Alan Greenspan KBE (/ˈælən ˈɡriːnspæn/; born March 6, 1926) is
an American economist who served as
Chairman of the Federal Reserve
Chairman of the Federal Reserve of
United States from 1987 to 2006. He currently works as a private
adviser and provides consulting for firms through his company,
Greenspan Associates LLC. First appointed
Federal Reserve chairman by
Ronald Reagan in August 1987, he was reappointed at
successive four-year intervals until retiring on January 31, 2006,
after the second-longest tenure in the position (behind William
Greenspan came to the
Federal Reserve Board from a consulting career.
Although he was subdued in his public appearances, favorable media
coverage raised his profile to a point that several observers likened
him to a "rock star". Democratic leaders of Congress
criticized him for politicizing his office because of his support for
Social Security privatization and tax cuts, which they felt would
increase the deficit.
The easy-money policies of the Fed during Greenspan's tenure have been
suggested by some to be a leading cause of the dotcom bubble and
subprime mortgage crisis, which occurred within a year of his
departure from the Fed, and have, said the
Wall Street Journal,
"tarnished his reputation."
Robert Shiller argues
that "once stocks fell, real estate became the primary outlet for the
speculative frenzy that the stock market had unleashed".
1 Early life and education
2.1 Before the Federal Reserve
2.2 Chairman of the Federal Reserve
2.3 After the Federal Reserve
4.1 Housing bubble
4.2 Late 2000s recession
4.3 Political views and alleged politicization of office
5 Personal life
7 See also
8.1 Works cited
9 Further reading
10 External links
Early life and education
Greenspan was born in the Washington Heights area of New York City.
His father, Herbert Greenspan, was of Romanian Jewish descent, and his
mother, Rose Goldsmith, was of
Hungarian Jewish descent. His
father worked as a stockbroker and market analyst in New York
Greenspan attended George Washington High School from 1940 until he
graduated in June 1943, where one of his classmates was John
Kemeny. He played clarinet and saxophone along with Stan Getz. He
further studied clarinet at the
Juilliard School from 1943 to
1944. Among his bandmates in the
Woody Herman band was Leonard
Garment, Richard Nixon's
Special Counsel. In 1945, Greenspan attended
New York University, where he earned a B.A. degree in economics summa
cum laude in 1948 and an M.A. degree in economics in 1950. At
Columbia University, he pursued advanced economic studies under Arthur
Burns but dropped out.
In 1977, Greenspan obtained a Ph.D. in economics from New York
University. His dissertation is not available from the university
since it was removed at Greenspan's request in 1987, when he became
Chairman of the Federal Reserve
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. In April 2008, however,
Barron's obtained a copy and notes that it includes "a discussion of
soaring housing prices and their effect on consumer spending; it even
anticipates a bursting housing bubble".
Before the Federal Reserve
During his economics studies at New York University, Greenspan worked
under Eugene Banks, a managing director at the
Wall Street investment
bank Brown Brothers Harriman, in the firm's equity research
department. From 1948 to 1953, Greenspan worked as an analyst at
The National Industrial Conference Board (currently known as The
Conference Board), a business- and industry-oriented think tank in New
York City. From 1955 to 1987, when he was appointed chairman of
the Federal Reserve, Greenspan was chairman and president of
Townsend-Greenspan & Co., Inc., an economics consulting firm in
New York City, a 32-year stint interrupted only from 1974 to 1977 by
his service as Chairman of the
Council of Economic Advisers
Council of Economic Advisers under
President Gerald Ford.
In mid-1968, Greenspan agreed to serve
Richard Nixon as his
coordinator on domestic policy in the nomination campaign.
Greenspan has also served as a corporate director for Aluminum Company
of America (Alcoa); Automatic Data Processing; Capital Cities/ABC,
Inc.; General Foods; J.P. Morgan & Co.; Morgan Guaranty Trust
Mobil Corporation; and the Pittston Company. He was a
director of the
Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations foreign policy
organization between 1982 and 1988. He also served as a member of
the influential Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of
Thirty in 1984.
