Alan Greenspan Regrets Rien

Greenspan
Photo: Getty Images


Americans once looked at Alan Greenspan like a benevolent, brilliant uncle. He was adept at managing our finances and led us into a period of unprecedented prosperity. Plus, he had that cute, squishy face. But the current credit crisis turned a spotlight on the former Fed chairman's policies, and his legacy is being reevaluated by even his peers. (A former protégé who once called Greenspan history's greatest central banker recently took it back, telling Congress that Greenspan's low rates "set the stage for a bust.") In light of the recent barrage of criticism, and in light of the fact that Greenspan is 82 and, let's face it, might die soon, the Journal today has a leisurely scenic feature based on a series of interviews with him, in which he tries to defend himself against all the bad things people are saying about him. "I was praised for things I didn't do," Greenspan tells reporter Greg Ip in his "sun-drenched" office. "I am now being blamed for things that I didn't do." It's kind of like the Vanity Fair interview Jennifer Aniston did with Leslie Bennetts after Brad Pitt left her for Angelina Jolie, except in this case no one asked Greenspan to pose for a picture without pants, and Greenspan's insistence that he didn't do anything wrong means at the end you don't necessarily end up feeling quite so certain that he has been so wronged.

His Legacy Tarnished, Greenspan Goes on Defensive [WSJ]