G-SPAN: Channeling Alan Greenspan

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In recognition of the Federal Reserve Board’s much-anticipated meeting, we present the lineup of the proposed All-Federal-Reserve-Chairman Channel:

Tuesday, Aug. 24, 1999

06:30 a.m. — Federal Reserve Board Open Markets Committee Meeting  Preview: Discussion of today’s much-anticipated session. Will Alan Greenspan lower interest rates yet again? All humankind waits breathlessly.

06:50 a.m. (approx.) — Continuous G-SPAN shower and breakfast coverage from outside the chairman’s house.

08:00 a.m. — Agenda: Press briefing on the chairman’s meeting, phone call, coffee and bathroom schedule for the day. Immediate futures market analysis from London and Frankfurt.

09:00 a.m. — MugWatch: Recap of chairman’s facial expressions during the previous week. Comparisons to previous pre-FROMC smile-to-grimace-to-frown ratios and their correlations to interest rate moves. Guest: Dr. Alan Tch, Johns Hopkins neuropsychology department.

09:30 a.m. — Rate-day coverage begins with the full G-SPAN team reporting from the New York Stock Exchange floor: Sandy Walsh (mood), Dan Haskins (sentiment), Alicia Geller (feeling), Bill Lupin (flavor).

11:00 a.m. — ChartWatch: G-SPAN’s Anna Maria the Omniscient reports on the state of the chairman’s moon in Saturn. Viewer call-in.

Note: All below programming subject to pre-emption for the rate announcement and total blitzkrieg-like worldwide market fallout.

12:15 p.m.
— G-SPAN Fed Watch: The Chairman’s Lunch. Correspondent Bradley Yeldarb orders “what the Big Guy’s having” from the Fed’s catering service and reports on its likely emoto-digestive consequences.

12:30 p.m. — The Chairman’s Lunch — Wall Street Responds: Live 45-person fiber-optic minicam microwave-satellite team coverage from all over the place.

01:00 p.m. — Leading Indicators: French or regular? Historical impact of the chairman’s choice of cuffs on the discount rate. Panelists: Barbara Whoom (Smith Barney), Paul Miller (Bear Stearns), Stanley Groute (Bergdorf Goodman).

02:00 p.m. — Ongoing rate-day coverage of traders waiting, guessing, floating rumors, cursing, waiting.

03:30 p.m. — G-SPAN LifeStyles: Today, hair care extraordinaire. The chair shares where, for fear of glare, he dares not Nair. Aware his hair is debonair, he wears it with a rare, square flair. Later: Tony Blair eats Comice pears with aged Gruyere — c’est savoir faire.

04:00 p.m. — Closing bell.

04:05 p.m. — Speech: President Clinton unveils major new fiscal policy initiative. (Tape delayed from 10:00 a.m.)

04:15 p.m. — Complete in-depth G-SPAN analysis of the president’s policy and its probable effect on finance and the economy.

04:17 p.m. — Complete in-depth analysis of the chairman’s new WaterPik and its probable effect on finance and the economy.

07:30 p.m. — Andrea Mitchell reads inspirational selections from
The Fountainhead (prerecorded).

08:00 p.m. — The Alan Greenspan Personal Phone Call Hour.

09:00 p.m. — Decision 2006: Will A.G. be reappointed to the Fed board when his current 14-year term is up? Possible candidates for the presidential race of 2004 speak out on this pressing issue.

10:00 p.m. — Laffer Riot: Hilarious outtakes from the chairman’s mid-1990s congressional testimony. Tonight’s nutty bloopers: A.G. coughs for several consecutive seconds, effectively splitting an infinitive; mistakenly addresses Senate Finance Committee member Don Nickles, R-Okla., as “congressman;” projects only 1.9 percent GDP growth for Calendar 1996.

11:40 p.m. (approx.) — SleepWatch: Overnight G-SPAN BedCam coverage. Closed-captioned vital signs. Satellite remotes from Nikkei and Hang Seng as REM events warrant.

Steve Bodow is a New York freelance writer. This piece originally appeared on Slate.