Library Journal - Library JournalKahaner offers Alan Greenspan's ideas in his own words, addressing topics that range from what Greenspan has to say about banks and bank regulation to what others have said about him. The work's greatest strength lies in the annotations the author has appended to quotes throughout and what he summarizes as the 12 lessons of Alan Greenspan. Its greatest weakness appears to be a number of factual errors in the brief biography included in the text. These include an understatement of Greenspan's desire to pursue a career in music, the origin of his involvement with author/philosopher Ayn Rand, and the historic roots of Townsend-Greenspan, the consulting firm that he joined in 1953 and led after the death of his partner in 1987. Nevertheless, it is recommended for public libraries. More a reporter's story than a scholar's work, Martin's Greenspan uses the words of friends and acquaintances to build a rich portrait of the introspective economist who has become one of the most powerful and imposing figures in American economic history. Beginning with his birth in Manhattan in 1926, the author describes a precocious child who excelled in school and lived the life of a professional jazz musician before rising to success both on Wall Street and in Washington. Along the way, the reader is introduced to key figures in Greenspan's life, including his mother; his mentor, Arthur Burns; author and philosopher Ayn Rand; Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, who chose Greenspan to assume an ever-increasing role in the economic evolution of the United States; and his two wives--painter Joan Mitchell Blumenthal, whom he married and separated from in the early 1950s, and political correspondent Andrea Mitchell, whom he married in 1997. While not the definitive scholarly work, this useful book puts a human face on the man who was selected by A&E Biography as the most fascinating person of 1999. Recommended for public libraries.--Norm Hutcherson, California State Univ. Lib., Bakersfield Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Quotations of Chairman Greenspan based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
The core of this book is a series of quotations by Dr. Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve (1987 - ) on the subjects of banks, capitalism, competition, debt and deficits, derivatives, education, employment, the Federal Reserve, forecasting, the gap between rich and poor, globalization, gold, housing, humor, inflation, the new economy, politics, reputation, risk, small business, Social Security and Medicare, the stock market, technology, and trade. The quotations are simplified into their key principles in brief commentaries by the author, Mr. Kahaner. The author has also provided a brief biographical sketch of Dr. Greenspan as well as comments by others about Dr. Greenspan. (For trivia buffs: Did you know he was once married to the painter, Joan Mitchell?) Alan Greenspan is a classic conservative, monetarist economist. His views fit nicely into that category. He also has a lively wit, which is normally well hidden behind the facade of 'non-speak' that he specializes in. The author has considerately included some of Dr. Greenspan's most famous bon mots. His convoluted sentences are more famous across the planet, and deliberately so. For when Alan Greenspan really speaks, as he did about 'irrational exuberance' in the stock market a few years ago, the ground moves beneath the financial markets. So he has to be careful. Care is also required because of politics. The Federal Reserve is supposed to be an independent body that is not part of the political process. Yet Congress can change its powers very easily. So the best approach is to hide in the shadows, as much as any 800 pound gorilla can. This strategy is complicated by the fact that the chairman has to make many speeches, and has many required reports to Congress each year. So, Chairman Greenspan has to utter a lot of words while saying very little. Perhaps the truest statement in the book was the quote about him pointing out that people on both sides of any issue quote Alan Greenspan as supporting their position. And that's the brilliance of these obscure sayings. The only times he can be open is when he is in front of a group that doesn't matter. For example, he can praise the small community banks to the skies, because they are so small. Bring up Citigroup, and he has to move off in other directions. The book that still needs to be written about Alan Greenspan is his art of saying much while communicating little. Now, that would be a book! My favorite slant on Alan Greenspan was missing from this book. The financial news channel, CNBC, has developed a way to anticipate which way interest rates will go. It depends on the size of Greenspan's brief case when he goes into a Fed meeting. When it is thick, rates change. When it is thin, nothing happens. With a between-sized case, the bias between tightening or not may shift. Interstingly, they are often correct with this approach. And this story shows perfectly how much scrutiny he is under. The man has done a fabulous job of running the Federal Reserve. We should not forget that in our focus here on his words. This is an area where actions speak louder than words, as they often do. Now that we are off the gold standard, controlling the money supply is more important than ever because there is no limit on the potential to create inflation. As a former economic forecaster, Greenspan knows that economic forecasts are more often wrong than right. So you have to be vigilant and aggressive in anticipating problems. You will get a good sense of that perspective from this book. It will bring all of those words into a coherent sense of Greenspan's philosophy for you. After you have finished absorbing these very long sentences, I encourage you to think about when in your life it is good to be balanced in your communications in order to moderate the response. Clarity is not always a virtue. But do be clear whenever it is important to get the point across. Follow Hemingway then. When obs