|The dismal "science"|
|More about economics|
|—Alan Greenspan, and the only memorable thing he ever said.|
Alan Greenspan (dubbed "The Maestro" by journalist Bob Woodward and "The Undertaker" by Ayn Rand, but now more commonly known as "Mr. Bubbles") was the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board from 1987 to 2006, having been first appointed by Ronald Reagan. Well known for his free market ideology, (essentially, libertarian in nature), his fiscal policy saw both economic boom and bust scenarios.
Before becoming am economist, Greenspan started out as a jazz musician: he played clarinet with Stan Getz in high school, studied at Julliard, and went out on the road playing alto saxophone in Woody Herman's band.
Under his tenure at the Federal Reserve, Greenspan drove through market deregulation that almost singlehandedly resulted in the banking crisis. His loose monetary policy basically turned the Fed into an ATM that spat money at failing enterprises like the Savings and Loan thrifts and Long Term Capital Management. This became known as the "Greenspan put" in financial circles. John McCain is now infamously known for having said, when asked what he would do if something happened to Greenspan, "Well, I'd put sunglasses on him and prop him up like that guy in Weekend at Bernie's." In 2008, when testifying to the US Congress, Greenspan admitted that his free market views were mistaken, saying "I have found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact."
Greenspan was a disciple of Ayn Rand, first meeting her in the 1950s and remaining a close associate until her death in 1982. He was a member of Rand's inner circle while she wrote Atlas Shrugged, and she attended his swearing-in ceremony as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors in 1974. On his admission in 2008 that his free market views were flawed, Rand's followers turned on him (although just working at the Fed disqualifies you as a true believer in the free market among the hardcore Randroids and the Austrian school).
He advocated that the United States invade Iraq for the "security of our oil supplies" and helped print money to fund a trillion dollar war. Never mind that most of the increases in the price of oil in the 21st century are directly attributable to the easy fiscal and monetary policy of the Federal Reserve and the US government (see price of oil compared to price of gold, or that even if Saddam Hussein had tried to destroy Iraq's oil supplies, he would have been only be able to destroy a negligible amount of them). According to Alan Greenspan, the war in Iraq somehow made sense because of oil.
His policies also worsened the "dot-com" bubble and undermined the economy in other places. When the world-wide economy collapsed in 2008, he was utterly bewildered. Strangely, many victims considered "whoops sorry lol" somewhat short of adequate.
Greenspan is married to television reporter Andrea Mitchell.
A recent meme in the political blogosphere is the phrase "With notably rare exceptions..." (where the exception is an incredibly difficult to overlook case), originating with this statement by Greenspan:
“”Today’s competitive markets, whether we seek to recognise it or not, are driven by an international version of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” that is unredeemably opaque. With notably rare exceptions (2008, for example), the global “invisible hand” has created relatively stable exchange rates, interest rates, prices, and wage rates.
 See also
- ↑ Quite gigantic ones, we might say.
- ↑ Bill Moyers & Company, Crony Capitalism, PBS, January 20, 2012.
- ↑ Greenspan Put definition
- ↑ Time 2001
- ↑ The economic "brain" of America tries to justify the Iraq War as a way to secure our oil supplies. 
- ↑ A right-wing hit piece, which admittedly explains why warring in Iraq for oil made no sense. 
- ↑ http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/newsdesk,1548,greenspan-admits-culpability,51758
- ↑ With Notably Rare Exceptions