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Greenspan's Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book confirming what many people with common sense felt was happening to our economy.

    This is an excellent expose of what was happening at the Fed during Greenspan's tenure. The illogical decisions made and the reason these decisions were made in Greenspan's own words put in sharp focus why we are where we are in the current economic mess. There is also much wit in the book with references to CNBC as "bubblevision" for not objectively reporting on what rising stock activity really was...a bubble and not real prosperity for the common global good of the market.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2008

    Fine study of a failed system

    In this fascinating book, financial journalist William Fleckenstein studies the record of Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006. Between 1937 and 1987 there were no bubbles, but Greenspan helped to create two bubbles in ten years ¿ in stocks and then in real estate - by holding interest rates too low, punishing savers. He helped to make the American people worse off by redistributing wealth to the rich, the bubbles¿ boosters and sponsors. Greenspan viewed new technology expenses as assets. So he thought that productivity and profits were higher than they really were, that inflation was overstated and that stocks were understated. In 1998 firms spent $95 billion on computers. After Greenspan¿s `hedonic adjustment¿, this came out as $352 billion, adding 2% to US GDP. Governments want to understate inflation and overstate growth, productivity and incomes. So now, most price rises seem to be way above the rate of inflation. Greenspan¿s rate cut of 15 October 1998 triggered the stock market bubble. By 1999 the stock market was valued at 180% of US GDP. 'In the last bubble, in 1929, it was 85% of GDP.' In 2000-01 this bubble burst - the new technology miracle proved to be a mirage. In 1992-99 there was zero productivity growth in 99% of the US economy, and growth only in 1%, computer hardware. In 2001-03, housing `saved¿ the US economy from the aftershock of the stock bubble. De-regulation led to lower lending standards with more `creative¿ financial instruments, like the $500 trillion worth of derivatives, which Warren Buffett described as `financial instruments of mass destruction¿. So from 2003 to 2007 there was a real estate bubble, based on huge debts. Mortgage-equity withdrawals created half US GDP growth between 2001 and 2007. By 2006, household debt was 97% of GDP: mortgage debt was $13.3 trillion. Total US debt in 2007 was 325% of GDP. This ocean of debts rested on a falling real estate market, a sinking economy and a weak currency. Where could the next economic rebound come from? Capitalism has destroyed production and destroyed the housing market: it is running out of options.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2008

    Finally somebody who can cut through the propanganda

    One of the most amazing thing in this country, is how tame and useless the main stream press is. While every news papers was lauding AG as a genius, Bill wrote years after years in his column about what would happen in the end. And it's happening now. This book does just what every real press outlet should do. Go back in the archives and dig about what has been said and done in the past, and uncover any attempt at rewriting history. It's a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is an open, honest account of the damage inflicted on the US and world economy by Alan Greenspan. To become the darling of Wall Street, his consistent string of undisciplined, imprudent decisions virtually ruined the U.S. economy. What we're suffering through today is a direct result of 'Greenspan's Bubbles' popping all around us. Perhaps you've read Greenspan's book -- this is a must-read to get the other side of the real story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

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