60 Facts About Alan Greenspan


Alan Greenspan was born on March 6,1926 and is an American economist who served as the 13th chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006.


Alan Greenspan argues that the housing bubble was not a result of low-interest short-term rates but rather a worldwide phenomenon caused by the progressive decline in long-term interest rates - a direct consequence of the relationship between high savings rates in the developing world and its inverse in the developed world.


Alan Greenspan was born in the Washington Heights area of New York City.


Alan Greenspan's father worked as a stockbroker and consultant in New York City.


Alan Greenspan attended George Washington High School from 1940 until he graduated in June 1943, where one of his classmates was John Kemeny.


Alan Greenspan played clarinet and saxophone along with Stan Getz.


Alan Greenspan further studied clarinet at the Juilliard School from 1943 to 1944.


Alan Greenspan's 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 Board.


From 1948 to 1953, Alan Greenspan worked as an analyst at the National Industrial Conference Board, a business- and industry-oriented think tank in New York City.


In mid-1968, Alan Greenspan agreed to serve as Richard Nixon's coordinator on domestic policy in the nomination campaign.


Alan Greenspan was a director of the Council on Foreign Relations foreign policy organization between 1982 and 1988.


Alan Greenspan served as a member of the influential Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty in 1984.


Investor, author and commentator Jim Rogers has said that Alan Greenspan lobbied to get this chairmanship.


Two months after his confirmation, Alan 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".


Democratic president Bill Clinton reappointed Alan Greenspan, and consulted him on economic matters.


Alan Greenspan was fundamentally a monetarist and Austrian Economist in orientation on the economy, and his monetary policy decisions largely followed standard Taylor rule prescriptions.


In 2000, Alan Greenspan raised interest rates several times; these actions were believed by many to have caused the bursting of the dot-com bubble.


Alan Greenspan's 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.


Alan Greenspan 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".


Alan Greenspan feared that Saddam could seize control of the Straits of Hormuz and restrict the transport of oil through them.


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.


Alan Greenspan opposed tariffs against the 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.


Immediately after leaving the Fed, Alan Greenspan formed an economic consulting firm, Alan Greenspan Associates LLC He accepted an honorary position at HM Treasury in the United Kingdom.


In May 2007, Alan Greenspan was hired as a special consultant by Pacific Investment Management Company to participate in their quarterly economic forums and speak privately with the bond managers about Fed interest rate policy.


Alan Greenspan wrote a memoir titled The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, published September 17,2007.


Alan Greenspan says that he wrote the book in longhand mostly while soaking in the bathtub, a habit he regularly employs since injuring his back in 1971.


Alan 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.


Alan Greenspan praised Bill Clinton above all the other presidents for whom he'd worked for his "consistent, disciplined focus on long-term economic growth".


Alan Greenspan said of Gerald Ford that he "was as close to normal as you get in a president, but he was never elected".


Alan Greenspan 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.


Alan Greenspan was introduced to Rand by his first wife, Joan Mitchell.


Alan Greenspan became one of the members of Rand's inner circle, the Ayn Rand Collective, who read Atlas Shrugged while it was being written.


Alan Greenspan 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.


Alan Greenspan 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.


Alan Greenspan 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".


Alan 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 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".


In 2008, Alan 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, Alan Greenspan had suggested that lenders should offer to home purchasers a greater variety of "mortgage product alternatives" other than traditional fixed-rate mortgages.


Alan Greenspan praised the rise of the subprime mortgage industry and its tools for assessing credit-worthiness:.


Alan Greenspan, according to The New York Times, says he himself is blameless.


Alan Greenspan refused, trusting the market to weed out bad credit risks.


In congressional testimony on October 23,2008, Alan Greenspan finally conceded error on regulation.


Alan 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".


Alan 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".


Several notable contributors in defense of Greenspan included Stephen S Roach, Allan Meltzer, and Robert Brusca.


However, an October 15,2008, article in The Washington Post analyzing the origins of the economic crisis claims that Alan 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, Alan 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.


Alan Greenspan was not alone in his opposition to derivatives regulation.


Matt Taibbi described the Alan 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.


Alan Greenspan is named in Time magazine as one of the "25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis".


Alan Greenspan received criticism from Democratic Congressman Barney Frank and others for supporting Bush's Social Security plans favoring private accounts.


Alan Greenspan had used his position as Fed chairman to comment upon fiscal policy as early as 1993 when he supported President Clinton's deficit reduction plan, which included tax increases and budget cuts.


In that testimony, Alan Greenspan had stated that growing worker insecurity is a significant factor keeping inflation and inflation expectation low, thereby promoting long-term investment.


Alan Greenspan dated newswoman Barbara Walters in the late 1970s.


In 1976, Alan Greenspan received the US Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.


In 1989, Alan Greenspan was elected as a fellow of the American Statistical Association.


Alan Greenspan was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2000.


On September 26,2002, Alan Greenspan received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.


In 2004, Greenspan received the Dwight D Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service, from Eisenhower Fellowships.


In 2007, Alan Greenspan was the recipient of the inaugural Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership, presented by the University of Virginia.