20 February 2013
Alan Greenspan has transformed his role from a dictator of Economic Advisors to a participative leader of the Federal Reserve. Alan had a positive impact on the U.S. economy through his way of dealing with inflation. He achieved the role of being one of the most powerful men in America, Federal Reserve Chairman. Alan Greenspan was born to a Jewish family in New York City on March 6, 1926. As a young child Greenspan attended grammar school and from a young age showed amazing potential. Greenspan excelled through school completing seventh through ninth grade in two years. Later Greenspan's universe centered around jazz. He made playing professional his life ambition. He applied to Juilliard School. He was soon accepted as a clarinet major in 1943. He quit school to join Henry Jerome and his orchestra in 1944. But that only lasted so long. After exiting the band, Greenspan enrolled in New York University (Martin 2-23). His bachelor's (1948), masters (1950), and Ph.D. (1977) degrees in economics were earned at New York University (Encyclopedia of World Biography 526). He met his wife, Joan Mitchell in college but they got their marriage annulled in 1953 after just ten months together. For three decades, 1954-1974 and 1977-1987, Greenspan was chairman and president of an economic consulting firm in NYU, Townsend-Greenspan & Co., Inc. He assumed his most important public position on August 11, 1987, as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Less than 2 months after assuming office, he was faced with Black Monday on October nineteenth, the stock market collapsed by more than five hundred points as terrified sellers dumped millions of shares. Despite critics' complaints that he first slowed economic expansion by keeping interest rates too high and then moved too slowly to end the recession, he was nominated to a second term by President George Bush in August 1991, and soon after he was also confirmed to his first full fourteen-year term on the Federal Reserve Board. In 1996 his third four-year term was confirmed. In 2004 he took office for a fifth term. Greenspan also served as chairman of the Conference of Business Economists; president and fellow of the National Association of Business Economists; and director of the National Economists Club. He received the Thomas Jefferson Award for the greatest public service performed by an elected or appointed official (1976); He was elected a fellow of the American Statistical Association (1989); He was decorated Legion of Honor (Commander) France (2000); He was made honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire (2002); and He was the first recipient of the Gerald R. Ford Medal for Distinguished Public Service (2003) (Encyclopaedia Judaica) The Federal Reserve System ("the Fed") is a complex organization of independent parts. It is made up of twelve regional Federal Reserve banks, each with a president, board of directors, officers, and research staff. Chairman Greenspan exercised strong and effective leadership of the Fed. Greenspan's charm and his intelligence helped get his position as chief. Greenspan calmed economic markets. From 1989 to 1992 he tightened lending but also put cash into the U.S. economy to ensure recovery from the economic downturn. He refused to inflate the large amounts of money in reaction to a temporary worldwide spike in oil price, so price stability remained. By 1992 the economy was going up. In 1994 Greenspan raised interest rates several times in a successful effort to prevent a possible inflation. The final result, despite what people warned, was a very low unemployment rate. Over the next few years "the Fed" slowly decreased its lending rate. As a result, the economy became better. Greenspan was considered the best chairman the Federal Reserve Board had ever seen. In 1998 a Louis Harris survey of 400 senior executives gave Greenspan a favorable rating of 97 percent. His term ended on January 31, 2006; he was succeeded by Ben Bernanke, who told Michael Wallace in Business Week Online, "One may aspire to succeed Chairman Greenspan, but it will not be possible to replace him." After leaving as chairman, Greenspan worked as a private advisor, consulting for numerous corporations through his own company, Greenspan Associates LLC. Though he was no longer in charge of "The Fed", he is still a figure of controversy. Some blamed him for problems that American encountered after he left office. Everyone still listens to Greenspan's opinions. In February 2007, for example, Greenspan said that the American economy could be in recession by the end of the year, and the markets worldwide reacted as if he was still working. As Justin Fox wrote in an October 2007 issue of Time, "He has been out of office for more than a year and half now, yet many Americans still want to believe that Alan Greenspan is in charge of the economy." (Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History) "The true measure of a career is to be able to be content, even proud, that you succeeded through your own endeavors without leaving a trail of casualties in your wake." - Alan Greenspan. Alan Greenspan held a very powerful and influential position. Greenspan changed the United States economy for the better and still remains an economic leader.