Not my words, so put down the pitchforks and back away. Got an e-mail from my friend Sam alerting me to Bill Fleckenstein's post on MSN Money, and it's one of the more reasoned criticisms of the former Fed chairman that I've read. Greenspan's recent contradictions are raising eyebrows (to put it mildly, it isn't as if the official record isn't there for all to see), and the reactions I received to last week's tempered take on his comments in the Wall Street Journal are an indication passions will continue to rise.
"[M]y strongly held (and well-documented) view [is] that when it comes to matters of economics, Greenspan is utterly clueless and unable to learn from his mistakes," Fleckenstein says.
Strong words. I was going to grant Greenspan some quarter because of the size of Long-Term Capital's collapse at the time, but when you're talking about $30 billion in government loan guarantees for Bear, it evaporates pretty quickly. Again, the argument is about the precedent set.
Fleckenstein says it better than I. Read the whole thing at http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com.