She Got Us Into This Mess, Can She Get Us Out?

"Restoration of normal bank lending will require a very large capital infusion from private or public sources."

Alan Greenspan (2009)

"It may be necessary to temporarily nationalize some banks in order to facilitate a swift and orderly restructuring."

Alan Greenspan (2009)

"To stabilize the American banking system and restore normal lending, additional TARP funds will be required."

Alan Greenspan (2009)

"...At one of the preliminary conferences leading to this week's summit on inflation, John Kenneth Galbraith looked over the 28 other economists who had gathered in the White House and quipped that the remedies for inflation would be about the same for 'Bolsheviks and the devoted supporters of Ayn Rand, if there are any present.' Then Alan Greenspan smiled and spoke up: 'There's at least one.'"

"They are appeasers, compromisers and pragmatists. They do not have one long-range idea."

Ayn Rand on American Businessmen (1974)

"They claim that their sole purpose is to serve the public, which is a vicious statement of altruism and collectivism. What they should say is that they're working for their own profit. And that incidentally, as a consequence, they are serving the public."

Ayn Rand on Oilmen (1974)

"...So there was. The new chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers is a longtime friend and disciple of Ayn Rand, the Russian-born author whose novels of rebellious achiever-heroes (We the Living, The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged) and nonfiction books have sold at least 12 million copies in 38 years. Greenspan, who is 48, makes no secret of his admiration for Rand, who is now a vigorous 69. His admiration extends to Rand's work and her philosophy of Objectivism, which she describes as advocating "reason, individualism and capitalism." It rejects altruism and embraces, says Rand, "rational selfishness." As John Galt, the hero of Atlas Shrugged, puts it at the climax of a 57-page speech that explains Objectivism: "I swear—by my life and my love of it—that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." Indeed, the title of one of Rand's nonfiction books is The Virtue of Selfishness. Rand does not like to be compared with earlier thinkers of any stripe, but her beliefs are not too far from the 18th century philosophers who held that if every man were out for himself, society would ultimately benefit. She has long been indignant over the consistent fire she has drawn from hostile critics, who view her as an impractical, closed-minded ideologue rather than a serious philosopher.

No Taxes. Ayn (as in "mine") Rand is openly pleased over her real-life achiever-hero's rise to the White House. She traveled from her midtown Manhattan apartment to Washington, D.C., this month to watch Greenspan's swearing-in, then was introduced to President Ford. "I'm very proud of Alan," she says. "His is a heroic undertaking."

Greenspan is the first known follower of Objectivism to be tapped for a major Government policy-making position. When the appointment was announced, critics wondered only half jokingly if Greenspan's rise would lead to Rand's becoming the Administration's primary behind-the-scenes economics adviser. That sort of speculation is dismissed by both Rand and Greenspan. He says he has little contact with Rand now, and even before the CEA job came, meetings were limited to dinners every month or so with her and her husband of 45 years, Artist Frank O'Connor. On these occasions, Greenspan adds, conversation is just "what old friends talk about." Suspending a policy of shunning press interviews, Rand told TIME'S Sarah Button: "I am a philosopher, not an economist. Alan doesn't seek my advice on these matters. He can tell me more than I can tell him, and knows more about the day-to-day events..."

Read more about Greenspan and his favorite author from the /30/1974 issue of Time.

"...Democrats want to use this crisis to move America toward the sort of Europeanized economy that runs counter to the freedom and entrepreneurial spirit of our people: To usher in an era of greater government control and micro-management of our economy.

It's an audacious scheme: Set off a series of regulatory blunders and congressional meddling, blame the free market for the financial crisis that follows - then use this excuse to impose a more intrusive state. Sounds like something right out of an Ayn Rand novel..."

Congressman Paul Ryan
"Our Founding Principles: The Conservative Roadmap for America's Future"
CPAC Keynote Address
February 26, 2009

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