Chairman of the Federal Reserve
What I've learned at the
Federal Reserve is a new language which is
called "Fed-speak". You soon learn to mumble with great incoherence.
— Alan Greenspan
On June 2, 1987, President
Ronald Reagan nominated Greenspan as a
Paul Volcker as chairman of the Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve, and the Senate confirmed him on August 11, 1987.
Investor, author and commentator
Jim Rogers has said that Greenspan
lobbied to get this chairmanship.
Two months after his confirmation Greenspan said immediately following
the 1987 stock market crash that the Fed "affirmed today its readiness
to serve as a source of liquidity to support the economic and
financial system" George H. W. Bush blamed Fed policy
for not winning a second term. Democratic president Bill Clinton
reappointed Greenspan, and consulted him on economic matters.
Greenspan lent support to Clinton's 1993 deficit reduction
program. Greenspan was fundamentally monetarist in orientation on
the economy, and his monetary policy decisions largely followed
Taylor rule prescriptions (see Taylor 1993 and 1999).
Greenspan also played a key role in organizing the U.S. bailout of
Mexico during the 1994–95 Mexican peso crisis.
In 2000, Greenspan raised interest rates several times; these actions
were believed by many to have caused the bursting of the dot-com
bubble. According to Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, however, "he didn't
raise interest rates to curb the market's enthusiasm; he didn't even
seek to impose margin requirements on stock market investors. Instead,
he waited until the bubble burst, as it did in 2000, then tried to
clean up the mess afterward". E. Ray Canterbery agrees with
In January 2001, Greenspan, in support of President Bush's proposed
tax decrease, stated that the federal surplus could accommodate a
significant tax cut while paying down the national debt.
In autumn 2001, as a decisive reaction to the
September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks and
various corporate scandals which undermined the economy, the
Federal Reserve initiated a series of interest cuts that
brought down the Federal Funds rate to 1% in 2004. While presenting
the Federal Reserve's Monetary Policy Report in July 2002, he said
that "It is not that humans have become any more greedy than in
generations past. It is that the avenues to express greed had grown so
enormously". and suggested that financial markets need to be
regulated. His critics, led by Steve Forbes, attributed the rapid
rise in commodity prices and gold to Greenspan's loose monetary
policy, which Forbes believed had caused excessive asset inflation and
a weak dollar. By late 2004, the price of gold was higher than its
12-year moving average.
Greenspan advised senior members of the
George W. Bush
George W. Bush administration
to depose Saddam Hussein for the sake of the oil markets. He
believed that even a moderate disruption to the flow of oil could
translate into high oil prices which could lead to "chaos" in the
global economy and bring the industrial world "to its knees". He
feared that Saddam could seize control of the Straits of Hormuz and
restrict the transport of oil through them. In a 2007 interview, he
said, "people do not realize in this country, for example, how tenuous
our ties to international energy are. That is, we on a daily basis
require continuous flow. If that flow is shut off, it causes
catastrophic effects in the industrial world. And it’s that which
made him [Saddam] far more important to get out than bin Laden."
On May 18, 2004, Greenspan was nominated by President George W. Bush
to serve for an unprecedented fifth term as chairman of the Federal
Reserve. He was previously appointed to the post by Presidents Reagan,
George H. W. Bush, and Clinton.
In a May 2005 speech, Greenspan stated: "Two years ago at this
conference I argued that the growing array of derivatives and the
related application of more-sophisticated methods for measuring and
managing risks had been key factors underlying the remarkable
resilience of the banking system, which had recently shrugged off
severe shocks to the economy and the financial system. At the same
time, I indicated some concerns about the risks associated with
derivatives, including the risks posed by concentration in certain
derivatives markets, notably the over-the-counter (OTC) markets for
U.S. dollar interest rate options."
Greenspan opposed tariffs against People's Republic of China for its
refusal to let the yuan rise, suggesting instead that any American
workers displaced by
Chinese trade could be compensated through
unemployment insurance and retraining programs.
Greenspan's term as a member of the Board ended on January 31, 2006,
Ben Bernanke was confirmed as his successor.
