The Age of Turbulence: Adventures In A New World

Alan Greenspan

I started thinking about what was to become “The Age of Turbulence” two years ago. My nearly two decades as Federal Reserve Chairman were coming to an end - a remarkable experience. After a lifetime observing how the world works as a business economist on Wall Street, it was exhilarating to be at the center of international monetary policymaking. Sure, I’d been President Ford’s White House economic advisor in the mid-1970s, but nothing fully prepared me for what I faced when President Reagan nominated me Fed Chairman in June 1987. So, in the waning months of my Fed tenure, I started getting excited about having time to stand back and think about all I’d been through – the frightening stock market crash of 1987, the boom of the 1990s, the trauma of 9/11, the climactic end of the Cold War, all told, a cascade of events propelling a new world forward at warp speed.

There was also a personal story to tell. I’d known every president from Richard Nixon to Reagan, Ford, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. And what about all those other assorted characters from my childhood in New York, my years as a jazz musician, my complete career switch to economics – and my friendship with Ayn Rand? I wanted to make the leap from writing economic analysis to writing in the first person about what I’d experienced. And after years of talking “Fedspeak” in carefully calibrated congressional testimony – I could finally use my own voice!

As I wrote “The Age of Turbulence,” I tackled the personal part first, but then started unraveling the detective story about the economy: what did all the economic shifts we began to detect in the late nineties mean? At the Fed, I had at first focused primarily on monetary policy – interest rates and the forces that determined their appropriate levels. But as the years rolled on, it became increasingly clear to me that we needed to understand an entirely new range of factors to implement policy effectively. I had had inklings of this new world, of course, but as I raced from one policy meeting to another, I never had time to sit back and think about all this. Was this a permanent change or just another technological evolution that would, with time, come to an end? Would the growing income inequality that seemed to be associated with this new paradigm create a backlash to the forces of globalization? And wasn’t this a dangerous trend for our democracy?

My term as Federal Reserve Chairman ended at midnight, January 31, 2006. The following morning, I started to write. You would think after all those years at the Fed and my earlier decades as an economist that I would have learned about as much as I could. But halfway through the book I realized that the story was leading me in surprising directions. I needed to refocus much of what I had written in my original drafts.

The final chapter was to forecast how I thought the world would work in the year 2030. But until I spent a year researching and writing and thinking about “The Age of Turbulence,” I had little idea how it would turn out. In fact, I was having so much fun rethinking some of my earlier assumptions, I was as anxious to read it as I hope my readers will be. In the end, I can confidently say writing that final chapter brought me—and the book—closure. It is not the grand finale of Beethoven’s Ninth, but for me, it hit the right chord.

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Greenspan's Fraud: How Two Decades of His Policies Have Undermined the Global Economy

The Two Faces Of Alan Greenspan

October 19, 1987, is known as Black Monday, the day the New York Stock Exchange suffered the worst crash in history, with a banf that echoed around the world. The Dow Jones Index (the Dow in short) then sank 22.6 percent, almost double the single-day drop in the motorious crash of 1929. From toronto to Tokyo. London to Sydney, Buenos Aires to Brasilia, share markets shed tears, mourning the demise of the Dow. Wall Street and investors across the globe agonized over a bleak future. They had been caught off guard, because no financial wizard had foreseen the debacle. But in one of financial history’s biggest ironies, Black Monday launched thebrilliant future of someone named Alan Greenspan It propelled him into glory and celebrity, giving him unprecedented influence over the global economy.

Barely two months before the disaster of dow, with large bipartisan support, Greenspan had been appointed the chairman of the Federal Reserve (the Fed in short), a coterie of 12 regional banks that control the levers of money supply in the United States. He came with no banking experience; his credentials as an econmist were considered by some to be mediocre, but he had foresight and business acumen that few can develop from their scholarship alone. He had not done any path-breaking work in economics, at least none that was commonly cited. Yet he was savvy enough to know when to open and shut the money pump that lubricates financial markets. He had made his marks through business forecasting, which had brought him close to big firms on wall street.

See Other Pages of Greenspan's Fraud: How Two Decades of His Policies Have Undermined the Global Economy (Hardcover)

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O.J. Simpson To Sleep In Jail Tonight

Following investigation into an alleged armed robbery by O.J. Simpson, at a hotel in Las Vegas, the police arrested Simpson today.

While information on what he is being charged for are still streaming in, Las Vegas Police Capt. James Dillon said that Simpson could face felony charges including robbery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary with a firearm.

Simpson was arrested at his room in the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, the source said.

On Saturday, Las Vegas police arrested Walter Alexander and seized two guns in connection with the alleged armed robbery, the source said.

"I don't know why they arrested him," Simpson said Sunday, before his own arrest. "I've stayed in contact with the police, and the truth will come out."

Simpson already had been questioned during the investigation into several items of sports memorabilia that were taken from collectors at a room in the Palace Station Hotel and Casino. Simpson has said the items belonged to him.

Alexander was arrested Saturday night and charged with two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery with a deadly weapon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, the source said.

Alexander, a Nevada resident, was arrested on his way to McCarran International Airport, the source said.

During searches Saturday, police recovered two guns they say were used in the alleged robbery, the source said.

Simpson, 60, acknowledged that he entered a man's room with a group of friends, one of whom was posing as a potential buyer, after being tipped off that some of his personal items were for sale there.

Among the items were things he hadn't seen in years or that had been stolen, he said. They included photographs of his family and himself as a child, and photographs and negatives taken by his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

Simpson said friends helped him carry the items from the room, but no guns were involved and the incident was not a robbery. VideoWatch a report on the latest developments in the probe »

On Saturday, Simpson said that he and one of the alleged victims, Alfred Beardsley, spoke on the telephone with each other and agreed the incident had been blown out of proportion.

Beardsley confirmed the conversation to celebrity Web site, saying Simpson apologized to him and told him he regretted the incident. The other alleged victim, Bruce Fromong, a sports memorabilia collector, said that two of the men accompanying Simpson pointed guns at the other occupants of the room in what he described as "a home invasion-type robbery." Watch Fromong talk about what happenedVideo

Fromong testified for Simpson's defense in the 1997 wrongful death trial stemming from a lawsuit filed by the family of Ron Goldman, who was killed in 1994 alongside Simpson's ex-wife.

Simpson was acquitted of the murders in 1995, but the jury in the 1997 civil trial found him liable and awarded the Goldmans $33.5 million for their son's wrongful death.

Fromong testified that prices for Simpson memorabilia had dropped substantially since the 1995 verdict. His testimony was part of the defense's contention that Simpson could not afford to pay the Goldmans. Also on Friday, Thomas Riccio, a former business associate of Simpson, told KVVU television in Las Vegas that he told Simpson about the sale.

Riccio said someone told him last month that he wanted to auction some of Simpson's possessions by placing them on consignment. Riccio added that when he called Simpson to tell him about the planned sale, the former athlete told him the items had been stolen.

Riccio said that as he was being shown the items in the hotel room, Simpson entered the room and seized the items. He said there was no break-in and no gun was used.

Simpson's ex-wife and Goldman -- a waiter who had gone to her Los Angeles, California, home to return a pair of glasses -- were fatally stabbed outside her townhouse June 12, 1994. A jury found Simpson not guilty of the crimes.

Simpson recently wrote a book originally titled "If I Did It" and planned to publish it himself, but a public outcry led to the cancellation of his book deal. A bankruptcy judge subsequently awarded the Goldmans the rights to the book in light of their inability to collect the wrongful death award.

They retitled the book "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer ," which is in bookstores.

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