Rating

8

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Eye Opening
  • Background

Recommendation

In this powerful, disturbing book, author Ravi Batra criticizes financial icon Alan Greenspan’s 14-year stint as chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Greenspan steadily promoted his own ambitions and agenda, getting pretty much what he wanted in the secretive world of the Fed. The author says Greenspan often calculatedly used deceptive, incomprehensible language to hide his intentions and goals. Though this book uses much clearer language, it necessarily meanders, since understanding why Greenspan hid his motives and how he sold his policies requires a crash course in advanced economics, the Fed, politics and history. Greenspan is an ideologue whose long history is intertwined with complex economic theories. Batra tries to untangle enough of the U.S. economy’s inner workings to prove his contention that Greenspan perpetrated a national intellectual fraud. Even absent a smoking gun, Batra is clear on who he thinks wears the black hat. When he discusses the deficit and the failure to secure Social Security, he doles out plenty of blame for Greenspan to share with both political parties, Congress and a handful of presidents. getAbstract suggests this exposé to corporate treasurers, economists, business strategists, CEOs and financial reporters. Batra says that Greenspan’s policies have left future generations with a drastically changed world, and yet, most folks will have no idea what hit them.

Summary

Alan the Great

During Alan Greenspan’s 14 years as the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, under five presidents, the media called him the world’s greatest economist, the most powerful man in Washington and the stabilizer of the world economy. Yet his controversial economic policies threatened basic American values and benefited global corporations. Under his reign, U.S. manufacturing nearly evaporated, the national debt grew to more than a half-trillion dollars, the living standard of the middle class suffered and the U.S. lost two million jobs. With results like these, how did he become so powerful?

Alan Greenspan was born on March 6, 1926, in New York City. Before he became involved at the highest levels of politics, he was an economic forecaster and adviser. He owned the consulting firm Townsend-Greenspan and served on the boards of Alcoa, Morgan Guaranty, Mobil Oil and General Foods. Greenspan entered the public sphere in 1968, when he joined President Richard Nixon’s economic team. Although Greenspan lacked a Ph.D. in economics, President Gerald Ford made him chair of the Council of Economic Advisors in 1974. During this time, inflation, unemployment ...

About the Author

Ravi Batra has written six international bestsellers, including The Great Depression of 1990. He is a professor of Economics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.


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