Federal Reservations

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“I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant.” No one mixes words and a message like Alan Greenspan, the central banker turned cult figure. His bespectacled face may convey all the spark and enthusiasm of a basset hound after naptime, but there’s a reason four presidents have entrusted America’s multi-trillion dollar economy to him: Alan Greenspan is a Midas of monetary policy. The Mexican bailout of 95, the Asian contagion containment of 97, Y2K financial crisis that never was, each bears the imprint of the liquidity lover’s deft touch.

But with the economy showing no post-war pick up, some Fed watchers wonder if America can afford a fifth term for the Fed chair. All that glitters. Greenspan’s lifespan as Fed chair.


Bill Emmott, editor in chief, The Economist

Alan Murray, Washington bureau chief and anchor, CNBC

Michael Mandel, chief economist, Business Week