Alan Greenspan was once extolled as a "maestro" for his seemingly uncanny talent in leading markets like an orchestra. As chairman of the Federal Reserve for two decades, he largely elevated it above politics and presided over the metamorphosis of finance from the post-war rigid system to the relatively unfettered global leviathan of the past quarter century. He retired in 2006, and two years later the music stopped—as the world faced the abyss of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. How could the man who embodied the mysterious nexus of political and economic power not have foreseen the impending doom? Could he have stemmed the market’s irrational exuberance? Sebastian Mallaby sheds unprecedented light on Greenspan’s paradoxical persona and discusses the lessons learned to avoid another meltdown.
Sebastian Mallaby’s new book The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan will be available for sale and signing from The Book Cellar.