Alan Greenspan

“Stocks Could Go Higher — Or, They Could Go Lower” (Thanks a Lot)

Stock Market Non-Predictions, Over-Predictions, and Other Tricks of the Trade “Predictions are hard, especially about the future.” –Yogi Berra Apparently, there are two ways to be beat a polygraph (lie detector) test:  1) be a truly “cool cucumber,” who is absolutely non-reactive to every conceivable question; or 2) wildly overreact to every question, so that...
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Seeing Bubbles Everywhere

Fed Fall-Out — or, “Trying to Avoid Bubble Baths” Quick, which of the following is currently a bubble? A. Stocks B. Bonds C. Commodities D. Housing E. Commercial real estate F. Precious metals (gold, silver, etc. ) G. All of the above Answer:  hell if I know. And judging from what I read these days ....
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Why Alan Greenspan Can’t Retire

Why is This Man Still Collecting Speaking Fees? Why can’t Alan Greenspan retire? About to turn 85 next month, it’s not that he isn’t old enough. And, after all these years of lucrative consulting and speaking fees, it’s not exactly like he needs the money. So, why is Greenspan spending his time going around the...
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Jeremy Grantham, Animal Spirits, and "Bubble Business"

“Don’t Just Stand There — Buy Something!” Some people wait for a new episode of a favorite TV series (Seinfeld, The Sopranos). Others for a new album from a favorite artist. I look forward to Jeremy Grantham’s latest quarterly newsletter. Seriously. The man’s honest, brilliantly insightful — and a great writer, to boot: Greenspan was...
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"Psst! Mr. Greenspan!"

“Bubble,” Defined For the benefit of Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who professed an inability to identify a bubble before it popped, here is the clearest, most concise definition I’ve seen yet: Currency is like any financial innovation, an obligation secured by assets. When the obligation is perceived to have increased far beyond the...
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"The Biggest Loser"

Revisionist History As historians know full well, Presidential reputations sometimes take decades to settle out, experiencing ups and downs in the meantime. For example, Harry Truman left office in 1953 quite unpopular. Over time, though, his stock gradually rose as society came to appreciate — after the fact — his straight-talking populism, common sense, and...
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