As chairman of the board, Greenspan did not give any broadcast
interviews from 1987 through 2005.
After the Federal Reserve
Immediately after leaving the Fed, Greenspan formed an economic
consulting firm, Greenspan Associates LLC. He also accepted an
honorary (unpaid) position at
HM Treasury in the United Kingdom.
On February 26, 2007, Greenspan forecast a possible recession in the
United States before or in early 2008. Stabilizing corporate
profits are said to have influenced his comments. The following day,
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased by 416 points, losing 3.3%
of its value.
In May 2007, Greenspan was hired as a special consultant by Pacific
Investment Management Company (PIMCO) to participate in their
quarterly economic forums and speak privately with the bond managers
about Fed interest rate policy.
In August 2007,
Deutsche Bank announced that it would be retaining
Greenspan as a senior advisor to its investment banking team and
In mid-January 2008, hedge fund Paulson & Co. hired Greenspan as
an adviser. According to the terms of their agreement he was not to
advise any other hedge fund while working for Paulson. (In 2007
Paulson had foreseen the collapse of the sub-prime housing market and
Goldman Sachs to package their sub-prime holdings into
derivatives and sell them. Some economic commentators blamed this
collapse on Greenspan's policies while at the Fed.)
On April 30, 2009, Greenspan offered a defense of the H-1B visa
program, telling a U.S. Senate subcommittee that the visa quota is
"far too small to meet the need" and saying that it protects U.S.
workers from global competition, creating a "privileged elite".
Testifying on immigration reform before the Subcommittee on
Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship, he said more skilled
immigration was needed "as the economy copes with the forthcoming
retirement wave of skilled baby boomers".
Greenspan wrote a memoir titled The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a
New World, published September 17, 2007. Greenspan says that
he wrote this book in longhand mostly while soaking in the bathtub, a
habit he regularly employs ever since an accident in 1971, when he
injured his back. Greenspan wrote:
To this day, the bathtub is where I get many of my best ideas. My
assistants have gotten used to typing from drafts scrawled on damp
yellow pads—a chore that got much easier once we found a kind of pen
whose ink doesn't run. Immersed in my bath, I'm as happy as Archimedes
as I contemplate the world.
Greenspan discusses in his book, among other things, his history in
government and economics, capitalism and other economic systems,
current issues in the global economy, and future issues that face the
global economy. In the book Greenspan criticizes President George W.
Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and the Republican-controlled
Congress for abandoning the Republican Party's principles on spending
and deficits. Greenspan's criticisms of President Bush include his
refusal to veto spending bills, sending the country into increasingly
deep deficits, and for "putting political imperatives ahead of sound
economic policies". Greenspan writes, "They swapped principle for
power. They ended up with neither. They deserved to lose [the 2006
election]". He praised
Bill Clinton above all the other
presidents for whom he'd worked for his "consistent, disciplined focus
on long-term economic growth". Although he respected what he saw
as Richard Nixon's immense intelligence, Greenspan found him to be
"sadly paranoid, misanthropic and cynical". He said of Gerald Ford
that he "was as close to normal as you get in a president, but he was
never elected". Regarding future U.S. economic policy, Greenspan
recommends improving the U.S. primary and secondary education systems.
He asserts this would narrow the inequality between the minority of
high-income earners and most workers whose wages have not grown in
proportion with globalization and the nation's GDP growth.
Ayn Rand Institute
The Atlas Society
Nathaniel Branden Institute
Ayn Rand Institute
Allan Gotthelf · Harry Binswanger
Onkar Ghate · Tara Smith
Andrew Bernstein · Yaron Brook
John Ridpath · Elan Journo
George Reisman · Tibor Machan
Stephen Hicks · Nathaniel Branden
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
For the New Intellectual
Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology
The New Left
Philosophy of Ayn Rand
Philosophy: Who Needs It
The Romantic Manifesto
The Virtue of Selfishness
The Journal of
Ayn Rand Studies
Objectivism and homosexuality
Objectivism and libertarianism
Objectivism's rejection of the primitive
In the early 1950s, Greenspan began an association with novelist and
philosopher Ayn Rand. Greenspan was introduced to Rand by his
first wife, Joan Mitchell. Rand nicknamed Greenspan "the undertaker"
because of his penchant for dark clothing and reserved demeanor.
