Saturday, January 21, 2012

Atlas' Happy Days.

Alan Greenspan. 2005 [A]
"If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders (...) what would you tell him to do?" (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged).






The transcriptions of the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee 2001-06 meetings were released last Thursday January 12, 2012. (See here)

This is how mainstream media chronicled these meetings:

The New York Times (12-01-2012):
"As the housing bubble entered its waning hours in 2006, top Federal Reserve officials marveled at the desperate antics of home builders seeking to lure buyers.
"The officials laughed about the cars that builders were offering as signing bonuses, and about efforts to make empty homes look occupied. (...)
" 'We are getting reports that builders are now making concessions and providing upgrades, such as marble countertops and other extras, and in one case even throwing in a free Mini Cooper to sweeten the deal,' George C. Guynn (...) said at the June [2006] meeting." (See here)
The Washington Post (13-01-2012):
"The year began with adulation all around for [Alan] Greenspan. In that January [2006] meeting, Roger Ferguson (...) called Greenspan a 'monetary policy Yoda'." (See here)
All that's good and well, but it fails to capture the mood prevailing in those august meetings, where monetary policy for the US (in extension, for the free world) is decided and where the Great Moderation was generated. The Economist (Free Exchange) and DealBreaker contain a selection of witticisms, jokes, and happy anecdotes, as one would expect from √úbermenschen in the best Randian/Nietzchean tradition.

But The Daily Stag Hunt went one step further and quantified it (the transcripts dutifully noted their laughter).

So thanks to that site's generosity, I'll give you without further comment:
 

Well, bear with me, one little comment: that blue dot corresponds to the meeting where these immortal words were uttered:
"VICE CHAIRMAN GEITHNER.  Mr. Chairman, in the interest of crispness, I've removed a substantial tribute from my remarks.  [Laughter]
"CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN.  I am most appreciative.  [Laughter]
"VICE CHAIRMAN GEITHNER.  I'd like the record to show that I think you're pretty terrific, too.  [Laughter]  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."
I haven't thought yet how I would answer Rand's question, opening this post. That is, assuming the Maestro Atlas Alan Greenspan stopped laughing and that I could be heard over the sounds of boots being licked.

Photo Credits:
[A] Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. 09-11-2005. Wikipedia

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