The public flagellation of Alan Greenspan continued this morning, as the former Fed chairman was brutalized by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in Washington over his failure to curb companies engaging in subprime lending. "The Fed utterly failed to prevent the financial crisis," said former Commodity Futures Trading Commission head Brooksley Born. "You could have, you should have, and you didn't" do enough to regulate the financial industry, chairman Phil Angelides scolded him. Even God, or at least the electric company, showed his displeasure, as a mysterious power outage took hold during part of the hearing. While Greenspan conceded that he had "made a lot of mistakes" during his tenure, he was mostly unrepentant. “I was right 70 percent of the time, but I was wrong 30 percent of the time," he said.
"If the Fed as a regulator had tried to thwart what everyone perceived as a fairly broad consensus that the trend was in the right direction, homeownership was rising and that was an unmitigated good, then Congress would have clamped down on us," Greenspan said.
He added, "There's a lot of amnesia that's going on."
Yeah, so don't be fooled by that droopy expression; it has much more to do with being 83 than feeling guilty.