Greenspan Character To Be Assassinated!

Our old friend Alan Greenspan, financial sage and former Fed Reserve Bank chairman, is about to publish his memoirs. Now, we never put much stock in the hysteria his opinions would generate while he was the Fed Head, but we always thought him to be an intelligent fellow with wit, honesty and candor. This means that his memoirs will be widely discredited from the get-go by all those with some political or reputational capital at stake.A pity, because he is likely to be right on the mark with most of his comments.
This piece puts it all down:

“Greenspan Memoir Links Iraq War to US Thirst for Oil | WASHINGTON (AFP) | Edited For Brevity

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, for years an inscrutable seer on the economy, is causing a stir by alleging in his new memoir that “the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Greenspan, who as head of the US central bank was famous for his tight-lipped reserve, is uncharacteristically direct, also accusing President George W. Bush of abandoning Republican principles on the economy.

“I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows — the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he wrote in reported excerpts of “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,” which is set for release on Monday.

However, in an interview with The Washington Post, Greenspan clarified that while securing global oil supplies was “not the administration’s motive,” it had presented the White House with an opportunity to make the case that removing Saddam Hussein was important for the global economy.

“I was not saying that that’s the administration’s motive,” he said in the interview. “I’m just saying that if somebody asked me, ‘Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?’ I would say it was essential.”… US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, while explaining his “respect” for Greenspan, rejected the charge that a thirst for crude explained the decision to invade Iraq in March 2003. “I know the same allegation was made about the Gulf War in 1991, and I just don’t believe it’s true,” he said on ABC television Sunday. Members of the US Congress, who by a broad majority also voted to authorize the use of military force against Iraq, also dismissed Greenspan’s assertion…

Greenspan, a lifelong Republican, writes that he advised the White House to veto some bills to curb “out-of-control” spending while the Republicans controlled Congress.
According to The Wall Street Journal, he says that Bush’s failure to do so “was a major mistake.” Republicans in Congress, he writes, “swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither.” “They deserved to lose” in the 2006 elections when the Democrats retook control of Congress, he adds…

In the bombshell memoir, he puts his own spin on the events surrounding the 1987 stock market crash, the bursting of the Internet bubble and the 2001 recession coinciding with the September 11 terror strikes… “After years of talking ‘Fedspeak’ in carefully calibrated congressional testimony, I could finally use my own voice,” Greenspan says with uncharacteristic verve. “I tackled the personal part first, but then started unraveling the detective story about the economy,” Greenspan adds in his blog. “What did all the economic shifts we began to detect in the late 90s mean?”

On Tuesday, investors around the world will be closely watching the Fed for some sign that might help counter the effects of a US mortgage crisis that has rattled markets and led to a credit squeeze. Greenspan is increasingly being blamed by some for the crisis. By keeping interest rates so low for so long, some argue, he helped foster the real estate bubble behind much of the current woes. The former Fed chief said the fall in US housing prices triggered by the subprime credit crisis would likely be bigger than expected. The drop in property prices “is going to be larger than most people expect,” Greenspan told the Financial Times, adding that he would not be surprised if the percentage decline in the United States ended up being “in double digits.”

CR 2007 by AFP”

Go, Alan, go!


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