segunda-feira, setembro 17, 2007


Do WSJ desta manhã,excertos do novo livro de Alan Greenspan ,ex-Presidente do FED

On his father, who left the family when Greenspan was small:

He always seemed to feel awkward talking to me, and it made me feel awkward, too.

On the author Ayn Rand:

I was intellectually limited until I met her.

On President George W. Bush:

For the five years we overlapped, [he] honored his commitment to the autonomy of the Fed... [He] remained tolerant of, if not receptive to, my criticism of his fiscal policy… The administration also took the Fed's advice on policies we thought were essential for the health of the financial markets [such as cracking down on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] … [even though] President Bush had very little to gain politically by supporting [such] a crackdown…

On Bush's refusal to veto Republican bills:

My greatest frustration remained [his] unwillingness to wield his veto … [A] senior White House official [said that] the president didn't want to challenge House Speaker Dennis Hastert. "He thinks he can control him better by not antagonizing him," the official said … To my mind, Bush's collaborate-don't-confront approach was a major mistake.

On former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker:

In conversation I always found him quite introverted and withdrawn… He was a bit of a mystery to me.

On former president Ronald Reagan:

Stored in his head must have been four hundred stories and one-liners; while most of them were humorous, he was able to tap them instantly to communicate politics or policy. It was an odd form of intelligence, and he used it to transform the country's self-image.

On former president George H.W. Bush:

The economy was his Achilles' heel, and as a result we ended up with a terrible relationship.

On Vice President Richard Cheney:

With his combination of intensity and sometimes sphinxlike calm, he'd shown extraordinary skill [as President Ford's chief of staff]. The camaraderie we built in those years following Watergate had not waned.

On former President Bill Clinton:

A fellow information hound [with] a consistent, disciplined focus on long-term economic growth. [His relationship with Monica Lewinsky] made me feel disappointed and sad.

On Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Undersecretary Lawrence Summers during the Mexico peso devaluation crisis:

We became economic foxhole buddies. I felt a mutual trust with Rubin that only deepened as time passed.

On wife Andrea Mitchell:

She always jokes that it took me three tries to propose to her … Actually I proposed five times.

On his testimony in January 2001, supporting tax cuts as long as the budget surplus continued:

I'd misjudged the emotions of the moment. We had just gone through a constitutional crisis over an election – which, I realized in hindsight, is not the best time to try to put across a nuanced position based on economic analysis. Yet I'd have given the same testimony if Al Gore had been president.

On beginning to raise rates in 2004:

Our hope was to raise mortgage rates to levels that would defuse the boom in housing, which by then was producing an unwelcome froth.

On subprime mortgages:

[T]he benefits of broadened home ownership are worth the risk. Protection of property rights, so critical to a market economy, requires a critical mass of owners to sustain political support.

On capitalism:

The great "problem" inherent in capitalism [is] that creative destruction is often, and by a great many, viewed simply as destruction… Capitalism creates a tug-of-war within each of us. We are alternately the aggressive entrepreneur and the couch potato, who subliminally prefers the lessened competitive stress of an economy where all participants have equal incomes.

On the tension in China between authoritarianism and capitalism:

The communist system is a pyramid in which power flows from the top … The system holds together because each official is beholden to the person directly above him…. However, if market pricing is substituted for any level of the pyramid, political control is lost. You cannot have both market pricing and political control… Today, President Hu appears to wield less political power than did Jiang Zemin, and he less than Deng Xiaoping… Without the political safety valve of the democratic process, I doubt the long-term success of such a regime.

On the current account deficit and the dollar:

It is easy to exaggerate the likelihood of a dollar collapse … I am far more inclined toward the more benign outcome.

On reluctantly accepting the Enron Prize from the James A. Baker Institute at Rice University in November 2001 as the scandal-plagued energy company tumbled towards bankruptcy:

I owed Jim Baker a great deal, so … I agreed to accept the award.

On corporate governance:

Corporate governance had morphed into a kind of authoritarianism… The CEO of a profitable corporation today is given vast powers by the board of directors he essentially appoints.

----Emily Steel

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