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Portfolio > Economy & Markets

Greenspan's irrational apathy

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Look, I love Alan Greenspan and all he did for the economy under his Fed stewardship. To me, he was the perfect example of what a Fed chairman should be; obnoxiously analytical (if there is such a thing), devoid of emotion and, well, … a geek. But his latest missive in Financial Times “We will never have a perfect model of risk,” smacks of the insanely obvious. Of course we’ll never have a perfect model of risk. That’s what the markets are built on. If we ever did, then what? We pack up and go home? If we did have a perfect model of risk, it would then follow we’d have a perfect model of return. Can someone tell me what that would look like? And no, I don’t want a gazillion e-mails from advisors with complex algorithms about “how X-given level of risk under ‘our system’ always results in this Y-given level of return.” I’m talking about the markets in general. And his comment about how the current financial crisis “is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching since the end of the second world war” doesn’t help with our irrational … what’s the opposite of exuberance, apathy? Depression?

I never though I’d say this, but maybe it is time for Greenspan to focus exclusively on his tennis game.


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