Wikinvest Wire

Greenspan: higher stock prices are the answer

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More than the fact that he is still being sought out by reporters who think that, in some way, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan still has something useful to say about the nation's current economic condition, the funniest thing about most of these articles in recent years is that they all have at least one paragraph that neatly summarizes all of his transgressions.

Another example of this surfaced today in a piece by Jeff Kearns at Bloomberg:

Greenspan: Stock Rally Means Lower Stimulus Need
The biggest stock market advance in seven decades is reducing the need for additional government stimulus measures, according to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
“All of the statistical evidence indicates that the level of household wealth is a major factor in consumer expenditures and indeed apparently finances directly and indirectly about 15 percent of consumer outlays,” Greenspan said. “The impact on consumption expenditures is significant, largely because the amount of wealth is five times the level of income.”

Greenspan ran the central bank from 1987 to 2006, a period in which the S&P 500 climbed more than sixfold, including dividends, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. He reduced interest rates to a half-century low of 1 percent in 2003 and didn’t raise them for a year, helping spur a 16 percent gain in home prices in 2004 and setting the stage for a housing-market collapse that led to more than $1.7 trillion in global bank losses and writedowns.
It's as if Jeff's editor said, "Look, you can go with the Greenspan story, but make sure you don't forget to include a paragraph or two about how he's widely viewed as being responsible for a lot of the problems that we face today. "

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Anonymous said...

The stock market is being artificially propped up by leverage that makes 1929 seem tame by comparison. Alan thought loan based home prices going up made the economy just peachy. Now he thinks the same for stocks. It will end up the same way.

You can't borrow your way to prosperity. Taxpayer subsidized loans to people who don't repay (hedge funds et al in the stock case), so they can make leveraged bets, is not a sensible way to run an economy.

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