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8 Surprising Facts About Alan Greenspan

By    |   Friday, 10 July 2015 03:58 PM

Alan Greenspan was the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board from 1987 to 2006. He served under four presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan and ending with George W. Bush.

Here are eight facts about Greenspan.

1. Greenspan’s interest in facts and figures began at age 5 when he took a liking to reciting baseball batting averages of players. His fascination with the sport allowed him to figure out calculations in his head, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

2. His other interests included jazz. He played the saxophone and clarinet when he was young and even studied music at the prestigious Julliard School in New York.

3. One of his more remarkable episodes began when he met novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand in 1952 while he studied economics at Columbia University. Rand created the philosophy of objectivism, which continues to attract followers all over the world. Greenspan became part of a group called “the collective,” which met regularly at Rand’s home to discuss her philosophy of individualism, self-interest and free market economics.

4. Greenspan’s association with Rand spanned through the 1960s. He wrote an essay for Rand’s newsletter, the Objectivst, in 1966 which was reprinted in her 1967 book, “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.” In it, he favored the gold standard and even criticized the Federal Reserve. Former Congressman Ron Paul, who served on the House Financial Services committee, asked him about his change of views. Paul wrote on his website that he was surprised when Greenspan told him the Fed was a good alternative to the gold standard and isn’t responsible for deficit spending.

5. Rand encouraged Greenspan to work as an adviser during Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign in 1968. This later led to his appointment as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors during Gerald Ford’s presidency from 1974 to 1977.

6. Shortly after he was named Federal Reserve chairman by President Reagan in 1987, the stock market dropped 508 points, a record at the time. Greenspan worked to hold up the markets, which rebounded. He was given credit for helping the economic expansion from 1991 to 2000.

7. Greenspan was recognized internationally with the Legion of Honor award by the French government in 2000. Queen Elizabeth II named him an honorary Knight of the British Empire in 2002.

8. Greenspan was found to have contributed to the financial crisis of 2008 for his failure to curtail subprime mortgage loans during the housing bubble of the early 2000s, according to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in 2011.

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Alan Greenspan was the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board from 1987 to 2006. He served under four presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan and ending with George W. Bush.
Federal Reserve, Greenspan, facts
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2015-58-10
Friday, 10 July 2015 03:58 PM
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