With the release of a new book, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is taking a new opportunity to put his own tenure in perspective. As the chief central banker who preceded Chairman Ben Bernanke, Greenspan served from 1987 to 2006. At age 87, he continues to field questions about how he failed to spot the housing bubble, which would burst and send the economy into the worst downturn since the Great Depression. In one interview, Greenspan defends his leadership by saying, "Our record was fairly good."
Publication of his book "The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting" also has prompted a fresh wave of criticism. In a sharply worded review titled "Alan Greenspan still thinks he’s right," Steven Pearlstein of The Washington Post writes, "Much of 'The Map and the Territory' is taken up with rambling and disjointed observations, full of straw men and nonsequiturs."
On Bloomberg TV, Greenspan said to an interviewer, "I was doing the best I can. The arguments, some of which are quite accurate, is I missed certain forecasts. I don't apologize for that, do you?" He goes on to say, "To apologize for not being Superman, I just refuse to do that because it never entered my mind." In an interview with the Associated Press, Greenspan insists that looking back, he wouldn't have done anything differently. He does concede having made mistakes.
Publication of the Greenspan book comes at the end of the Bernanke era and in anticipation of the leadership of Janet Yellen, nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next Fed chair.
How do you think Greenspan did as Fed chair?
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