The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World

Overview

The Age of Turbulence is Alan Greenspan's incomparable reckoning with the contemporary financial world, channeled through his own experiences working in the command room of the global economy longer and with greater effect than any other single living figure.

Following the arc of his remarkable life's journey through his more than eighteen-year tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board to the present, in the second half of The Age of Turbulence Dr. Greenspan embarks on a ...

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Overview

The Age of Turbulence is Alan Greenspan's incomparable reckoning with the contemporary financial world, channeled through his own experiences working in the command room of the global economy longer and with greater effect than any other single living figure.

Following the arc of his remarkable life's journey through his more than eighteen-year tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board to the present, in the second half of The Age of Turbulence Dr. Greenspan embarks on a magnificent tour d'horizon of the global economy. The distillation of a life's worth of wisdom and insight into an elegant expression of a coherent worldview, The Age of Turbulence will stand as Alan Greenspan's personal and intellectual legacy.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
When Alan Greenspan speaks, the entire world listens. During his 18-year tenure (1987-2006) as Federal Reserve Board chairman, he presided over the American economy; but even after he left that job, his influence remained. When he forecast a U.S. recession in early 2007, stock markets responded with their biggest one-day drop since 9/11. We expect that money watchers will be equally attentive to the nuances of this detailed (640-page) memoir of his astonishing career.
Sebastian Mallaby
Greenspan's political memoir, which occupies the first half of the book, is readable, lucid and sometimes a bit thin on the dilemmas of monetary policy. In the book's second half, Greenspan the charmer makes way for Greenspan the technician, and the result is a 250-page essay on globalization. His overviews of Russia, India and China say little that is not familiar to attentive readers of the news. But the last chapter makes a powerful and remarkably self-deprecating point. Readers who persevere will feel rewarded.
—The Washington Post
Michael Kinsley
Not only can Greenspan discourse lucidly on economic matters, but he has also written the most unexpectedly charming Washington insider memoir since Katharine Graham's a decade ago. The books are very different. The charm of Graham's was its frankness. The publisher of The Washington Post dished and dissed, starting with her mother. Greenspan is the soul of tact. Far too many people are labeled as his "friend." Even the mildest criticism is prefaced by a statement of high regard and/or followed by an expression of regret. He doesn't lay a glove on his mother. The charm of Greenspan's book is its self-portrait.
—The New York Times
Michael Mandel
Most people will read Greenspan's book for the shock value of his attack on Republicans. But they also will find that Greenspan's well-informed musings offer much more food for thought than the usual government official memoir.
—BusinessWeek
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594201318
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/17/2007
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 1,363,687
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan was chairman of the Federal Reserve Board from 1987 until his retirement in 2006.
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    1. Hometown:
      New York, NY
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 6, 1926
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, NY
    1. Education:
      B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Economics from New York University

Table of Contents

The Age of Turbulence Introduction

1. City Kid
2. The Making of an Economist
3. Economics Meets Politics
4. Private Citizen
5. Black Monday
6. The Fall of the Wall
7. A Democrat's Agenda
8. Irrational Exuberance
9. Millennium Fever
10. Downturn
11. The Nation Challenged
12. The Universals of Economic Growth
13. The Modes of Capitalism
14. The Choices That Await China
15. The Tigers and the Elephant
16. Russia's Sharp Elbows
17. Latin America and Populism
18. Current Accounts and Debt
19. Globalization and Regulation
20. The "Conundrum"
21. Education and Income Inequality
22. The World Retires, But Can It Afford To?
23. Corporate Governance
24. The Long-Term Energy Squeeze
25. The Delphic Future

Acknowledgments A Note on Sources Index

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    An Excellent Historical Review

    As a 50+ year old financial professional, I found the first part of the book to be an exceptional stroll down memory lane from the standpoint of Fed action and the relationships with U.S. presidents. Part two of the book focuses on various economic issues . . . which can be at times complex to follow . . . even for a CPA like me. Nevertheless, for a financial professional interested in a historical account of recent U.S. monetary policy, this is a fine read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    good stuff,though some heavy details

    i found this book very enlightening and deep on details.while dry at times, i recommend this to all econ majors, and the general public. greenspan's comments on the rule of law affecting the economy is important.the u.s can only control it's law,the rest of the world will probably be difficult,thus impacting our economy badly.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    Fascinating

