I like Alan Greenspan, despite writing a critical article about him. It is hard not to admire the guy. He has this avuncular quality about him, he is kind of like your uncle who is super smart, kind and buys you a bicycle on Hanukkah. I’ve been reading his book and I can safely say it is one of the best books on economics I’ve read since Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell.
In the efforts to promote his book, avuncular Al is everywhere. I’ve been told (I don’t have a TV at home) that it is hard to turn on a TV and not see his friendly face at least couple times a day. What has really surprised me is how quickly he learned to speak plain and understandable English. This time around he did not hide behind suprevilosly exorbulant (Ok, I made those two words up) vocabulary. I’ve seen him on CNBC (I have a TV at work) and for the first time in years I did not have to reach out for a dictionary. Also, suddenly he is bearish on the US housing market. The one that (if I understood him right) before was a non issue. In fact now he sounds like a voice of reason. Yes, we got problems!
The lesson here – it is almost pointless listening to a Fed chair while he is on the job because he cannot say what he really thinks as the consequences of that are too high.