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From today’s Washington Post:
It’s been nearly a decade since Greenspan’s stock hit its all-time high with the now-famous Time magazine cover during the Asian financial crisis — the one that featured Sir Alan, Bob Rubin, and Larry Summers as “The Committee to Save the World.” Since the committee disbanded, however, its members haven’t fared so well. Summers managed to get himself hired and fired as Harvard’s president, Rubin helped to steer Citigroup into the ditch, and Greenspan laid the foundation for the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Okay, so nobody’s perfect. But instead of acknowledging that he let his free-market ideology cloud his judgment as monetary steward and financial regulator, Sir Alan is out there trying to convince people how much better off they are because of deregulation, globalization and the dramatic booms and busts they have spawned. He reminds me of the politician who, having just been trounced in an election, blames it on the fact that his message “just didn’t get through.”
What’s so remarkable is how Greenspan can spin out his analysis without mentioning his own role in the creation of the massive housing and credit bubbles that got Fannie and Freddie into their current predicaments. Reading or listening to him, you’d never know this was the Fed chairman who kept interest rates too low for too long, who denied that there was a housing bubble until it burst and who refused to use the powers given to the Fed by Congress to prevent abusive practices by mortgage lenders and brokers… Nor would you have an inkling that this was the same regulator who didn’t notice that the banks under his supervision were moving hundreds of billions of dollars of assets into off-balance sheet vehicles for the sole purpose of evading regulatory capital requirements and keeping them hidden from investors.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”