Although Greenspan was initially a logical positivist, he was
converted to Rand's philosophy of
Objectivism by her associate
Nathaniel Branden. He became one of the members of Rand's inner
Ayn Rand Collective, who read
Atlas Shrugged while it was
being written. During the 1950s and 1960s Greenspan was a proponent of
Objectivism, writing articles for Objectivist newsletters and
contributing several essays for Rand's 1966 book Capitalism: The
Unknown Ideal including an essay supporting the gold standard.
Rand stood beside him at his 1974 swearing-in as Chair of the Council
of Economic Advisers. Greenspan and Rand remained friends until her
death in 1982.
He has come under criticism from Harry Binswanger, who believes
his actions while at work for the
Federal Reserve and his publicly
expressed opinions on other issues show abandonment of Objectivist and
free market principles. When questioned in relation to this, however,
he has said that in a democratic society individuals have to make
compromises with each other over conflicting ideas of how money should
be handled. He said he himself had to make such compromises, because
he believes that "we did extremely well" without a central bank and
with a gold standard. In a congressional hearing on October 23,
2008, Greenspan admitted that his free-market ideology shunning
certain regulations was flawed. When asked about free markets and
Rand's ideas, however, Greenspan clarified his stance on laissez faire
capitalism and asserted that in a democratic society there could be no
better alternative. He stated that the errors that were made stemmed
not from the principle, but from the application of competitive
markets in "assuming what the nature of risks would be".
E. Ray Canterbery has chronicled Greenspan's relationship with Rand,
and has concluded that the influence has had pernicious effects on
Greenspan's monetary policy.
In the wake of the subprime mortgage and credit crisis in 2007,
Greenspan stated that there was a bubble in the U.S. housing market,
warning in 2007 of "large double digit declines" in home values
"larger than most people expect". Greenspan also noted, however,
"I really didn't get it until very late in 2005 and 2006."
Greenspan stated that the housing bubble was "fundamentally engendered
by the decline in real long-term interest rates", though he also
claims that long-term interest rates are beyond the control of central
banks because "the market value of global long-term securities is
approaching $100 trillion" and thus these and other asset markets are
large enough that they "now swamp the resources of central banks".
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Federal Open Market
Committee voted to reduce the federal funds rate from 3.5% to
3.0%. Then, after the accounting scandals of 2002, the Fed dropped
the federal funds rate from then current 1.25% to 1.00%. Greenspan
stated that this drop in rates would have the effect of leading to a
surge in home sales and refinancing, adding that "Besides sustaining
the demand for new construction, mortgage markets have also been a
powerful stabilizing force over the past two years of economic
distress by facilitating the extraction of some of the equity that
homeowners have built up over the years".
According to some, however, Greenspan's policies of adjusting interest
rates to historic lows contributed to a housing bubble in the United
Federal Reserve acknowledged the connection between
lower interest rates, higher home values, and the increased liquidity
the higher home values bring to the overall economy: "Like other asset
prices, house prices are influenced by interest rates, and in some
countries, the housing market is a key channel of monetary policy
In a February 23, 2004 speech, Greenspan suggested that more
homeowners should consider taking out adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs)
where the interest rate adjusts itself to the current interest in the
market. The Fed's own funds rate was at a then all-time-low of 1%.
A few months after his recommendation, Greenspan began raising
interest rates, in a series of rate hikes that would bring the funds
rate to 5.25% about two years later. A triggering factor in the
2007 subprime mortgage financial crisis
2007 subprime mortgage financial crisis is believed to be the many
subprime ARMs that reset at much higher interest rates than what the
borrower paid during the first few years of the mortgage.
