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09:46 AM on 03/13/2009
Greenspan has been intellectually bankrupt (appropriate, no?) since he bailed out Citi, Bank of Boston, Fleet, etc. in the early 1990s.

He knows how the Fed should act.

He knows what the Fed's mandate is.

But he doesn't have the cohones to do anything but print money and blow up bubbles.
09:40 AM on 03/13/2009
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith.
09:52 AM on 03/13/2009
"The modern liberal is engaged in the oldest form of greed and envy, that is, thinking he is entitled to, or deserves that for which he has neither worked, nor earned." mickey freakin' dougal
10:39 AM on 03/13/2009
10:55 AM on 03/13/2009
mickey; you would get along wonderfully with my older daughter. ideology in spades.
When is your generation stop trying to paint everything either black or white.
after WWII that all ended. and since then most decisions have been based on situational ethics.
This Dog's bite is Worse Than his Bark
09:26 AM on 03/13/2009
It is really very simple. Either Greenspan knew thta his actions was enabling a housing bubble that would eventually burst and drag down the economy, or he was clueless. In either case, his legacy as a financial genius is left in tatters.
11:57 PM on 03/14/2009
This man was treated as a financial god. In reality he didn't know no squat. And now that we know that he was blowin' smoke he won't admit it or accept responsibility. He's pathetic.
09:15 AM on 03/13/2009
Did you ever notice than Greenspan's wife, Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, never talks about her hubby?
She blames Bush, but never the guy under Bush who is responsible for the economic mess. Why is this?
11:39 AM on 03/13/2009
She is not allowed to comment on the Federal Reserve. It would be unethical for her to do so.
03:49 AM on 03/13/2009
Greenspan's irresponsible words that rates offered an opportunity for banks to offers ARM's was nothing more than suggesting "Creative Exploitation".
Fraud was committed by RE & Mtge Brokers, Appraisers, & LENDERS too!
It does not require A Genius IQ, esp. amongst Lenders, Mortgage Brokers or Realtors, who together MADE ALL THIS "IN PLAIN SITE" INEVITABLE DISASTER POSSIBLE, motivated by higher commissions on falsely inflated appraisals and Document fixing to make it all succeed in getting pprovals.
1981: Reagan adopted the S&L losses totaling $161 Billion where taxpayer money paid about
This scam lasted through the 80's and 1990's and was a contributed to the recession in the
1990: Michael Milken, convicted of racketeering and fraud in the JUNK BOND SCANDAL.
2002: Black Friday, Feb 2nd. "COOKING-THE-BOOKS, aka "CREATIVE ACCOUNTING" cost Billions.
1000's of Jobs, homes, pension losses, and more.
The 1st three Acts of the criminality could been more easily hidden, but not the latest. SEE THE PATTERNS.
In 2008, $ was thrown at the American Public & Corporations.
There are Republicans, and some Democrats that think they have a better strategy or plan. Where on earth were you in 2008? Paralyzed? In a coma?!
What was done in 2008 in response to this economic disaster amounts to sending in the Circus Clowns to a 10-ALARM FIRE and expecting them to put it out with jokes, antics, and water-spewing daisies.
03:32 AM on 03/13/2009
A much more prudent approach would have been to give EVERY adult man, woman & child a check for $7,300.00 (i.e. $2.2 trillion divided by $300,000,000 = $7,300 approx). The child's check would be good - with interest! - when the child turns 18.

Now - we are simply shoveling coal into an open fire. AND, we are 'helping' the charletains who have destroyed this country's finances, and have sent U.S. jobs overseas.

Bush, Obama, shmobama... just say NO !!!
Classics Ninja
07:41 AM on 03/13/2009
This kind of populist, reactionary, isolationist rubbish is what gets democracies into real trouble.

7500 would not have solved the problems of people who were (and still are) going under. Many were already behind on their payments and many of them have lost or will lose their jobs. 7500 gets them maybe a month to look for an apartment and doesn't solve the root of the problem.

