Monday, September 17, 2007

Greenspan: "I didn't get it."

That's the blurb I heard watching previews for his recent appearance on 60 Minutes. Only in that quote he is referring to the House of Cards which is the American Financial system and its over-reliance upon credit, risk and speculation.

This is from John Brown's Public Diplomacy Press & Blog Review. There's no mistaking what it's about.
"I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

--Former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan; cited in Katrina Vanden Heuvel, “Greenspan, Iraq & Oil” (Nation, September 15)
LINK

I've always admired Alan. I believe him and hope he's truly saddened by the troubles his wanton ignorance has allowed to metasticise.

I could go on, but work she be a swampin' me, eh.

L8

16 comments:

  1. Whatever good he might have done, he was a Bush enabler, betraying our trust by supporting the Administration's tax cuts for the rich. He gets a big dish of blame for the financial mess we're in.

    As Peter Smith says in today's HuffPo, Greenspan "..joins the long queue of national and international politicians and policy wonks out to salvage reputations muddied by associating with George W. Bush and company."

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  2. Smith nailed it, eh.

    And Greenspan bugs me more than most, because you KNOW the only way he couldn't have know if he was enamoured of that famous, Reaganesque, Friedmanesque false premise that the Rich will make the middle class wealthy.

    MoRons, at best. Lying sacks o' .... for the most part. And G was one of 'em lying to himself, but I know he was too damned smart to ever really believe that shit.

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  3. Like rats leaving a sinking ship! It IS enjoyable to watch them squirm though. . .Nice new header! I haven't been by in a while obviously. . .

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  4. I wish he and the other rats had mustered up the decency to rat out earlier, when their out-loud "oopses" might have prevented thousands of deaths and injuries in the war, and kept a lot of people from losing their homes to Snidely Whiplash. What cowards.

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  5. Funny how Greenspan and Colin Powell keep their yaps shut while helping Bush achieve wars and decay, but once they are out of office and everything is falling apart, they suddenly decry everything Bush.

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  6. Greenspan was a force behind the idea of tax cuts for the rich, as he is staunchly against what he calls wealth redistribution in society.

    There is more to Greenspan's thoughts on this, and I am hoping he says more about not just the oil but the bourse and the impact of favoring euros- sure, its about the oil. And the oil market.

    If you get a chance Bains read Earl's post at Peace Train today on this.

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  7. The only problem is, just like rats, there're a ton more o' the scabby buggers still hauntin' the decks. Thanks John. Good to see ya!

    "Cowards" is the key, I think, Wren. It's when people are so afraid that they'll miss out on some of "their share" of the spoils that forget they've got a conscience for a freakin' reason. Blech...

    Yeah. Funny like a crutch, eh Larry.

    I guess what I liked about his regime at the Fed was how well he adjusted on the fly. He was much like so many o' those Wall St wizards who managed to somehow always see the next step before the markets took it.

    Still, you're right, of course Lynn. He's always been a Keynes basher, even if he did so much more calmly than a majority of Reagan's frothin' at the mouth crowd. I guess my own disdain for so many of the Keynes Lovers kept me from seeing that in him clearly enough.

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  8. have to say i really don't like greenspan.

    he is a rapacious capitalist and i wouldnt attribute any good motives to him

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  9. I don't know enough about the topic to judge, but Greenspan was interviewed on NPR yesterday and I thought his response to the question of whether he'd caused the housing loan crisis by lowering interest rates was interesting.

    He said that in terms of economics, lowering the interest rate had been fully justified. As to supplying oversight/regulation regarding the prevention of potential abuse of low interest rates by lenders, he stated that this was the attorney general's responsibility.

    Like I say, I don't know enough to tell if this was just passing the buck, but the idea that someone in the Bush administration refused to regulate business at its worst and greediest wouldn't exactly come as a shocker at this point...

    He also made the point that he hadn't been in favor of Bush's tax cuts for the rich but that tax cuts of some kind were needed at the time for... I forget! Economic stuff.

    Not trying to put myself in the position of defending him, I really haven't followed him closely and don't have an opinion. Just happens I heard the inteview yesterday so tossing it into the mix -

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  10. Aces, finances. Bossy's favorite topic.

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  11. Yeah, well I dig that Michael, but I've learned from HATING my pops and some others for parts of their personalities, that I won't dismiss folks out of hand if I've learned something good from 'em. I did learn by watchin' G. He made a lot of "good moves" in a certain context, but of course, had that SERIOUSLY false premise he was going on, and that's a big part of the financial crisis facing our species today.

    That and just flat out Fear.

    Thanks for pointing that out, Paul! That "the separation of Fed & Gov't responsibilities" bit is exactly why I've had such respect for G's moves, even though I've since learned they didn't warrant so much of such.

    On a lighter note... Methinks teh Bossy doth fibbeth.

    {-;

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  12. Any respect I had for Greeenspan was lost ages ago. And his recent "admission" that he'd kinda sorta misjudged the mortgage market is simply not credible.

    How is it that we ended up over the past 8 years or so with the perfect confluence of incompetence, incredulity, greed, and (as Wren said) cowardice across almost the entire spectrum of government, media and business? It's going to take a lot longer than 8 years to fix the damage.

    That's assuming we try.

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  13. Anonymous was me, Kevin Wolf. No idea why that didn't come through too because I'm logged in...

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  14. Yeah, I ain't bettin' on that assumption m'self, Nony. It'll be more fine tuning of a failed idea at best.

    Kevin, what I said to Nony. {-;

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  15. There is something ironic in a capitalism lover who favors playing with interest rates to help the economy...no?

    You'd think he would let the market and society work out their problems!

    The housing problem is based on departures from traditional standards. People with zero in the bank, bankruptcy, getting a mortage that eats up 90% of their income.

    There's a reason why its called a Foreclosure Mill.

    Did rates make money too easy? Maybe. Or maybe there was safety in the knowledge that houses were selling like hotcakes, so people forget their golden rules.

    People are less worried about lending for a house they can take and maybe even make a profit on!

    Now??? Not so much.

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  16. "He[Greenspan]'s always been a Keynes basher, even if he did so much more calmly than a majority of Reagan's frothin' at the mouth crowd."

    This is what I don't get.

    Posting budget deficits is Keynesian. Keynes advocated doing this through public expenditure, but Reagan's supply side philosophy uses tax cuts.

    Given that tax is merely negative public spending, isn't "supply-side" economics merely Keynesianism aimed at the wealthy over and above everyone else?

    Not being American, I don't know enough about Greenspan's tenure as Fed chief to make any calls, but from what I can tell, much of the criticism aimed at him appears to be misplaced. Laws regarding credit standards and debt securities would be a congresssional responsibility, I would have thought.

    Greenspan should have at least noticed and commented upon the serious alarm-bell stuff. And he should be rightly castigated for that.

    On another note, MB, how does monetary policy have any actual short term impact at all, given that 30 year fixed rate mortgages are so popular? They're not really common over here, and people tend to go for a full variable rate mortgage, by way of comparison.

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