Alan Greenspan Quotes

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An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense... that gold and economic freedom are inseparable.
— Alan Greenspan

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Any informed borrower is simply less vulnerable to fraud and abuse.

Alan Greenspan

Anything that we can do to raise personal savings is very much in the interest of this country.

Alan Greenspan

At the outset of the creation of the euro in 1999, it was expected that the southern eurozone economies would behave like those in the north; the Italians would behave like Germans. They didn't. Instead, northern Europe fell into subsidizing southern Europe's excess consumption, that is, its current account deficits.

Alan Greenspan

Before I met Ayn Rand, I was a logical positivist, and accordingly, I didn't believe in absolutes, moral or otherwise. If I couldn't prove a proposition with facts and figures, it was without merit.

Alan Greenspan

Chinese productivity is the highest in the world but the way they do it is by borrowing the technology from abroad, either by joint ventures or other means.

Alan Greenspan

Corruption, embezzlement, fraud, these are all characteristics which exist everywhere. It is regrettably the way human nature functions, whether we like it or not. What successful economies do is keep it to a minimum. No one has ever eliminated any of that stuff.

Alan Greenspan

Crony capitalism is essentially a condition in which... public officials are giving favours to people in the private sector in payment of political favours.

Alan Greenspan

Diplomacy is really far less important than the stock movements within Russia.

Alan Greenspan

Europe is very critical to the United States in the sense not only do we have a fourth of our exports there, but more importantly, a significant proportion of the foreign affiliate profits in fact, half of U.S. corporations, are in Europe.

Alan Greenspan

Every economy exists, no matter what the level of democracy, has elements of crony capitalism. It's - given human nature and given the democratic structures, which we all, I assume, adhere to, that is an inevitable consequence.

Alan Greenspan

Fear and euphoria are dominant forces, and fear is many multiples the size of euphoria. Bubbles go up very slowly as euphoria builds. Then fear hits, and it comes down very sharply. When I started to look at that, I was sort of intellectually shocked. Contagion is the critical phenomenon which causes the thing to fall apart.

Alan Greenspan

Fear invariably and universally induces disengagement, and disengagement is negative division of labor.

Alan Greenspan

Fear is a far more dominant force in human behaviour than euphoria - I would never have expected that or given it a moment's thought before, but it shows up in the data in so many ways.

Alan Greenspan

Finance is wholly different from the rest the economy.

Alan Greenspan

Forecasting our futures is built into our psyches because we will soon have to manage that future. We have no choice. No matter how often we fail, we can never stop trying.

Alan Greenspan

History has not dealt kindly with the aftermath of protracted periods of low risk premiums.

Alan Greenspan

I always believed in animal spirits. It's not their existence that is new. It's the fact that they are not random events, but actually replicate in-bred qualities of human nature which create those animal spirits.

Alan Greenspan

I do not understand where the backing of Bitcoin is coming from. There is no fundamental issue of capabilities of repaying it in anything which is universally acceptable, which is either intrinsic value of the currency or the credit or trust of the individual who is issuing the money, whether it's a government or an individual.

Alan Greenspan

I don't know where the stock market is going, but I will say this, that if it continues higher, this will do more to stimulate the economy than anything we've been talking about today or anything anybody else was talking about.

Alan Greenspan

I get so engaged when I have a problem you cannot solve that I just cannot break away from what I am doing - I keep thinking and thinking and cannot stop.

Alan Greenspan

I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said.

Alan Greenspan

I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that, for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well.

Alan Greenspan

I stated that I'm a libertarian Republican, which means I believe in a series of issues, such as smaller government, constraint on budget deficits, free markets, globalization, and a whole series of other things, including welfare reform.

Alan Greenspan

I think the whole issue of a debt ceiling makes no sense to me whatsoever. Anybody who is remotely adroit at arithmetic doesn't need a debt ceiling to tell you where you are.

Alan Greenspan

I was a fairly good amateur musician, and I was an average professional. But the one thing I saw was that the big band business was fading.

