download Best The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan By Sebastian Mallaby – Intimatenights.co.uk
Very well written and balanced book, I started with Greenspan s own autobiography which I thought was too self flattering However this book is very well researched and balanced. The definitive biography of the most important economic statesman of our time Sebastian Mallaby s magisterial biography of Alan Greenspan, the product of over five years of research based on untrammeled access to his subject and his closest professional and personal intimates, brings into vivid focus the mysterious point where the government and the economy meet To understand Greenspan s story is to see the economic and political landscape of the lastyears and the presidency from Reagan to George W Bush in a whole new light As the most influential economic statesman of his age, Greenspan spent a lifetime grappling with a momentous shift the transformation of finance from the fixed and regulated system of the post war era to the free for all of the past quarter century The story of Greenspan is also the story of the making of modern finance, for good and for ill Greenspan s life is a quintessential American success story raised by a single mother in the Jewish migr community of Washington Heights, he was a math prodigy who found a niche as a stats crunching consultant A master at explaining the economic weather to captains of industry, he translated that skill into advising Richard Nixon in hiscampaign This led to a perch on the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and then to a dazzling array of business and government roles, from which the path to the Fed was relatively clear A fire breathing libertarian and disciple of Ayn Rand in his youth who once called the Fed s creation a historic mistake, Mallaby shows how Greenspan reinvented himself as a pragmatist once in power In his analysis, and in his core mission of keeping inflation in check, he was a maestro indeed, and hailed as such At his retirement in , he was lauded as the age s necessary man, the veritable God in the machine, the global economy s avatar His memoirs sold for record sums to publishers around the world But then cameMallaby s story lands with both feet on the great crash which did so much to damage Alan Greenspan s reputation Mallaby argues that the conventional wisdom is off base Greenspan wasn t a nave ideologue who believed greater regulation was unnecessary He had pressed for greater regulation of some key areas of finance over the years, and had gotten nowhere To argue that he didn t know the risks in irrational markets is to miss the point He knew than almost anyone the question is why he didn t act, and whether anyone else could or would have A close reading of Greenspan s life provides fascinating answers to these questions, answers whose lessons we would do well to heed Because perhaps Mallaby s greatest lesson is that economic statesmanship, like political statesmanship, is the art of the possible The Man Who Knew is a searching reckoning with what exactly comprised the art, and the possible, in the career of Alan Greenspan From the Hardcover edition I am very pleased with the book delivered promptly heavy read Great bookvery readable A masterpiece Although the book is about the life and times of Greenspan, it is also an authoritative retelling of the American fiscal and monetary history of the past eight decades It perfectly blends the rich and entertaining details of an individual s life with that of the working of public policy Another commendable thing with the book is its ability to narrate economic concepts delectably It is a treatise on the interaction among interest rates, asset prices, price stability, macroeconomic stability and regulations One of the greatest economic books I have ever read I made a one line summary of a majority of the pages and it helps me serve up an engaging story to any one willing to listen Much richer for having read this opus Highly recommend it. I enjoyed this book a lot While it took a couple of weeks to get through, it was well worth it.Things I liked To get to understand Alan as a person How he went from a quiet mummy s boy to an Ayn Rand follower and young millionaire to background political figure and all the way to maestro Finally, after leaving office and the GFC started, he became a pariah The book will also take you on a journey through US economic history from an insider view of governments and Presidents from Nixon to George W Bush That it is too simplistic to simply blame all of the excesses of the lead up to the GFC on Greenspan and particularly on loose monetary policy it did contribute a lot but is not the sole reason The book helps you to understand economics in general i.e inflation, interest rates, macroeconomics, the economy and politics etc.What attracted me to read the book Well, you only need to read through a financial blog or comments section of any article referencing Mr Greenspan to find out that people absolutely despise the man That intrigued me A recent FT review of a book just released by Alan contained at least 25 slanders of the man and I thought I had to get around to reading this on my bookshelf after 2 years While I get that people are angry for his part in contributing to the GFC, it is a very lazy way to do so and I think everyone with an interest in finance and economics could benefit from reading this book.I say this because Alan and many others prominent economists, governments, other central bankers including Bernanke generally underestimated the extent of the excesses in the system but at the same time had faith in the market to correct any bubbles Perhaps importantly, the Fed at the time had a mandate for price control and employment, not asset prices People expected too much of their leaders and as the author states in his conclusion, it was impossible for him to live up to these expectations.I don t write many book reviews but I felt great after reading this book If you have an interest in Greenspan, want to understand monetary policy better or even want a good breakdown of economic history for the past 50 odd years, then I recommend this book.Not only does the reader get to know about one of the most important and misunderstood men of economics of our generation, but I feel that I better understand the economy and financial history as a result.Well done Sebastian Mallaby. One of the most interesting books I have read in some time Well written and easy to follow It must be difficult to write about such a brilliant man in such a way as to make it accessible to all without dumbing it down to an insulting level, so Mallaby must be given credit for his skills as a biographer to pull this off Very good read Wish I had read this book during MBA with case discussion class by class Progressing with the long pages over 700 the naration comes closer to the recent events, i.e the infamous 2007 08 financial crisis, which subsequently marks the end of the book After reading this book I understand about the role and no action attitude demonstrated by decision and policy makers led to this crisis. Best financial book of the year A must read for people who are interested in central banks and international monetary system.