Alan Greenspan on Drive-by Market Damage

A nice Alan Greenspan quote picked up by a WashPost reporter. Greenie think that as a former Fed Chair that when he says inflammatory things about the market it’s really just drive-by damage? Yeesh.

“There’s a general view out there that I have more influence than I know I have. I get accused of inducing market changes, really because I was standing next to the market when something else happens.”


  1. Hmm, doesn’t he have a point? That:
    [He says something] && [No market move] => no news story
    [He says something] && [Market move] => news story
    So there’s a media data-mining effect. How many stories are there which read “Alan Greenspan said X, and nothing happened?”

  2. It’s more complicated than that. Given Greenie’s historically opacity, his rare stabs at lucidity have almost always had a market impact (as the name of this blog memorializes). Read Woodward’s Maestro for examples of how the few times then-chair Al spoke plainly it was done in full awareness. Now, however, he quite clearly guns to say market-impacting things, ranging from China, debt, the dollar, U.S. markets, etc.
    The first few times he said it, post-gov, he wanted a market impact and he got one. Now, however, market participants are tiring of his constant “Look at me! I need a consulting gig!” outbursts, and fewer of his comments cause as much consternation.

  3. Actually he is already employed as a consultant by Pimco. Sounds like an ideal match. I also think to a great extent he was constrained in what he could say while at the post. He has mentioned this in an interview recently by I can’t recall where. His book should be interesting and shed some light on his real opinions.

  4. totally agree, it’s very amusing, you have greenie and pimco two of the most respected big time players in biz, “standing next to the market when something else happens”—ha these guys crack me up!, they know exactly what they’re doing, it is always interesting to watch, as long as you don’t get caught in the crossfire