'm actually interested in the gritty details of how billionaires are truly applying all of these cut-throat rules of economics, but maybe throwing the rules in our faces and leaving us asking, "Now what?" is the real point of this book. And if that's the case, then all I have to say to Andrew Stevenson is this: "Nailed it!"