In 2008, Greenspan expressed great frustration that the February 23
speech was used to criticize him on ARMs and the subprime mortgage
crisis, and stated that he had made countervailing comments eight days
after it that praised traditional fixed-rate mortgages. In that
speech, Greenspan had suggested that lenders should offer to home
purchasers a greater variety of "mortgage product alternatives" other
than traditional fixed-rate mortgages. Greenspan also praised the
rise of the subprime mortgage industry and its tools for assessing
Innovation has brought about a multitude of new products, such as
subprime loans and niche credit programs for immigrants. Such
developments are representative of the market responses that have
driven the financial services industry throughout the history of our
country ... With these advances in technology, lenders have taken
advantage of credit-scoring models and other techniques for
efficiently extending credit to a broader spectrum of consumers. ...
Where once more-marginal applicants would simply have been denied
credit, lenders are now able to quite efficiently judge the risk posed
by individual applicants and to price that risk appropriately. These
improvements have led to rapid growth in subprime mortgage lending;
indeed, today subprime mortgages account for roughly 10 percent of the
number of all mortgages outstanding, up from just 1 or 2 percent in
the early 1990s.
The subprime mortgage industry collapsed in March 2007, with many of
the largest lenders filing for bankruptcy protection in the face of
spiraling foreclosure rates. For these reasons, Greenspan has been
criticized for his role in the rise of the housing bubble and the
subsequent problems in the mortgage industry, as well as
"engineering" the housing bubble itself.
Businessweek magazine analysts argued: "It was the Federal
Reserve-engineered decline in rates that inflated the housing
bubble...the most troublesome aspect of the price runup is that many
recent buyers are squeezing into houses that they can barely afford by
taking advantage of the lower rates available from adjustable-rate
mortgages. That leaves them fully exposed to rising rates.
In September 2008
Joseph Stiglitz stated that Greenspan "didn't really
believe in regulation; when the excesses of the financial system were
noted, (he and others) called for self-regulation—an oxymoron".
Greenspan, according to the New York Times, says he himself is
blameless. On April 6, 2005, Greenspan called for a substantial
increase in the regulation of
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: "Appearing
before the Senate Banking Committee, the Fed chairman, Alan Greenspan,
said the enormous portfolios of the companies—nearly a quarter of
the home-mortgage market—posed significant risks to the nation's
financial system should either company face significant problems."
Despite this, Greenspan still claims to be a firm believer in free
markets, although in his 2007 biography he wrote, "History has not
dealt kindly with the aftermath of protracted periods of low risk
premiums" as seen before the credit crisis of 2008.
Robert Reich wrote that "Greenspan's worst move was to
contribute to the giant housing bubble and the worst worldwide crash
since the Great Depression. In 2004 he lowered interest rates to 1%,
enabling banks to borrow money for free, adjusted for inflation.
Naturally, the banks wanted to borrow as much as they possibly could,
then lend it out, earning nice profits. The situation screamed for
government oversight of lending institutions, lest the banks lend to
unfit borrowers. He refused, trusting the market to weed out bad
credit risks. It did not."
In congressional testimony on October 23, 2008, Greenspan finally
conceded error on regulation. The
New York Times
New York Times wrote, "a humbled Mr.
Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the
self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the
self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending...Mr. Greenspan
refused to accept blame for the crisis but acknowledged that his
belief in deregulation had been shaken". Although many Republican
lawmakers tried to blame the housing bubble on
Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac, Greenspan placed far more blame on
Wall Street for bundling
subprime mortgages into securities.
Late 2000s recession
In March 2008, Greenspan wrote an article for the Financial Times'
Economists' Forum in which he said that the 2008-financial crisis in
United States is likely to be judged as the most wrenching since
the end of World War II. In it he argued: "We will never be able
to anticipate all discontinuities in financial markets." He concluded:
"It is important, indeed crucial, that any reforms in, and adjustments
to, the structure of markets and regulation not inhibit our most
reliable and effective safeguards against cumulative economic failure:
market flexibility and open competition." The article attracted a
number of critical responses from forum contributors, who, finding
causation between Greenspan's policies and the discontinuities in
financial markets that followed, criticized Greenspan mainly for what
many believed to be his unbalanced and immovable ideological
suppositions about global capitalism and free competitive markets.
