Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Greenspan Book Ghostwritten by Krugman

In the 500-page book, “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,” Mr. Greenspan describes the Bush administration as so captive to its own political operation that it paid little attention to fiscal discipline, and he described Mr. Bush’s first two Treasury secretaries, Paul H. O’Neill and John W. Snow, as essentially powerless.

Of the presidents he worked with, Mr. Greenspan reserves his highest praise for Bill Clinton, whom he described in his book as a sponge for economic data who maintained “a consistent, disciplined focus on long-term economic growth.”

By contrast, Mr. Greenspan paints a picture of Mr. Bush as a man driven more by ideology and the desire to fulfill campaign promises made in 2000, incurious about the effects of his economic policy, and an administration incapable of executing policy.

Though Mr. Greenspan does not admit he made a mistake, he shows remorse about how Republicans jumped on his endorsement of the 2001 tax cuts to push through unconditional cuts without any safeguards against surprises. Today, Mr. Greenspan is indignant and chagrined about his role in the Bush tax cuts.
Wow, not that I disagree with anything he said, but I am surprised that he wrote in such stark terms that the the Bush administration puts politics over policy, that Clinton was his favorite president, and that the tax cuts were a bad idea. If I didn't know any better I would think the book was written by Paul Krugman.

And then to top it all off, Greenspan goes into Michael Moore territory:
“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says.
As much as the book sounds interesting, the prospect of reading 500 pages, written by a man whose speech is so indecipherable that he had to propose to his wife (NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell) three times before she understood what he was doing, is a bit too daunting for me.

via NY Times and Times Online


Audacious Epigone said...

Well, I wouldn't make much of a comparison with Michael Moore, since Alan Greenspan was a supporter of the Iraq war and says in his book that removing Saddam Hussein was "essential". In trying to lionize him, most of the media coverage downplays/ignores that inconvenience.

Fat Knowledge said...

Good point.

I just wish that the politicians would say that oil had something to do with invading Iraq. I find the argument that it had nothing to do with oil hard to swallow.

The other interesting thing about Greenspan's reasoning, is that so far it has been completely wrong. He thought we needed to go into Iraq, so Iraq could pump more oil and keep oil prices down.

But, oil prices have gone up 4 times and Iraq has been unable to pump any more oil than they did before the war. Maybe in 5 years time that will change as Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world and oil companies are getting ready to get oil from Kurdistan.

Audacious Epigone said...


I wish they'd say it had something to do with oil as well. At least then I might have some reason to think a few foreign policy gamemakers have something pragmatic about themselves, instead of obsessing about quixotic notions of ending world tyranny and spreading democracy to all.

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