Frederick J. Sheehan is the author of Panderer to Power: The Untold Story of How Alan Greenspan Enriched Wall Street and Left a Legacy of Recession (McGraw-Hill, 2009) and "The Coming Collapse of the Municipal Bond Market" (Aucontrarian.com, 2009)
Ed Harrison at Credit Writedowns, adding fuel to the outrage upon the announcement that "Doctor" Alan Greenspan will address the Annual Market Dinner of the Boston Securities Analyst Society, reminded the sans-culottes of an earlier pathetic effort:
(THEN) NEW YORK FEDERAL RESERVE PRESIDENT TIMOTHY GEITHNER TO (RETIRING) FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN ALAN GREENSPAN, FOMC MEETING, JANUARY 31, 2006:
"I'd like the record to show that I think you're pretty terrific, too. And thinking in terms of probabilities, I think the risk that we decide in the future that you're even better than we think is higher than the alternative."
Ed's reminder inspired a search of "terrific" through a bag of quotes. Coming up empty, a search for "great" was fruitful. Following are the first few "great" quotes that showed up. They have not been vetted for accuracy. More to the purpose: for lack of accuracy. That the majority have proved to be so wrong (since they were saved at the time in anticipation) shows what a bunch of dopes is in charge. This may lift spirits of some who have been dismayed by the efforts of has-been institutions and the media to cleanse history. They won't be forgotten:
SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY TIMOTHY GEITHNER, ON MEET THE PRESS, JULY 11, 2011:
SEC'Y GEITHNER: "The American economy was falling off the cliff in the fall of '08 and the first months of [Obama's] administration. And he put in place the most creative, the most forceful set of economic measures we have ever done as a country. And because of that, we've prevented a second Great Depression and the economy has now been growing for more than a year and a half, more than two million jobs in the private sector since job creation started again. Faster job creation than the last two recoveries."
YAHOO'S DAILY TICKER, May 11, 2011:
AARON TASK: "What are your thoughts about the fact that Alan Greenspan is considered one of Ayn Rand's greatest protégés?
Dr, YARON TASK, Ayn Rand Institute: "I think Alan Greenspan is responsible for this crisis by holding interest rates after 9/11, for 2-12 years, below the rate of inflation: He encouraged the debt boom, the credit boom, that occurred that we're really suffering from today."
LARRY KUDLOW, THE KUDLOW REPORT, (2008):
"It's the American economic boom. The greatest story never told."
MICKEY MISERA, HEAD OF EQUITY CAPITAL MARKETS, FIRST UNION BANK, SPEAKING TO SMART MONEY, 2000:
"Most [banks] would say, 'Our analysts are here just to do great research and follow companies,' but that's not reality. They have a lot more responsibilities - and investment banking is becoming more essential."
FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN BEN S. BERNANKE, JUNE 12, 2006:
"To an important degree, banks can be more active in their management of credit risks and other portfolio risks because of the increased availability of financial instruments and activities such as loan syndications, loan trading, credit derivatives, and securitization. From the perspective of bank management and stockholders, the availability of advanced methods for managing interest rate risk leads to a more favorable risk-return tradeoff. For supervisors, the benefit is a greater resilience of the banking system in the face of a risk that figured prominently in some past episodes of banking problems."
YALE ECONOMIST ROBERT SCHILLER (IRRATIONAL EXUBERANCE, THE CASE-SCHILLER HOME PRICE INDEX), INTERVIEWED BY KATHLEEN HAYS, BLOOMBERG TV, JANUARY 31, 2008:
"I think we are [sic] thankful that we have Ben Bernanke who is a great expert on the Great Depression at the helm. Uh, and I think he won't make the mistakes that the Fed made the last time around and so we're not going to have, I'm optimistic, anything as severe as the last episode."
The last episode, being, the Great Depression.
-FROM A CONVERSATION BETWEEN ARTHUR LAFFER AND PETER SCHIFF, CNBC, AUGUST 28, 2006:
SCHIFF: "The basic problem with the U.S. economy is we have too much consumption and borrowing and not enough production and savings and what's going to happen is the American consumer is basically going to stop consuming and start rebuilding his savings especially when he sees his home equity evaporate and when you have the economy 70% consumption [sic], you can't address those imbalances without a recession...."
LAFFER: "What [Schiff's] saying is that savings is way down in this country but wealth has increased dramatically. The United States economy has never been in better shape. Monetary policy is spectacular.... I think Peter is just totally off base. I just don't know where he's getting his stuff."
SCHIFF: "It's not wealth that's increased in the past few years. We haven't increased our productive capacity. All that's increased is the paper values of our stocks and real estate, but that's not real wealth."
LAFFER: "Of course it is."
SCHIFF: "Art, why do a husband and a wife both have to work to provide enough income to support a family?"
LAFFER: "Because they love their jobs at low tax rates....
SCHIFF: "No, they don't love their jobs; most women with children aren't working because they love their jobs. They're working because they need the income..."
LAFFER: "With lower tax rates, it makes it much more valuable to work. At lower interest rates, you can buy more [stuff] - it's great!"
SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE, FEBRUARY 24, 2004. SENATOR CHRISTOPHER DODD, ADDRESSING FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN ALAN GREENSPAN:
"I, just briefly will say, Mr. Chairman, obviously, like most of us here, this is one of the great success stories of all time. And we don't want to lose sight of that and [what] has been pointed out by all of our witnesses here, obviously, the 70% of Americans who own their own homes today, in no small measure, due because of the work that's been done here. And that shouldn't be lost in this debate and discussion. . . ."
GLENN HUBBARD, DEAN OF COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL AND ECONOMIC ADVISER TO PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY, ON FACE THE NATION, AUGUST 21, 2005:
"I think we do have a great deal of froth in housing markets. There's no doubt about it. I don't think we're likely to see a large nominal price collapse, that is largely falling house prices, but I think we'll see much slower rates of growth in house prices after 2005."
WACHOVIA BANK CEO KEN THOMPSON, IN 2006, TELLING CNBC WHY WACHOVIA'S $25.5 BILLION PURCHASE OF GOLDEN WEST (AND OF GOLDEN WEST'S $122 BILLION PORTFOLIO OF OPTION ARM'S) WAS A SLAM DUNK:
"The mortgage market is going to be a great market in this country for a long time. We've got population growth. We've got people who are always going to want to live in homes that they own. It's going to be a great market."
SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY TIMOTHY GEITHNER, APRIL 13, 2010:
"America is close to turning the page on this economic crisis.... [w]e have now reported three quarters of positive growth and the beginnings of job creation. As the economy improves, we are winding down the Troubled Assets Relief Program, and Congress is moving toward enacting the strongest financial reforms since those that followed the Great Depression. In fact, we are repairing our financial system at much lower cost than anyone anticipated and expect to return hundreds of billions of dollars in available but unused TARP resources to the American people. That is a rare achievement in Washington."
FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN BEN S. BERNANKE, APRIL 2, 2008:
"The Federal Reserve and other government agencies have learned a great deal about managing economic affairs since the Great Depression.... Financial instability, which was not addressed by government...was a major contributor both to the depression in the U.S. and abroad. I believe the difference today is that we will address financial issues and try to maintain the integrity of our financial system.... We will not let prices fall at 10% a year."
FORTUNE'S July 23, 2007 COVER:
"The Greatest Economic Boom Ever"