Notable critics included J. Bradford DeLong, Paul Krugman, Alice
Rivlin, Michael Hudson, and Willem Buiter.
Greenspan responded to his critics in a follow-up article in which he
defended his ideology as applied to his conceptual and policy
framework, which, among other things, prohibited him from exerting
real pressure against the burgeoning housing bubble or, in his words,
"leaning against the wind". Greenspan argued, "My view of the range of
dispersion of outcomes has been shaken, but not my judgment that free
competitive markets are by far the unrivaled way to organize
economies". He concluded: "We have tried regulation ranging from heavy
to central planning. None meaningfully worked. Do we wish to retest
Financial Times associate editor and chief
Martin Wolf defended Greenspan primarily as a
scapegoat for the market turmoil. Several notable contributors in
defense of Greenspan included Stephen S. Roach, Allan Meltzer, and
However, an October 15, 2008, article in the
Washington Post analyzing
the origins of the economic crisis claims that Greenspan vehemently
opposed any regulation of derivatives, and actively sought to
undermine the office of the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission when
the Commission sought to initiate regulation of derivatives.
Meanwhile, Greenspan recommended improving mark-to-market regulations
to avoid having derivatives or other complex assets marked to a
distressed or illiquid market during times of material adverse
conditions seen during the late 2000s credit crisis.
Greenspan was not alone in his opposition to derivatives regulation.
In a 1999 government report that was a key driver in the passage of
Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000—legislation that
clarified that most over-the-counter derivatives were outside the
regulatory authority of any government agency—Greenspan was joined
by Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, Securities and Exchange
Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt, and
Commodity Futures Trading
Commission Chairman William Ranier in concluding that "under many
circumstances, the trading of financial derivatives by eligible swap
participants should be excluded from the CEA" (
Act). Other government agencies also supported that view.
In Congressional testimony on October 23, 2008, Greenspan acknowledged
that he was "partially" wrong in opposing regulation and stated "Those
of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to
protect shareholder's equity—myself especially—are in a state of
shocked disbelief." Referring to his free-market ideology,
Greenspan said: "I have found a flaw. I don't know how significant or
permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact." When
Henry Waxman (D-CA) pressed him to clarify his words.
"In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology,
was not right, it was not working," Waxman said. "Absolutely,
precisely," Greenspan replied. "You know, that's precisely the reason
I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with
very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally
well." Greenspan admitted fault in opposing regulation of
derivatives and acknowledged that financial institutions didn't
protect shareholders and investments as well as he expected.
Matt Taibbi described the
Greenspan put and its bad consequences
saying: "every time the banks blew up a speculative bubble, they could
go back to the Fed and borrow money at zero or one or two percent, and
then start the game all over", thereby making it "almost impossible"
for the banks to lose money. He also called Greenspan a "classic
con man" who, through political savvy, "flattered and bullshitted his
way up the
Matterhorn of American power and...jacked himself off to
the attention of
Wall Street for 20 consecutive years".
In the documentary film Inside Job Greenspan is cited as one of the
persons responsible for the financial crisis of 2007–08. He is also
Time Magazine as one of the "25 People to Blame for the
Political views and alleged politicization of office
Greenspan describes himself as a "lifelong libertarian
In March 2005, in reaction to Greenspan's support of President Bush's
plan to partially privatize Social Security, then-Democratic Senate
Harry Reid attacked Greenspan as "one of the biggest
political hacks we have in Washington" and criticized him for
supporting Bush's 2001 tax cut plan. Then-Democratic House Minority
Nancy Pelosi added that there were serious questions about the
Fed's independence as a result of Greenspan's public statements.
Greenspan also received criticism from Democratic Congressman Barney
Frank and others for supporting Bush's Social Security plans favoring
private accounts. Greenspan had said Bush's model has
"the seeds of developing full funding by its very nature. As I've said
before, I've always supported moves to full funding in the context of
a private account".
