The Stinging Reproach of a Former Fed Chairman

Alan Greenspan has been popping up all over the press lately – after 18 years of Greenspeak, it looks like the former Fed chief wants to set the record straight…at least from his point-of-view.

“I have no regrets on any of the Federal Reserve policies that we initiated back then because I think they were very professionally done,” Mr. Greenspan told CNBC yesterday.

And to the Journal, he said: “I don’t remember a case when the process by which the decision making at the Federal Reserve failed.”

The Financial Times recently ran a piece titled, “The fed is blameless on the property bubble.” James Saft, writing for Reuters says that Big Al argued that the epic bubble was not caused by loose monetary policy, but by “the fall in global long-term interest rates, which, as chairman…of the most powerful central bank in the world, apparently had nothing to do with him.”

Albert Edwards, global strategist at Societe Generale Cross Asset Research in London puts it bluntly: “He was the midwife of serial bubbles that are unraveling.”

Former Fed chief Paul Volcker remains unconvinced by Greenspan’s protests, questioning his cheerleading of the “bright new financial system,” that “for all its talented participants, for all its rich rewards, has failed the test of the marketplace.”

And in a speech to the members of the Economic Club of New York, Volcker chided Bernanke for “toeing ‘the very edge’ of the bank’s legal authority in orchestrating last month’s bailout of beleaguered investment bank Bear Stearns,” reports The New York Times.

“Out of perceived necessity, sweeping powers have been exercised in a manner that is neither natural nor comfortable for a central bank,” Volcker said.

Kate Incontrera
Markets and Money

Kate Incontrera
Kate Incontrera is the managing editor of Markets and Money. She is also the author of Markets and Money's Weekend Edition, a weekly wrap-up of contrarian investment analysis.

Leave a Reply

3 Comments on "The Stinging Reproach of a Former Fed Chairman"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

How old is Volcker now? Can we get him back?


Volcker is not that silly. It would be like becoming a pilot of a Jumbo jet in flight, only to find all the controls and instruments have been vandalised.


haha Kage, excellent analogy

Letters will be edited for clarity, punctuation, spelling and length. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not post all comments.
If you would prefer to email the editor, you can do so by sending an email to