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Maestro: Greenspan's Fed and the American Boom

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2004

    Great Biography of the Greenspan Fed

    I thought this was a good book to show the impact one man has on our economy. It shows us that we should choose the wise and experienced to run our country. I thought some parts dragged on, but others really grabbed me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2004

    Mover and Shaker

    This is one book that I would recommend for anyone who is interested in money and how it works. I've been interested in money rates and awed by how much power Mr Greenspan carries. This book gives a wonderful insight to how much thought he gives to his decisions and how powerful his influence is over his colleagues. I loved the book and the audio version.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2001

    Good Biography, but Not Fully Explanatory

    Author Bob Woodward gives a good description of the behind-the-scenes happenings at the Federal Reserve. He devotes one chapter to each year of the Greenspan era (ending in 2000), and explains Greenspan's thoughts and theories on the economy. Woodward begins to explain how the Fed controls the economy, yet his explanation is only cursory, outlining only a few isolated incidents. Woodward's remarkable insight is apparent at the end of the book, though, as he poses the question of when the boom will end, and what unforseen momentous event will bring this end. Hint: Read the glossary at the back of the book before reading the rest of the book. It will help to explain economic terms and theories in laymen's terms.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2001

    Greenspan the God

    An excellent read, and a very fast one as well. It is clear that after reading this book Greenspan and President Clinton coordinated together to help bring about the economic boom in the U.S., which started in earnest back in 1993 and reached a peak between 1997-2000. The Greenspan-Clinton relationship showed true bipartisanship!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2001

    A superb and magnificent lesson book

    In a globalization world, Greenspanisation is a fact. For every single human person who wants to understand how the real hiding forces works in a financial market driven world, this 'is' the book. Very well written, an exquisite piece of good work that will bring the reader into Alan Greenspan's head. Understand the Fed and you will understand it all

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2001

    Fascinating read but not fullfilling.

    I was attracted to the book because I wanted to learn about Greenspan, but the title is brutally honest. This is about Greenspan's fed and not about Greenspan. Moreover, the author's style is sparse and straight to the point. Woodward sticks to the facts and not much else. <p> Having said that, I found the book fascinating and devoured it in about three evenings. I did not fully understand the kind of relationship that Rubin and Greenspan had developed and did not understand the machinations that occured during the various banking 'crises.' <p> On the down side there is a partisan tone throughout the book. For example, the author strongly implies that George Bush Sr. (whose degree is in economics!) did not understand the economy at all and that his staff did not understand how to work with anybody who showed the least bit of independence. These kind of digs pop up throughout the book. While they did not bother me, my guess is that it would grow tiresome to any thin-skinned conservative. <p> Despite the drawbacks this is a good read if you need a book to occupy a short time. Don't expect flowery prose but do expect a strong dose of politics. Just like the author's other books it gives a strong sense of context, and the last 8 years have been a remarkable time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2001

    You Can Find Greenspan in Here, If You Look Hard

    Maestro: Greenspan's Fed and the American Boom, Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2000) Maestro is not a traditional biography. It is, rather, a professional biography, a history of Alan Greenspan's tenure at the Fed. The subtitle, Greenspan's Fed and the American Boom is a more accurate description of this book's goals. Woodward should not be criticized for producing a professional biography rather than taking on the substantial task of examining the mind of the enigmatic Chairman; it is what he set out to produce. Woodward hints at the complexity of Greenspan's mind but concentrates on details and techniques. If there is a limitation to Woodward's work it is that he tells us more about Michaelangelo's techniques for chipping stone than how that great artist arrived at the ultimate vision of his David. The substance of Greenspan's vision is left to another. Still, Woodward peppers his reportage with intriguing personal details, details which, if explored, might lead to some understanding of the curious, complex mind, and man, behind the mechanics of modern Federal Reserve policy. What Woodward tell us about the Chairman's personal life is in the last paragraphs of the book's chapters - afterthoughts. For example, Greenspan went to Julliard, then known as the Institute of Musical Art, dropped out after two years and played tenor sax with the Henry Jerome band, a big band in the 1940s style. Somehow, Greenspan discovered the lure of economics, and studied at Columbia under Arthur Burns, who subsequently became Fed Chairman (1970 - 1978). He sometimes solves complex mathematical equations for the joy that solutions can bring. Greenspan, the mathematician cum musician, was a member of Ayn Rand's inner circle. 'Objectivism,' mathematics, and music are things we normally don't put together. Rand encouraged Greenspan's involvement with Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign, an intriguing start to a political life. Greenspan's roots in Rand's objectivism, the connection between his mathematics and music, and his actions as Fed Chairman would make a powerful intellectual biography. There are homier details as well. Greenspan called his mother every day, and, before his marriage to Andrea Mitchell, a national news correspondent, was reputed to have been a 'ladies' man,' if that phrase is still current. Other sources relate that Greenspan participated in meetings lying on the floor to ease a bad back. Certainly Greenspan's is a life worth examining, however Woodward offers us a different, less interesting view. Woodward assumes readers come to the book with knowledge of how the Fed effects interest rates, at least mechanically. This should not be a bar to they ordinary reader. If the Fed sells government bonds, buyers pay with checks. Payment lowers the amount of money the banking system holds. This creates upward pressure on the interest rates banks charge each other for overnight or extremely short-term loans. If the Fed buys bonds, its checks increase the amount of money the banking system holds, creating downward pressure on the same interest rates. The Fed targets a short-term rate, called the Fed Funds rate, by either buying or selling bonds. The mechanics of the Fed's operation are simple; the policy behind them complex. Woodward's details of Greenspan's rule at the Fed are, quite simply, annoying, as is his use of unending quotes from parties at private meetings in the Fed, the White House, Treasury, and other places the reader will sense Woodward he could not have been. Woodward has been frequently criticized for this; there is no reason to say more. The most important limitation of Maestro is that Woodward confuses details of the Chairman's day-to-day activity and coalition building among members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) with the actual creation of monetary policy. To give him his due, Woodward has done his homework. It's painfully obviously he's read transcripts of innumerabl

