The Federal Reserve has released some new transcripts of its deliberations dating back to the dying days of the technology bubble. It is great reading, especially in early 2000 when the excesses of the bubble days finally began to unwind.
So, let’s turn the way-back machine to March of 2000. The tech bubble is bursting. What was the Fed’s view of the dire economic events of the day? Read on for the important announcement with which Greenspan opened the March 21st FOMC meeting:
CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. Before we turn to our regular agenda, I want to mention that today is Ed Boehne’s last meeting. He has been attending these meetings for many years; in fact, none of us has sat at this table without seeing Ed sitting in his chair. …If there is some way that we could perhaps buy him off not to write a book, it might be an appropriate use of funds! …
MR. BOEHNE. Thank you. [Applause]
MR. MCTEER. We need to get that chair reupholstered!
[Update] In the November of 1999 transcript Mssr Greenspan coins a new phrase, alongside his previous hits “irrational exuberance” and “infectious greed”. He calls the ongoing melt-up of the economy and tech stocks an “unbalanced expansion”. Nicely done, Alan.