Wake up! This is not going to be a consumer-led recovery. Full recovery will take time and is going to require a fundamental re-structuring not just our economy, but Europe's as well: energy (non-petro) technologies, bio-science, and info-technologies will be the basis of the future. This shift will not happen on its own: the first step in restoring confidence is re-establishing a credible regulatory regime, here and in Europe. Secondly, healthcare costs must be brought under control: they cannot continue to eat up such a huge percentage of our GDP; third, education policy encourage more and better science education - it can be done; we did it after Sputnik, we can do it again.
09:36 AM on 03/13/2009
Excellent post! I'd only add that we need to restore sanity to our defense spending policies as well. Though who knows if that will ever happen.
02:29 AM on 03/13/2009
What has been discredited here is not one financial gnome called Greenspan, but the whole of current economic theory. In fact it has been revealed as not being a science and not having a workable theory, not even considering the environment as an asset when in fact it is ALL we have of value.
The priesthood of economists did not see this coming, haven't helped anyone since, and have no idea how to fix it. Indeed the system cant be fixed, because it is a hopeless mess of patches and add-ons. Bigger patches in the trillions aren't going to save it. Let it crash and burn in a painful collapse, then pick through the debris for any useful bits.
Do your own economics.
There are more economic brains round a bridge table in an old people's home, than you can find in the White House, the treasury, and all the talking heads on the box.
11:04 AM on 03/13/2009
The premise is good. BUT there is just one Problem with letting it crash and burn.
and now I will tell you what that is:
Our civilization will crash and burn With it. The debris, as you call it, will be nonexistent.
We will be back in a Dark Age where the gangs will take over every neighborhood and people will starve by the millions. it will be terrible for those who survive. and it Will be all about survival.
Nothing will be beautiful anymore. Mad Max will reign.
12:13 AM on 03/13/2009
Grrenspan's place in hostory is already being written in financial textbooks and he, along with Phil Gramm, are showing up in print as the two most culpabale in this whole financial debacle. Both are classicly trained supply side economic theorists.

He is on the record for admitting he was wrong. He has gone from one of the most admired economists to the most villafied in just a couple of years. No matter how he tries to spin his legacy in Rupert Murdoch based news outlets, his legacy as the chief culprit of global economic collapse is unspinnable.
Capitalism vs Humanity
02:11 AM on 03/13/2009
Yes, Greenspan, like Bush, represents a "bottom" for us in terms of shortsighted irresponsibility.
Obama is our first big step back from the abyss.
11:35 PM on 03/12/2009
Paul Volker, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner are economist. What do you really expect for some one that has spent their life studying the flow of money to really say. The study of Economics is tantamount to study of 'fortune telling'--period--end. What we really need is CHANGE, and the only effective change is to stop living by economics ... and money ........................... yeah it can be done. Actually, it's inevitable because we are NEVER going to get back to the way it was just one year ago.
11:06 AM on 03/13/2009
Try life without money. Lets see how that works for you after about a year.
Then get back to us.
11:09 PM on 03/12/2009
Greenspan said;
"Essentially, break the potential profitability that is engendering that sort of stuff."
Something he would not do.

That comment says it all, as long as the banks were making money so far as Greenspan was concerned the economy was good.
The fact is Greenspan did nothing except to act as the enabler for the Bush administration.
01:52 AM on 03/13/2009
They were all counting on the collapse occurring on the next President's watch.
08:32 AM on 03/13/2009
You nailed it on the head, kjstjohn.
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11:00 PM on 03/12/2009
You can't blame Greenspan for this, but you've got to wonder why in all 8 years they had power the Bush administration took no initiative to create "green industry" jobs.
Capitalism vs Humanity
02:12 AM on 03/13/2009
Oil companies? Coal? Nukular?
11:10 AM on 03/13/2009
I don't have to wonder for more than a split second TLV;
He was bought and paid for by Big Oil Big Coal and other vested interests on Wall Street.
DUH Nothing here is so cut and dried anyway. the Whole system is at fault.
Do Your EFFING Jobs, DC Politicos!!
10:41 PM on 03/12/2009
I always thought that the bowing down to Greenspan and touting of his economic genius was a crock. He was constantly praised for his ability to keep the economy going when all he did was give money away, more and more, every year. Heck, my 5th grade son could have done the same or better. It really galls me that his wife, Andrea Mitchell, never mentions that Greenspan is her hubby and, thus, should never utter a word about the economy or the current administration, as I am quite sure that they too profited from Greenspan being the keeper of the Treasury for all of those years. I would not doubt that Alan Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell are worth close to a billion or so.
Capitalism vs Humanity
02:13 AM on 03/13/2009
It's not her fault though.
10:17 PM on 03/12/2009
The sad and scary truth is: we are that stupid AND Alan Greenspan is NOT that smart either. It's kinda like the blind leading the blind AND stupid. Amerika the beautiful.
09:56 PM on 03/12/2009
Just another one in the long line of those trying to regain their credibility after being associated with the Bush administration.
09:53 PM on 03/12/2009
Sorry, but I disagree. I had chosen an ARM for two years early on when they were, in fact, the best way to afford a house. But I knew and said to many that the Fed was targeting housing by raising rates and immediately refinanced to a 30-year with the first interest rate rise. I was honestly shocked as well that rates did not go up despite the Fed's multiple raise efforts. Greenspan seemed afraid of outright saying he was targeting housing for fear of an overreaction, but it seemed obvious to me what he was doing.

He shouldn't have been afraid and should have overtly targeted housing. But I do think he was trying to do so.