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2000

    Stupendous

    From busting Nixon and nearly destroying America, Woodward finally emerges as an uplifting writer who allows Americans to see goodness in the American boom. Woodwoard is a legend, a fixture of American culture, a man whose writing will live beyond his years on earth. Our hats go off to you Bob for this revolutionary book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2000

    Beware of Hidden Agenda

    When I saw this book about Alan Greenspan it immediately sparked my interest. Then I noticed who the author was, and I thought to myself 'could Bob Woodward, a liberal jounalist, actually write a book like this that wasn't slanted toward the left?' Then I noticed that the chapters were not titled, so I couldn't get a feel for the jist of the book without purchasing it. About half way through the book it finally came out--Woodward very subtly implies that the last recession was, of course, created by Ronald Reagan, that Bush tried to protect his predecessor by remaining silent, and along comes Clinton to save the day with a deficit reduction plan conceived of by none other than Alan Greenspan, which of course, makes a tax increase 'right.' It's the lack of complete, historical economic and political facts that for me, destroyed this book's credibility. Between paying higher taxes or higher interest rates, I'm indifferent. I'd rather pay niether.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2000

    Constructive Ambiguity

    I was eager to read this book for two reasons. First, I wanted to find out what the most influential man of the last 20 years was all about. Secondly, I need to know why he made it impossible for George Bush Sr. to be reelected. I am disappointed on both counts. This is probably one of the most superficial books that Bob Woodward has written. You can save yourself a whole five hours by reading the excerpts in the Washington Post. All the pertinent information is there. The rest of the book is repetitious. Alan Greenspan railroads the board into raising the interest rates ¼ of a point. Greenspan railroads the board into lowering it ¼. And for variety, he railroads them into an ¿asymmetric directive¿ to change the interest rate. There are 256 pages of that, nothing else. I take that back there is Woodward grieving the end to the sodomy presidency. I know Woodward had a difficult task. To write a book about the most introvert personality of the twentieth century is not easy. But give me a break Bob. Interview his wife, his high school teacher, his gardener, his psychologist!!!! Interview somebody that will give us a hint of what the man is all about. The book was obviously written by interviewing the rock, (Alan ¿constructive ambiguity¿ Greenspeak) and his professional acquaintances. Now that really makes for revealing book. The sources are a total waste of time. There is one thing that is painfully obvious, Alan Greenspan is the benevolent dictator all of us control freaks dream of being. You come out with the feeling that the most ridiculous waste of money of the whole federal government is the salary we pay the board members of the Federal Reserve. Fire the whole bunch of them. Who needs a whole bunch of over paid PhDs to rubberstamp what Alan Greenspan thinks. As to my second reason for reading the book I got three paragraphs. One, Alan did screw George Bush Sr.. Two George Bush acknowledged that Alan screwed him. Three, Alan said something that was constructively ambiguous about screwing George Bush. Please give me a break I spent 5 hours reading this. Give at least a little bit of information. The book tries to be ¿constructively ambiguous¿ as it¿s subject. It fails to be constructive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2000

    Maestro: Take a Bow

    Sometimes frightening, sometimes obscure, often entertaining, Maestro takes us into a world of economic power and politics that makes the savings account rate look good. Little did I know that my hard earned retirement savings were at such risk! On the other hand, if my money had been in a bank savings account, I wouldn't be retired today. More than I wanted to know and not enough. I want to read the sequel now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2000

    Modern Economic Genius

    This book demonstrates why Alan Greenspan commands such a respect from the Clinton Administration. Greenspan manipulated the U.S. economy to his willing, thereby achieving a boom which has lifted the nation well-ahead of the 80s era... with a view to eliminating the current federal debt. A great insight into the man who incited the zealousness of the present American economy... with interesting facts about his personality.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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