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If Allan Greenspan Were an Ayn Rand Character

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If Allan Greenspan were a character from an Ayn Rand novel, which one would he be? My answer when/if there are ten other answers.

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If Allan Greenspan were a character from an Ayn Rand novel, which one would he be? My answer when/if there are ten other answers.

Stadler

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If Allan Greenspan were a character from an Ayn Rand novel, which one would he be? My answer when/if there are ten other answers.

Stadler

It appears, in many ways, he has gone over to the other side. He gained power and influence and celebrity. But, that's not my choice.

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If Allan Greenspan were a character from an Ayn Rand novel, which one would he be? My answer when/if there are ten other answers.

He seems to enjoy being in the powerful position he is in, and he tries to keep the whole shivaree together while operating on a bad premise, so I will say Wynand.

Though for the life of me I can't imagine Greenspan ever standing as the sentence came down...

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If Allan Greenspan were a character from an Ayn Rand novel, which one would he be? My answer when/if there are ten other answers.

He seems to enjoy being in the powerful position he is in, and he tries to keep the whole shivaree together while operating on a bad premise, so I will say Wynand.

Though for the life of me I can't imagine Greenspan ever standing as the sentence came down...

Sorry, that should say "was in," though I would imagine he still has the ear of the decisionmakers should he choose to speak to them.

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If Allan Greenspan were a character from an Ayn Rand novel, which one would he be? My answer when/if there are ten other answers.

He seems to enjoy being in the powerful position he is in, and he tries to keep the whole shivaree together while operating on a bad premise, so I will say Wynand.

Though for the life of me I can't imagine Greenspan ever standing as the sentence came down...

Sorry, that should say "was in," though I would imagine he still has the ear of the decisionmakers should he choose to speak to them.

He does seem to want to continue to be a person of influence.

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Greenspan has openly endorsed what the Fed is doing, said he liked doing it himself, and publicly praised those he worked with and who run it in terms of "there is no finer group of people", etc. That is an element that even Stadler and Wynand did not have.

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I find this exercise interesting, but hard, because I have seen and heard Greenspan, whereas I've not actually heard or seen an Ayn Rand character. I only have my own mental picture of those characters, and none fit with Greenspan's actual personality.

If you mean to ask which fictional character shares the most philosophical ideas and psychological makeup (e.g., motivations), regardless of how it manifests in a personality, I couldn't say as I don't know all that much about Greenspan.

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I'm just sad he didn't turn out to be a Midas Mulligan. :wacko:

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I'm just sad he didn't turn out to be a Midas Mulligan. :wacko:

But be glad that John Allison did. ;)

I take it you mean John Allsion, the chair of BB&T, not John Allison the cartoonist? Seriously, I had to Google John Allison; although I work for a bank, I had not heard of him. I'll have to check out BB&T. Some of Greenspan & Company's handiwork is on the front page of the Wall Street Journal today, Saturday, July 12.

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I'm just sad he didn't turn out to be a Midas Mulligan. :wacko:

But be glad that John Allison did. ;)

Great response, Phil. Thanks for that!

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I had hoped for a little more action...but...Is it possible that Allan Greenspan is Francisco D'Anconia, working to hasten the destruction of the evil regime (small e intended). The US economy, bastardized as it is, and as predicted by Joseph Schumpeter, could go on for a long time without deliberate action. In the case of the Greenspan Fed, they applied apparantly laisse faire policies as often as they could. But the flood of liquidity and credit fed the greed and irrationality of enough people to precipitate real crisis. I work in public finance and the carnage in state and local governments hasn't even made the public's radar yet.

Well, whadya' think?

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I do not think Allan Greenspan has the courage nor intelligence to even attempt such a thing. Plus, this country is still worth fighting for, it's original principles are still the greatest political statements ever written, even though heavily shrouded. American's do not need to discard America's Constitution, instead they need to rediscover it.

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I had hoped for a little more action...but...Is it possible that Allan Greenspan is Francisco D'Anconia, working to hasten the destruction of the evil regime (small e intended). The US economy, bastardized as it is, and as predicted by Joseph Schumpeter, could go on for a long time without deliberate action. In the case of the Greenspan Fed, they applied apparantly laisse faire policies as often as they could. But the flood of liquidity and credit fed the greed and irrationality of enough people to precipitate real crisis. I work in public finance and the carnage in state and local governments hasn't even made the public's radar yet.