Others, like Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, disagreed that
Greenspan was too deferential to Bush, stating that Greenspan "has
been an independent player at the Fed for a long time under both
parties and made an enormous positive contribution".
Paul Krugman wrote that Greenspan was a "three-card maestro"
with a "lack of sincerity" who, "by repeatedly shilling for whatever
the Bush administration wants, has betrayed the trust placed in the
Republican Senator Jim Bunning, who opposed Greenspan's fifth
reconfirmation, charged that Greenspan should comment only on monetary
policy, not fiscal policy. Greenspan had used his position as Fed
Chairman to comment upon fiscal policy as early as 1993, however, when
he supported President Clinton's deficit reduction plan, which
included tax increases and budget cuts.
In an October 2011 lecture addressing the Occupy movement, Noam
Chomsky characterized portions of Greenspan's February 1997 testimony
to the U.S. Senate as an example of the self-serving attitudes of the
so-called 1%. In that testimony, Greenspan had stated that growing
worker insecurity is a significant factor keeping inflation and
inflation expectation low, thereby promoting long-term
Greenspan has married twice. His first marriage was to a Canadian
artist named Joan Mitchell in 1952; the marriage ended in
annulment less than a year later. He dated newswoman Barbara
Walters in the late 1970s. In 1984, Greenspan began dating
journalist Andrea Mitchell. Greenspan at the time was 58; Mitchell is
20 years younger. In 1997, they were married by Supreme Court Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
George W. Bush
George W. Bush presents the
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom to
Alan Greenspan, on November 9, 2005, in the
East Room of the White
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom The highest civilian award
in the United States, by President
George W. Bush
George W. Bush in November
Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public
Commander of the
Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour (France) 2000
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
(United Kingdom) 2002 
In 1976, Greenspan received the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for
Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award
given out annually by Jefferson Awards.
In 1989 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical
In 2004, Greenspan received the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for
Leadership and Service, from Eisenhower Fellowships. In 2005, he
became the first recipient of the Harry S. Truman Medal for Economic
Policy, presented by the Harry S. Truman Library Institute. In 2007,
Greenspan was the recipient of the inaugural Thomas Jefferson
Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership, presented by the University of
On December 14, 2005, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Commercial
Science degree by New York University, his fourth degree from that
institution. On April 19, 2012, Greenspan received the Eugene J.
Keogh Award for Distinguished Public Service from NYU.
United States political appointments that crossed party lines
Benjamin M. Friedman
Benjamin M. Friedman (March 20, 2008). "Chairman Greenspan's
Legacy". New York Review of Books. 55 (4).
^ Aversa, Jeannine (March 5, 2005). "
Alan Greenspan Enjoys Rock Star
Renown". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
^ Evans-Pritchard, Ambrose (September 17, 2007). "Greenspan Was More a
Rock Star than a Feared Fed Sage". The Daily Telegraph. London.
Retrieved December 7, 2011.
^ Stahl, Leslie (February 11, 2009). "Greenspan Defends Low Interest
Rates". CBS News. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
^ a b "Reid Sticks by Greenspan Comments". The Washington Times. March
5, 2005. Archived from the original on December 5, 2008. Retrieved
October 24, 2008.
^ a b Andrews, Edmund L. (March 3, 2005). "Greenspan says Federal
Budget Deficits are 'Unsustainable'". New York Times. Retrieved June
^ Hilsenrath, Jon; Di Leo, Luca & Derby, Michael S. (January 13,
2012). "Little Alarm Shown at Fed At Dawn of Housing Bust". The Wall
Street Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
^ Teeter, Preston; Sandberg, Jorgen (2017). "Cracking the enigma of
asset bubbles with narratives". Strategic Organization. 15 (1):
^ Shiller, Robert (June 20, 2005). "The Bubble's New Home". Barron's.
Once stocks fell, real estate became the primary outlet for the
speculative frenzy that the stock market had unleashed. Where else
could plungers apply their newly acquired trading talents? The
materialistic display of the big house also has become a salve to
bruised egos of disappointed stock investors. These days, the only
thing that comes close to real estate as a national obsession is
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