    I recall thinking Alan Greenspan was boring and used a vocabulary that was not easily understood by most lay people. After reading his book, I find that he is a very likeable person, an excellent writer, and a great teacher! Reading this book, for the average person, will be very revealing about how our financial systems work and why we find ourselves in such turmoil in 2009. It makes for very good reading and a lot of learning for those of us not "in the know" about national and international finance and the politics which go along with it. I recommend it for everyone.

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  • Posted January 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Boy, what a fraud!

    I did buy and read this book however because of the last several months and the fall of the "American Empire", I have found out that it is all due to Alan Greenspan. How can one speak openly and without malice when this person has caused so much heartbreak, dishonesty, down right fraud, hurt, greed, heartache, and you can go on forever. This man fed us to the lions. Maybe he should be made to pay back taxpayers for the damage he has caused.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2008

    When a technocrat pretends to be a philosopher

    Mr. Greenspan, with a very high self esteem and a perception of self importance, is undoubtedly one the major authorities in the workings of the Fed and the instruments of capitalist economy. There is much to learn in this book, including the close connections of those who shape the flow of wealth and those who are in the receiving end. Unfortunately, when Mr. Greenspan attempts to categorize the world from his economic perspective, he reduces the philosophical world and human purpose into two cardinal values: Wealth and Productivity. These two concepts constitute the prime directives of his newly found area of expertise. Thankfully, humanity has far many more colors than Mr. Greenspan's monochromatic world. It is between the lines, his relations with the industry, interactions with political and economic leaders around the world that one finds the intricate web of the so-called 'free' market economy that is always free for only a small fraction of the world's population. Mr. Greenspan reminds me of a computer geek, who after working for a very long time writing computer software for the healthcare industry had claimed to find the solution for all human diseases. Fortunately, human condition is far more complex, which often accounts for the upredictability of the 'markets'. Thankfully, our libraries are rich with philosophical dissertations that provide evidence to higher values of human aspiration, and consider many more values not considered in this simplistic world of Wealth and Productivity. There is much to learn from Mr. Greenspan's vast expertise in the management of capitalist instruments. On the other hand, he may find the world of philosophy far less predictable than the markets he attempted to tame over a quarter century. Hopefully, when he 'ventures' further into the realm of philosophy, Mr. Greenspan can discover the world beyond Ayn Rand and the richness of the ideas that still present a hope for the future of humanity. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to see the depth in unfettered free market capitalism.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2008

    A wealth of knowledge

    This book is both enlightening and educational.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    Age of Turbulance

    Alan Greenspan's Age of Turbulance is a great read from cover to cover. I knew that there would be much to learn from the book, but I did not think that it would be such an enjoyable read. I have read countless books and I can honestly say that this has been one of the best books I have ever read. Mr. Greenspan is truly a great writer. The beginning of the book reads like an autobiography into his personal life and early development as a businessman and scholar. The latter half of the book discusses not only economics, but many of the social and political events that have shaped the global economy over the last several decades. Again the book is a great read even to those that are not interested in economics or finance. I highly recommend Alan Greenspan's Age of Turbulance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2008

    Insight from one of the most influencial individuals of the last 20 years

    Alan Greenspan gives us a tour of his professional development in the first half of the book, while providing his philosophy of economic management/development in the second half. It is clear that he tends to lean toward laissez-faire economics (and he does provide convincing arguments and examples to back up his viewpoint). There are some interesting trends and insights to be gleaned from the book. One of them is the fact that growth in nonfarm business output/hr has averaged about 2 percent/yr for the last 135 years. This can be used as an approximation of how 'smart' the human race is (ie, how fast human beings innovate...). In the last chapter of the book, Mr.Greenspan gives a forecast of what the US economy may be like by 2030. Good overall reading for an understanding of macro economics.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2007

    A great and informative read!!!

