Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who has issued near mea culpas in the past few months about his role in the financial crisis, still believes that it was essentially an unpredictable, rogue event.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, "The Maestro" added a bit more to his catalog of statements on what he believes caused the financial crisis.
"It is very evident to me that the underlying crisis was caused by what is clearly a once-in-a- century event. We have had almost no instances of short-term credit being withdrawn on a global basis the way it happened right after the Lehman bankruptcy. All of the individual evidence here is that this is a very rare occasion."
'Very rare occasions," under Greenspan's definition do not apparently include financial crises that have occurred roughly every five years since the mid-1970s.
When asked about the Fed's monetary policy in the years leading up to the financial crisis, Greenspan said that he got most of his monetary decisions right. In other words, he suggested that the years of low interest rates initiated by the Fed under his leadership were just a part of a larger global financial credit binge.
(It seems a bit disingenuous to suggest that the United States Federal Reserve Bank only had a "minor" effect on this trend. Barry Ritholtz has an excellent takedown of Greenspan's rate history here.)
Here's more from Greenspan:
"I look back at our monetary policies and I see it could have gone wrong, it didn't. The problem, as best I can judge on the fairly detailed analysis of the evidence, is that the roots of that crisis are very broad and geopolitical going back to the end of the Cold War and the massive changes in flows of finances that brought long-term, real interest rates down. And the consequences of that created a major expansion in capitalized values for real estate, especially residential real estate, across the globe. Certain aspects of monetary policy probably had some effect."
WATCH the interview:
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