Saturday, April 12, 2008

Greenspan begs and pleads

Is there a decent way to get Alan Greenspan to shut up? The guy is out there, trying to defend his reputation, sounding increasingly desperate, pleading. A recent Financial Times editorial by Greenspan is simply embarassing: The Fed is blameless on the property bubble.

Greenspan asserts repeatedly that stronger banking regulation and oversight would not have prevented a property bubble, that it is not his fault, and that he is surprised at how bad things have become so fast, and that no Fed policy would have prevented it. Here are some pullquotes:
“Bank loan officers, in my experience, know far more about the risks and workings of their counterparties than do bank regulators.”
“Aside from far greater efforts to ferret out fraud (a long-time concern of mine), would a material tightening of regulation improve financial performance?”
What did Greenspan ever do to ‘ferret out fraud’? His whole carrer he was enthralled with innovation and productivity. He never saw any financial fraud of any kind.
“The core of the subprime problem lies with the misjudgments of the investment community.”
Not my fault, not my fault!
“I have been surprised by the fierceness of investors in retrenching from risk since August.”
Alan, you're not needed any longer. Just shut up and try not to do any more damage. You are a Knight of the British Empire, you are rich. Go away and save your dignity. You have, all your life, stood for what your believed and you prevailed. Few can say as much. Now history will provide your reputation, not squirming editorials.

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