« Mandating health insurance | Main | Rebalancing the housing market »

November 16, 2007

Greenspan has spoken

When he was chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan was known for talking but not really revealing much. However, he has just released his autobiography, and it's been a hit on several bestseller lists. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden discusses three highlights of the book. Listen

"First of all this is a very readable and interesting book. I would recommend it to anyone who is ... interested in Alan Greenspan the person but also interested in a review of the economy over the last 40 or 50 years. It's very accessible," says Dr. Walden, a North Carolina Cooperative Extension specialist. "There aren't any equations or graphs or anything like that.

"Of course I can't cover everything that's in the book -- it's a 500-page book -- but here I think are three highlights I think people might find interesting:

"Greenspan follows the Fed through several financial emergencies, as he calls them. For example, right after he took over we had the big crash on the stock market in 1987. We had the false crisis (fortunately) about Y2K. And then of course we had 9/11.
And you see Greenspan talk about what the Fed could do and what the Fed did do in each of those situations," he continues. "I think that's a fascinating look at how the Fed operates behind the scenes.

"The second highlight that I found was that Greenspan comes across as a big fan of increased world trade. He argues that it has on aggregate made everyone richer. It's helped keep inflation low. And so he says some very interesting things about world trade.

"And then thirdly, of course, energy is a big issue. He does address that. And he actually thinks that the market will eventually solve our energy crisis. He says that long before we run out of oil we will stop using oil simply because it will become so much more expensive than alternatives," he concludes. "The question is what can we do now to speed up the development of those alternatives."

Posted by deeshore at November 16, 2007 08:00 AM