May 28, 2008

The Greenspan guarantee - what's it really worth?

In a story related to our Trend of the Week, Alan Greenspan announced he's joining John Paulson's hedge fund as a member of the advisory board. It's the third fund he's joined in this capacity.

Does anyone else find this unseemly? Look, I'm all for making the money, especially after Greenspan's service in the public sector, which did undeniable good for the American economy. But questions about his role in the housing mess remain, and Paulson's fund profits specifically from the meltdown. And wasn't it Greenspan who informed us (after the fact) of Long Term Capital Management's role in almost bringing down the entire global economy (oh yeah, that)? The case could be made that his participation will better protect against the type of risks LTCM took. Except that LTCM employed two Nobel-prize winning economists, so Greenspan's participation guarantees little. Is this all a sophomoric argument? Am I missing something?

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