    With a college minor in economics and a life spent as an employee of and/or consultant to government at all levels I was enchanted. Not only did I learn a lot, but found Greenspan's analysis very useful for understanding where we are economically and where we are likely to go. My one frustration was that politicians seem not to have learned anything from - or not to care about the benefits of - getting our fiscal house in order during the 1990s.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2007

    Amazing View of our Financial World

    Mr. Greenspan takes us on a entertaining tour of the financial events that have shaped our current economic reality. His view from the inside of the politicians around the world is fascinating. Far better reading than I ever imagined!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2007

    It's the Fed Chief!

    When Greenspan talks the business world listens. If you are interested in the economic world at all this is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2007

    Pulls No Punches

    Greenspan calls 'The Age of Turbulence' a 'psychoanalysis of himself.' It begins (first half) with his early life, describing the events that provided his learning experiences (including his desire to become a baseball player, then a jazz musician), and then goes to his life of implementing those lessons. Undoubtedly the most interesting material included Greenspan's evaluations of the Presidents he had worked with. His observations were not the platitudes one might have expected. 'Nixon was very smart, paranoid,' and was an equal-opportunity disparager of all ethnic groups. Ford was the most normal, and sometimes looked past politics to focus on the ethics of an issue. Reagan's ability to spout seemingless endless one-liners and stories was an 'odd form of intelligence,' according to Greenspan. Greenspan felt his relationship with Bush I was a disaster, with the President eventually blaming Greenspan for his losing the election to Clinton. Clinton, however, was most like a soul-mate to Greenspan - very intelligent, and one constantly working to soak up knowledge and understanding. Greenspan also labeled Clinton's '93 economic plan that focused on reducing the deficit as an 'act of political courage.' Finally, Greenspan's assessment of Bush II was that he was incurious about the effects of his own economic policy, and that Greenspan's biggest frustration with Bush II was his failure to veto any spending bills. Greenspan was told that Bush thought he could better control Speaker Hastert and Whip Delay by signing the spending bills they, however, were never reticent to spend more money to help assure more Republican congressmen. Greenspan also added that he disagreed with Bush II's supply-side economic thinking, and that his endorsement of 'A' tax cut during 2001 was just that - not an endorsement of Bush's plan. Another problem was that the plan had no adjustment mechanism in the event assumptions did not pan out and the deficit began to rear up again. On the other hand, Greenspan does not tell the whole story. According to Paul Krugman (New York Times, 9/17/07), he could have clarified himself a few weeks later when he appeared before a Senate committee on the same topic and evaded questions on whether the proposed tax cuts were too large. Two years later when more cuts were proposed, Greenspan did not object, and in 2004 he expressed support for making the Bush cuts permanent - accompanied by cuts in Social Security beneifts that he assured Congress in 2001 would not be threatened by the cuts. The most incendiary comment in the book was clearly Greenspan's conclusion that the Iraq War II was all about oil. However, Greenspan is now 'clarifying' his statement to Greenspan having told the White House that removing Saddam was 'essential' to secure world oil supplies, and now stating (Washington Post interview, 9/17/07) that securing global oil supplies was 'not the administration's motive.' Greenspan was initially elated when Bush II won, and brought in his old friends Cheney and Rumsfeld. However, he noted that 'they changed,' and that he did not agree with Cheney's 'deficit's don't matter.' There also seemed to be little value placed on rigorous economic policy debate or weighing long-term policy consequences - policy-making was firmly in the hands of White House staff (Rove, et al). A result was that Bush II's first two Treasury Secretaries (O-Neill, Snow) were essentially powerless. Summarizing, Greenspan saw the Republicans in '04 as having swapped principle for power, ending up with neither, and deserving to lose in '06. The 'good news' was that they did not try to interfere with monetary policy. Greenspan has come under increasing criticism himself for the current housing collapse and preceding bubble. His defense, in 'The Age of Turbulence,' was that the risk of broadening home ownership was worth the risk, that he didn't realize shady practices had grown so prevalent, and had tried raising mortg

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2007

    Surprisingly entertaining

    Who knew that a 500+ page memoir of an economist would be an entertaining read?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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