Potter-esque Crack For Bald Brokers

Alan Greenspan’s much-anticipated memoirs, entitled “The Age of Turbulence”, hit bookshelves last week. The fanfare surrounding the novel was amazing, with people in some areas of the country queuing for hours in much the same way they would for a new Harry Potter novel. Outside of the Wall Street Barnes & Noble, approximately 400 middle-aged, balding stockbrokers gathered. While some donned thick glasses and wore suits covered in dollar bills, others argued feverishly about the merits of a published inflation target. Reporting was difficult, however, as the crowd quickly became reticent when the media entered the area.
Even more surprising than the novel’s release celebrations were its no-holds-barred commentaries on subjects ranging from the Iraq war to which Federal Reserve Governors refused to shower after squash games. Many readers might even forget that Greenspan is, in fact, a Republican with the way he heaped praise upon the Clinton administration and reserved some of his deepest criticisms reserved for George W. Bush.
Chairman Greenspan recalled disliking President Bush from the first time they met in 1986 in this exerpt:
It was a White House Christmas party… Vice President, at the time, George H.W. Bush wanted to introduce me to his son. I didn’t think too highly of the kid right off the bat. It might have been that he was unable to understand certain basic economic principles that anyone with a Harvard MBA should have no troubles grasping. Then again, it might have been that, toward the end of the night, I noticed him running around naked with a lampshade over his head. First impressions are always difficult to discern.
Not to be outdone by modern day shock-jocks, Greenspan showed his salacious side when he discussed his courtship of and marriage to NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell. Apparently, despite the twenty-year age difference between the two, they had chemistry from the first time they met:
She was interviewing me about the impending Mexican currency crisis. After the cameraman packed up his things and left, we found ourselves alone in my office at the Bank. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Then she casually told me that she hoped the bailout was going to be “enormous.” I then said that it would probably be “too big” for her to handle. The rest is pretty much history.
The statement in the book that is shaping up to be the most contentious is Greenspan’s notion that the Iraq war is “largely about oil.” Almost every Republican, up to and including the President, quickly sought to rebut Chairman Greenspan’s views on that subject. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in an ABC interview that he disagreed with the comment that oil was “a leading motivating factor in the war… [It was about] stability in the Gulf.” However, Greenspan countered that, “there are bad people all over the world, from Asia to Africa, yet the United States does very little to ensure stability anywhere but in the Middle East. The war may have been to stop the threat of a rouge state, but it was the threat of a rouge state that gained its power through oil.”
With Alan Greenspan being one of the most influential and trusted political leaders of this generation, his memoirs are sure to leave a mark on the political scene in Washington and beyond. As Greenspan himself put it in one of his more laid back book tour interviews, “I have pissed in the snow, and it’s only the beginning of winter.”



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