Greenspan’s Iron Law is that the sum of these two numbers is approximately constant, at least for the last half-century in the United States. That is a pretty fraught claim: it means that every time the United States adds a billion dollars to Social Security benefits or Medicare payments or unemployment insurance outlays we are forcing a billion-dollar reduction in family saving or in the retained earnings of business, or an increase in government deficits, or some combination of these. ... So what is the evidence for it? Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Solow finds Alan Greenspan's latest book to be ideologically driven and embarrassing, a pity for someone who, Solow writes, was, when looking at his whole tenure, a very good chairman of the Fed.
Philip Pilkington writes for naked capitalism: The Origins of Neoliberalism Part I: Hayek's Delusion
Hayek’s entire ideology and career had begun to come apart in the 1930s. His theories were shown to be inconsistent in the academic journals of the time and the practical implications of those theories had shown themselves to be both discredited and dangerous. A man in such a position only has two choices: he can either completely re-evaluate his ideas which, if they were held with unshakeable conviction and constituted a core component of his emotional make-up, as seems to have been the case with Hayek, would have likely resulted in a mental collapse; or, alternatively, he can engage in a massive repression, shut out reality and construct around himself a fantasy world.[more inside]
Was the housing bubble caused by very low long-term fixed-rate mortgages? Or was is due to a national, get-rich-quick obsession? Or Did Christianity Cause the Crash? [more inside]
There are still some smart people left on Wall St. Hedge fund manager, John Paulson, made a cool $15B for his fund as the housing market imploded. His cut? $3-4B. Not too shabby for a year's worth of work. [more inside]
Federal Reserve Fan Fiction via the XKCD blog.
The White House nominates Ben Bernanke to replace Alan Greenspan. Works at Princenton, got his doctorate at MIT, currently has several economic related papers out. Apparently actually has a job relating to economics, and wants to drop dollar bills out of a helicopter Well, cut taxes if we enter a deflationary period -- which is just as sexy.
Alan Greenspan Takes A Bath : a profile of Greenspan
Greenspan on oil (speaking to the the National Italian American Foundation, which De Niro would never do :) "We will begin the transition to the next major sources of energy perhaps before midcentury as production from conventional oil reservoirs, according to central tendency scenarios of the Energy Information Administration, is projected to peak." And just to make it political, here's a chart relating presidential approval ratings to gas prices!
Language started with emotional signaling. That's the thesis of a new book, The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, And Intelligence Evolved From Our Primate Ancestors To Modern Humans, by Stanley I. Greenspan and Stuart G. Shanker.
Lived emotional experience is key to language learning, the authors suggest. "Mathematicians and physicists may manipulate abstruse symbols representing space, time, and quantity, but they first understood those entities as tiny children wanting a far-away toy, or waiting for juice, or counting cookies. The grown-up genius, like the adventurous child, forms ideas through playful explorations in the imagination, only later translated into the rigor of mathematics."The book is very ambitious, and I don't think we'll ever know where language came from, but this sounds like a more fruitful line of thinking than Chomsky's deus ex machina "language gene" mutation.
Demography is destiny Alan Greespan in Senate testimony discusses the implications of an aging population. While the US is getting older, other countries are relatively young. Can immigration and technology provide, as Greenspan says, a "potent antidote for slowing growth in the working-age population," or are such projections academic?
Someone we trust says something reassuring. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, arguably the most powerful man in the world, blames "infectious greed" for the recent panic-like tail-spins on Wall Street, but says that the economy is on the way to recovery. One comment held that Greenspan was finally able to let out how he feels about what's going on, without shrouding his opinion in economic jibber-jabber.
"For once he really spoke his mind. He usually tends to obfuscate things quite a bit."But really, how many of you expected Greenspan to say anything other than "the fundamentals are in place for a return to sustained healthy growth"? Does Greenspan actually feel this way? Could it be that he is actually majorly pessimistic, but is using his soothing sweet-song voice and obvious clout and earned respect to somehow buck recent trends? Bush's speech didn't do much for our faltering economy, but will Greenspan's? Can one man's mere words possibly change the course of history? Well?
Alan Greenspan -- Dance Band Musician When thinking of the best way to approach the new economy, we wait patiently for the magical words of Alan Greenspan. I don't think we expect to hear "and a one, and a two....."
All Your Basis Given all the special interest in what Greenspan may or may not do, this meme mutation was inevitable.
GWB sure seems happy. Wonder what Greenspan is thinking. Warning: not suitable for under 18.