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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Alan Greenspan ~ Icon of Wall Street

The icon of Wall Street, and of global corporations, Alan Greenspan, has finally shown the world the results of his gross incompetence. He thought as long as he satisfied Wall Street and the global corporations that he was safe. Wall Street loves low interest rates and American exporters are totally in love with the cheap dollar. Low interest rates, along with an increased money supply, sustained for a year, finally had the effect of the real estate bubble and the cheap dollar. The cheap dollar is relevant to the price of gasoline but nobody seems to be able to tell us how much the cheap dollar is contributing to these high gas prices.

It's hard to think of Alan Greenspan having the imagination to engineer the forced sale of Bear Stearns to J.P. Morgan-Chase, which was orchestrated by Secretary of the Treasury Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke. This is commonly termed a bailout but it is certainly not a bailout in the shareholders' (those who own the company) view - just ask Joseph Lewis, the UK tycoon who lost $1,000,000,000 in this so-called bailout. The stock that once traded at over $100 a share was reduced to just $10.00 in this workout. It's equally difficult to imagine that Alan Greenspan would have the courage of Paul Volcker (Fed chairman from the late 1970's through most of the 1980's), who chose, not by interest rate targets but by reducing the supply of money, to let the market find interest rate levels. Because of this he was able to wring the runaway inflation rate of 12% out of the economy.

Related: Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the Charlie Rose interview with Paul Volcker.

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Thanks for your comments! Jan and Stu