Well, whadya' think?

Not if you know anything about him at all. He tried to make the system work, and did in fact keep it from failing faster. Do not ascribe to conspiracy that which is easily explained in ordinary terms.

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I had hoped for a little more action...but...Is it possible that Allan Greenspan is Francisco D'Anconia, working to hasten the destruction of the evil regime (small e intended). The US economy, bastardized as it is, and as predicted by Joseph Schumpeter, could go on for a long time without deliberate action. In the case of the Greenspan Fed, they applied apparantly laisse faire policies as often as they could. But the flood of liquidity and credit fed the greed and irrationality of enough people to precipitate real crisis. I work in public finance and the carnage in state and local governments hasn't even made the public's radar yet.

Well, whadya' think?

Not if you know anything about him at all. He tried to make the system work, and did in fact keep it from failing faster. Do not ascribe to conspiracy that which is easily explained in ordinary terms.

It IS failing very rapidly and as a result of the incredible liquidity pumped in and the leverage employed, magnified by the available "fuel". I've ben in the money business since 1975 and you haven't begun to see the grief yet.

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It IS failing very rapidly and as a result of the incredible liquidity pumped in and the leverage employed, magnified by the available "fuel". I've ben in the money business since 1975 and you haven't begun to see the grief yet.

I'm sure there is a lot that has been covered over that most of us never see. They seemed to have been quite desperate in the latest round of bailouts. What else can you tell us about it? Is any investment safe now?

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It IS failing very rapidly and as a result of the incredible liquidity pumped in and the leverage employed, magnified by the available "fuel". I've ben in the money business since 1975 and you haven't begun to see the grief yet.

I'm sure there is a lot that has been covered over that most of us never see. They seemed to have been quite desperate in the latest round of bailouts. What else can you tell us about it? Is any investment safe now?

Bloomberg has a website and in addition to information on individual stocks and bonds, you get a pretty good picture of the macro story watching their headlines. I think the news may be delayed from what's on their proprietary terminal, but not by much.

Is any investment safe? FDIC insured deposits are safe for now; SIPC brokerage accounts are safe for now from losses due to your broker's going out of business. In the late 70's and early 80's everything went down - stocks, bonds, even short bonds, commercial paper, even negotiable bank paper. About the only safe haven was a US Treasury money market fund. There are good companies out there, but the average person has no idea what they are up against vrs. the Street. My epiphany was a talk by a scruffy guy, mismatched clothes, disheveled appearance and tone talking to the Detroit Financial Analyst Society about liner board. Liner board is the waxy sort of cardboard they wrap frozen foods and other grocery products in. This guy new everybody in the business, their wives, their pets, their cell phone numbers...the average person has no chance against the street when it comes to information on firms.

So the only hope is to get the fundamentals right - inflation, the regular supply of money and credit, reasonable returns for risks you understand...not much is safe just now, in my opinion.

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Bloomberg has a website and in addition to information on individual stocks and bonds, you get a pretty good picture of the macro story watching their headlines. I think the news may be delayed from what's on their proprietary terminal, but not by much.

Is any investment safe? FDIC insured deposits are safe for now;

With the dollar crashing, inflation eats up such deposits. What about commodities, including metals, land, rental real estate, etc.?

SIPC brokerage accounts are safe for now from losses due to your broker's going out of business. In the late 70's and early 80's everything went down - stocks, bonds, even short bonds, commercial paper, even negotiable bank paper. About the only safe haven was a US Treasury money market fund. There are good companies out there, but the average person has no idea what they are up against vrs. the Street. My epiphany was a talk by a scruffy guy, mismatched clothes, disheveled appearance and tone talking to the Detroit Financial Analyst Society about liner board. Liner board is the waxy sort of cardboard they wrap frozen foods and other grocery products in. This guy new everybody in the business, their wives, their pets, their cell phone numbers...the average person has no chance against the street when it comes to information on firms.

That's why some experts recommend index funds.

So the only hope is to get the fundamentals right - inflation, the regular supply of money and credit, reasonable returns for risks you understand...not much is safe just now, in my opinion.

