What Alan Greenspan Has Learned Since 2008

Not long after Alan Greenspan stepped down as Federal Reserve chairman in 2006, global financial markets began to unravel. The collapse of a few financial institutions, the near-collapse of many others, a massive bailout by multiple governments, and the worst economic downturn in three-quarters of a century ensued. Lots of people blamed Greenspan for some or all of this, and the man himself famously allowed, in a Congressional hearing in October 2008, that he had “found a flaw” in his model of how the world works.

Then, somewhat remarkably for a guy who had recently turned 80, he actually set to work trying to figure out what he’d gotten wrong. “It seems sort of silly,” he says now, “but I’ve learned more in the last three or four years than the previous ten.” In the fall he came out with a book setting out his new and improved worldview, The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting. But even that’s not the end of it. “I guess they shut it down in June,” he says, estimating when the book went to the printer. “I’ve come a long way since then.”


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