Alan Greenspan

I was a fairly good amateur musician, and I was an average professional. But the one thing I saw was that the big band business was fading. So I made an economic decision, and it turned out the best judgment I ever made in my life.

Alan Greenspan

I was a good amateur but only an average professional. I soon realized that there was a limit to how far I could rise in the music business, so I left the band and enrolled at New York University.

Alan Greenspan

I was sort of shocked when it all of a sudden turned out that I got all A's through college, with the exception of two B's in the first term. I never envisaged myself as summa cum laude.

Alan Greenspan

I wasn't able to do much reading when I was chairman of the Reserve Board. The workload was too large, and the luxury of reading was not available to me. So I caught up a good deal when I left office.

Alan Greenspan

I'm a free-market economist from years and years back, and I've never veered from that.

Alan Greenspan

I'm not denying that monopolies are terrible things, but I am denying that it is readily easy to resolve them through legislation of that nature.

Alan Greenspan

I've always considered myself more of a mathematician than a psychologist.

Alan Greenspan

I've been around long enough to know that a good deal of the praise heaped on me I had nothing to do with. The only thing I did object to was the fact that where the criticism was actually wrong. Did it bother me? Of course it bothered me. But I've been around long enough to have ups and downs. So you get over it.

Alan Greenspan

I've been in and out of Wall Street since 1949, and I've never seen the type of animosity between government and Wall Street. And I'm not sure where it comes from, but I suspect it's got to do with a general schism in this society which is really becoming ever more destructive.

Alan Greenspan

If I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said.

Alan Greenspan

If somebody had said to me in June or July of 1987, 'We'd like you to become chairman of the Federal Reserve, but you're never allowed to discuss any economics after you leave,' I'd have said, 'Forget it.' What do they want me to do? Become an anthropologist?'

Alan Greenspan

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value.

Alan Greenspan

Increased jobs are the consequence of increased trade. Increasing jobs more than output implies a fall in productivity and standards of living. That surely cannot be our goal.

Alan Greenspan

It is very difficult to predict when a bond crisis could happen.

Alan Greenspan

It's hard to tell which assets will be toxic. The best way to ensure that only shareholders and banks feel it is have adequate capital.

Alan Greenspan

It's only when the markets are perceived to have exhausted themselves on the downside that they turn. Trying to prevent them from going down just merely prolongs the agony.

Alan Greenspan

Look, I'm very much in favor of tax cuts, but not with borrowed money. And the problem that we've gotten into in recent years is spending programs with borrowed money, tax cuts with borrowed money, and at the end of the day that proves disastrous. And my view is I don't think we can play subtle policy here.

Alan Greenspan

Manufacturing capacity is not a rigid level against which one bounces. When you are dealing with a world economy, with a flexibility to employ production facilities other than one's own, then the concept of capacity is vaguer.

Alan Greenspan

Markets do very weird things because it reacts to how people behave, and sometimes people are a little screwy.

Alan Greenspan

Most high-income people in our country do not realize that their incomes are being subsidized by their protection from competition from highly skilled people who are prevented from immigrating to the United States. But we need such skills in order to staff our productive economy, so that the standard of living for Americans as a whole can grow.

Alan Greenspan

Much fiscal policy is implemented, not through spending increases, but through tax credits and other so-called tax expenditures. The markets should respond to them as they do spending cuts, with little contraction in economic activity.

Alan Greenspan

One of the major problems with China is that its innovation is largely borrowed technology.

Alan Greenspan

One of the problems with hedge funds is that they are changing so rapidly. If you have the balance sheet that closed business last night, by 11 A.M. this morning, that won't tell you very much about what they're doing.

Alan Greenspan

People don't realize that we cannot forecast the future. What we can do is have probabilities of what causes what, but that's as far as we go. And I've had a very successful career as a forecaster, starting in 1948 forward. The number of mistakes I have made are just awesome. There is no number large enough to account for that.

Alan Greenspan

An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense... that gold and economic freedom are inseparable.

Alan Greenspan