Alan Greenspan

Topics: Monetary policy, Federal Reserve System, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Pages: 5 (1787 words) Published: April 30, 2001
Alan Greenspan Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, has always fascinated the financial community. Whatever he says can make or break the markets. He is a highly educated economist with many years of experience. People seek for his advice and obey his judgments. His proclamations are repeated and expounded upon. Greenspan is loved, feared, and never ever questioned. As a result of being a strong chairman of the Fed, he has made a difference the U.S. economy through his way of dealing with inflation. Also, the presidency no longer counterbalances or even criticizes the Fed. First of all, we will consider his background. Alan Greenspan was born on March 6, 1926, in New York City. He received a B.S. in economics in 1948, an M.A. in economics in 1950, and a Ph.D. in economics in 1977, all from New York University. Also, Dr. Greenspan also has performed advanced graduate study at Columbia University (Board of Governors par. 2) He taught economics at New York University from 1953 to 1955 and formed a consulting firm in 1954 called Townsend-Greenspan & Co., Inc. Dr. Greenspan has received many honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Pennsylvania, Leuven (Belgium), Notre Dame, Wake Forest, and Colgate universities. Furthermore, he has received numerous awards such as the Thomas Jefferson Award for the Greatest Public Service Performed by an elected or appointed official in1976, and election as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, in1989 (Board of Governors par. 9) The novelist Ayn Rand influenced Dr. Greenspan. He was deeply influenced by her philosophy of objectivism, which exalts laissez-faire capitalism and promotes "rational selfishness," the belief that people should live for their own rational self interest. At Rand's insistence, he became an adviser to Richard Nixon during the 1968 presidential campaign. He advised President Nixon informally until he was made chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in 1974 under President Ford. He served during the Ford Administration from 1974 to 1977. During this time, his policies were credited with reducing inflation but leading to recession and may have contributed to Ford's defeat for reelection (Encarta par 1). From 1981 to 1983 he served as Chairman of the National Commission on Social Security Reform. Other previous presidential appointments include the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Commission of Financial Structure and Regulation, the Commission on Financial Structure and Regulation, the Commission of an All-Volunteer Armed Force, and the Task Force on Economic Growth (Board of Governors par. 5). Dr. Greenspan has served in many corporate and noncorporte positions. In recent years he has served as a Corporate Director for Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa); Automatic Data Processing, Inc.; General Foods, Inc.; J.P. Morgan & Co., Inc.; Mobil Corporation; and The Pittston Company. Some of his noncorporate positions include Member of the Board of Trustees, The Rand Corporation; Director, Institute for International Economics; Member of the Board of Overseers; and Vice Chairman and Trustee, Economic Club of New York (Board of Governors par. 6,7). There are a few interesting facts about his personal life and personality. He was a newlywed at the age of 71, some 44 years after his first marriage was annulled. He was a musician in the 1940s before turning to a life of number crunching. Although he is an admirer of technology, he drafts his speeches in longhand. In addition, he is famous for not speaking at parties. One hostess observed that he would nod a lot and at the end of the night people say, "Wow! That man is brilliant," even though he had never said anything (Chait 22). In fact, one congressman's wife observed him at a party and in 35 minutes of chatter, he had only spoken 22 words. Most of the words were directed towards the person serving the hors d'oeuvers. However, he still managed to leave a good impression because the...

Bibliography: Works Cited Chait, Jonathan, Glass Stephen. "Praised be Greenspan." The New Republic 30 Mar 1998: 19-20+. Church, George J. "Alan Greenspan." Time 29 Dec 1997 – 5 Jan 1998: 97. Goldman, M Corey. "Fed lifts benchmark rates." Cnnfn The Financial Network . Members of the Board of Governors. Alan Greenspan, Chairman. . Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99. Alan Greenspan. Microsoft Corporation. 1993-1998.
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