The US Treasury money market funds you mentioned earlier?

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There was a story in the Wall Street Journal in the past several weeks that was quite telling. A grower of some agricultural product told the reporter that the difference between fitures contract prices and the prices of actual deliverable positions were so big that the futures were useless for the original purpose for which they were invented. What's different in currencies and stocks and bonds? The attachment of financial instruments to the real value of underlying economic goods and services has been severed. Abscent the games of financial market players, what is gasoline worth in terms of hamburger or an appendectomy or for that matter, a seat at an opera or symphony concert? Normally we short-hand those considerations by looking at the money price. Did you hear about the woman's letter read by the Senator yesterday? Having to prioritize, housing, day care, gasoline, food; greatly mocked by talk show hosts.

The question has become: what is anything really worth? We used to have or thought we had, a decent idea. That premise has been undermined.

How about commodities? Well, what is determining the price now and what will determine the price in the future? If you don't know, it's just a crap shoot.

The mechanism of money has been radicaly undercut, the maximum danage that can be done to a sophistcated economy.

To my original question, to paraphrase Jack Nicholson in Witches, Is he really just a screw up or did he do it to us on purpose?

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To my original question, to paraphrase Jack Nicholson in Witches, Is he really just a screw up or did he do it to us on purpose?

He thought he was smarter than Ayn Rand. Big mistake.

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Greenspan is a very curious character. He's bad in every way, he's completely sold out his gold standard ideas of the 1960s, endorsed the Fed and rose to even control it.... and then what did he do when at the top of the Fed hierarchy? He told them to follow the price of the gold ounce, religiously. As a result, the US has been under a quasi-gold-standard for two decades from 1980s to 1990s, at what point he relaxed his discipline, caused the great bubble, and retired.

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I had hoped for a little more action...but...Is it possible that Allan Greenspan is Francisco D'Anconia, working to hasten the destruction of the evil regime (small e intended). The US economy, bastardized as it is, and as predicted by Joseph Schumpeter, could go on for a long time without deliberate action. In the case of the Greenspan Fed, they applied apparantly laisse faire policies as often as they could. But the flood of liquidity and credit fed the greed and irrationality of enough people to precipitate real crisis. I work in public finance and the carnage in state and local governments hasn't even made the public's radar yet.

Well, whadya' think?

If he is, he's completely misguided and forgot that Atlas Shrugged was an allegorical work of fiction, and not a manual for starting an Objectivist revolution. I'd stay away from AS characters and suggest that Greenspan is most like Peter Keating. He's capable of good work, but sold out.

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[Greenspan]... told them to follow the price of the gold ounce, religiously. As a result, the US has been under a quasi-gold-standard for two decades from 1980s to 1990s, at what point he relaxed his discipline, caused the great bubble, and retired.
I do not think this version of history is right. The Fed might have adopted a quasi-gold standard; but, that does not mean it really implemented one. If economic forces are not pushing one toward inflation, it is easy to be the Fed, pretending that one is tracking gold.

In the "mid years" of Greenspan's tenure a huge group of people, who were previously not doing very much, suddenly became productive, and began to supply goods into the world economy (i.e. the blossoming of China). This sudden growth of production ought to have been deflationary, but the Fed simply was happy to keep enough money flowing to ensure it was not.

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There are too many faux players in these markets; state agencies - like CALPERS - big "charitable" foundations, big university endowments, union pension plans and more.

Except for the state agencies these are all private investors with a fortfolio to manage professionally. Why should they be prohibited from investing in futures?

You touch on the Catch 22 in the Objectivist outlook. I wouldn't necessarily outlaw their participation. But not only does their participation lack any basis in the underlying economic activity, but their power - much of it unearned, maybe most of it unearned - facilitates distortion of the market and undermines the value and purpose of the market. The managers of these powerhouses have no stake, no interest and no care for the players who "legitimately" need the futures market and, indeed, in the case of endowments and foundations, are often actively hostile to the values and interests of people who produce.

Elsewhere I "contributed" some moderately flip remarks on the real value of philosophy. In investing, it takes a philisophical outlook - what is real, what is of value to the parties in a transaction, is the analysis - the thinking - sound?

The activities of those weilding unearned power undermine all this.

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