Even A Blind Nut Finds A Squirrel

Yo Dr. Bil ontheborderline...

“Today, people are beginning to understand that the government’s account is overdrawn, that a piece of paper is not the equivalent of a gold coin, or an automobile, or a loaf of bread—and that if you attempt to falsify monetary values, you do not achieve abundance, you merely debase the currency and go bankrupt.”

Ayn Rand, “Moral Inflation,” The Ayn Rand Letter, vol. 3, no. 12, p. 1

Alan Greenspan, who, first as chairman of the Council of Economic Affairs and later as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of the US, was at the center of economic decision making for two decades right up to 2006 was a great admirer of Ayn Rand and a true believer in the philosophy she espoused in Atlas Shrugged.

"I became a regular at the weekly gatherings in her apartment," he says in his autobiography, The Age of Turbulence, and was captivated by her philosophy that "...individuals have innate nobility and that the highest duty of every individual is to flourish by realising his potential..." When Greenspan took his oath of office at the White House for his first public policy job as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, he had Ayn Rand standing beside him.

As chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, when confronted with a seemingly unending series of financial calamities - the bursting of the technology stock bubble, the 9/11 attacks, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan - Greenspan was steadfast in his belief in this laissez-faire philosophy, cut interest rates to rock bottom levels and kept it low for a long period.


Congressional testimony: Rep. Henry Wasman v. Alan Greenspan

REP. WAXMAN: The question I have for you is, you had an ideology, you had a belief that free, competitive -- and this is your statement -- "I do have an ideology. My judgment is that free, competitive markets are by far the unrivaled way to organize economies. We've tried regulation. None meaningfully worked." That was your quote.

You had the authority to prevent irresponsible lending practices that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. You were advised to do so by many others. And now our whole economy is paying its price.

Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?

GREENSPAN: ...[Y]es, I found a flaw. I don't know how significant or permanent it is, but I've been very distressed by that fact.

REP. WAXMAN: You found a flaw in the reality...

GREENSPAN: Flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works, so to speak.

REP. WAXMAN: In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working?

GREENSPAN: That is -- precisely. No, that's precisely the reason I was shocked, because I had been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.


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