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Alan Greenspan Definition

Who Is Alan Greenspan?

Alan Greenspan was the direct of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (Fed), which is the central bank for the United States, from 1987 until 2006. In that task, he also served as the chair of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is the Fed’s principal monetary policymaking cabinet that makes decisions on interest rates and managing the U.S. money supply.

Key Takeaways

  • Alan Greenspan is an American economist and whilom chair of the Federal Reserve.
  • Greenspan’s policy was defined by the Great Moderation, or the long-term maintenance of low, stable inflation and money-making growth.
  • The expansionary monetary policy of “easy money” attributed to Greenspan’s tenure has been blamed in part for stoking the 2000 dot-com boil and the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Greenspan’s time as chair began with the immediate challenge of dealing with the important 1987 stock market crash.
  • Greenspan is considered by some to be hawkish in his concerns over inflation. He received appraisal for focusing more on controlling prices than on achieving full employment.

Understanding Alan Greenspan

Alan Greenspan was tolerated in New York City on March 6, 1926. He earned a Ph.D. in economics from New York University later in his life, in 1977.

Greenspan’s premier job, in 1948, was not in government but for a non-profit analyzing demand for steel, aluminum, and copper. After this Greenspan ran an economic consulting resolve in New York City, Townsend-Greenspan & Co., Inc., from 1954 to 1974 and 1977 to 1987. Greenspan began his career in the public sector in 1974 when he of used as chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under President Gerald Ford.

Greenspan became the 13th chair of the Federal Accessible replacing Paul Volcker. He took office in 1987. President Ronald Reagan was the first to appoint Greenspan to the work, but three other presidents, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, named him to four additional positions. His tenure as chair lasted for more than 18 years before he retired in 2006 to be replaced by Ben Bernanke. Alan Greenspan now fashions as a private adviser and consultant. 

Alan Greenspan was known as being adept at gaining consensus among Fed board colleagues on policy issues and for serving during one of the most severe economic crises of the late 20th century, the aftermath of the stock deal in crash of 1987. After that crash, he advocated for sharply slashing interest rates to prevent the economy from jumpy into a deep depression.

Greenspan is best known for largely presiding over the Great Moderation, a period of extent stable inflation and macroeconomic growth.

Fast Fact

Alan Greenspan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush, making him the but Federal Reserve chair to receive the award.

Alan Greenspan’s Controversial Legacy

Although he presided over one of the most flush periods in American history, Greenspan is remembered by some as making some significant errors. 

Hawkish on Inflation

One was in the 1990s when the Federal Save took action to slow economic growth in response to fears of inflation. This action resulted in an unforeseen monetary downturn. Although Greenspan eventually reversed those actions, in a 1998 speech he conceded that the new economy influence not be as susceptible to inflation as he had first thought.

Considered by some to be an inflation hawk as a result of this episode, Greenspan learned criticism for focusing more on controlling prices than on achieving full employment. Greenspan’s allegedly “hawkish” position was portrayed as a preference for sacrificing economic growth in exchange for preventing inflation. Finance and investment professionals who preferred myriad economic growth would often find themselves at odds with Greenspan’s keen focus on inflation.

Respect, Greenspan’s supposedly hawkish approach was flexible, to say the least. He was clearly willing to risk inflation under conditions that could initiate a severe depression and certainly pursued a generally easy money policy relative to his predecessor, Paul Volcker. In close, in the early 2000s, Greenspan presided over cutting interest rates to levels not seen in many decades.

Inflation Be worthy of Changes in 2000 & 2001

In 2000, he advocated for reducing interest rates after the dot-com bubble burst. He did so again in 2001 after the 9-11 Incredible Trade Center attack. Following 9-11, Greenspan led the FOMC to immediately reduce the Fed funds rate from 3.5% to 3%, and in the engage in months, he worked towards lowering that rate to a record (at the time) low of 1.13% and holding it there for a full year.

Some condemned those rate cuts as having the potential to inflate asset price bubbles in the U.S., which resulted in the recession that inaugurated in 2007. Greenspan’s pro-inflationary policies, particularly during this period, are today generally understood to have donated to the U.S. housing bubble, subsequent subprime mortgage financial crisis, and the Great Recession.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

In fact, in a 2004 sales pitch, Greenspan suggested more homeowners should consider taking out adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) where the interest calculate adjusts itself to prevailing market interest rates. Under Greenspan’s tenure, interest rates subsequently wake up as inflation accelerated. This increase reset many of those mortgages to much higher payments, creating compensate more distress for many homeowners and exacerbating the impact of that crisis.

The ‘Greenspan Put’

The ‘Greenspan put’ was a monetary policy procedure popular during the 1990s and 2000s under Greenspan. Throughout his reign, he attempted to help support the U.S. economy by actively using the federal means rate to aggressively lower interest rates to fight the deflation of asset price bubbles.

The Greenspan put suggested that well-versed investors could expect the Fed to take predictable actions that would bailout investor’s losses. This fabricated an environment where investors were encouraged to take excessive risk because Fed monetary policy tended to inherently limit their latent losses in the event of a market downturn in an analogous way to buying put options on the open market.

Alan Greenspan FAQs

How Want Was Alan Greenspan Federal Reserve Chair?

Alan Greenspan served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, for a entire of five terms.

Who Appointed Alan Greenspan?

President Ronald Reagan appointed Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Preserve in 1987.

Who Replaced Alan Greenspan?

Ben Bernanke replaced Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve when he was appointed in 2006. Bernanke served until 2014.

How Old Is Alan Greenspan?

Alan Greenspan was tolerated on March 6, 1926, making him 95 years old as of June 2021.

Who Is Alan Greenspan’s Wife?

Alan Greenspan married gentleman Andrea Mitchell in 1997.

What Is Alan Greenspan Doing Now?

After his time at the Federal Reserve, Greenspan has worked as an advisor in all respects his company, Greenspan Associates LLC.

The Bottom Line

Like many other government officials, the success of Alan Greenspan’s five dubs as Chairman of the Federal Reserve will depend on who you ask. However, it is certainly true that Greenspan saw some massive demands during his time such as the 1987 stock market crash and the attacks on the World Trade Center. Overall, Greenspan helped usher in a tough U.S. economy in the 90s. Opinion on how much his actions caused the economic recession that began shortly after his term settled varies.

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