Alan Greenspan Quotes


The recent evidence increasingly suggests that an economic expansion is already well under way although an array of influences unique to this business cycle seems likely to moderate its speed

There is nothing to guarantee the superior judgment knowledge and integrity of an inspector or a bureaucrat-and the deadly consequences of entrusting him with arbitrary power are obvious.

If prices go down we will have problems - problems in the sense of spillover to other areas Greenspan said. While he hasn't seen such spreading yet I expect to.

I think the whole issue of a debt ceiling makes no sense to me whatsoever. Anybody who is remotely adroit at arithmetic doesn't need a debt ceiling to tell you where you are.

I've always argued that this country has benefited immensely from the fact that we draw people from all over the world.

These days even out of office I still read economic reports.

Before I met Ayn Rand I was a logical positivist and accordingly I didn't believe in absolutes moral or otherwise. If I couldn't prove a proposition with facts and figures it was without merit.

The person I liked the best was Gerald R. Ford. He was the most decent man in politics I ever had any relationships with.

An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense... that gold and economic freedom are inseparable.

Cash is available and we should use that in larger amounts as is necessary to solve the problems of the stress of this.

The arts develop skills and habits of mind that are important for workers in the new economy of ideas.

Gold still represents the ultimate form of payment in the world. Fiat money in extremis is accepted by nobody. Gold is always accepted.

How do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values?

We as central bankers need not be concerned if a collapsing financial asset bubble does not threaten to impair the real economy its production jobs and price stability.

But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade?

Credit-default swaps I think have serious problems associated with them.

The Iraq War is largely about oil.

We're a democratic society. Shutting down the government should not be on the agenda.

History has not dealt kindly with the aftermath of protracted periods of low risk premiums.

I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.

I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that for you to gain those you deal with should gain as well.

It's hard to tell which assets will be toxic. The best way to ensure that only shareholders and banks feel it is have adequate capital.

No matter how skillful the trading scheme over the long haul abnormal returns are sustained only through abnormal exposure to risk.

Well you probably will always believe there should be laws against fraud and I don't think there is any need for a law against fraud.

I'm always amazed that my wife can handle different subjects - one day politics the next day foreign policy. And she always has so much fun doing it. We make a good team.

I was a fairly good amateur musician and I was an average professional. But the one thing I saw was that the big band business was fading.

In the absence of the gold standard there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value.

In the absence of the gold standard there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of valu

American consumers might benefit if lenders provided greater mortgage product alternatives to the traditional fixed-rate mortgage.

As long as we issue fiat currency I see no alternative to a legal tender law.

Chinese productivity is the highest in the world but the way they do it is by borrowing the technology from abroad either by joint ventures or other means.

When you go back and look at American history it's not terribly different from Canadian history. If you weren't self-reliant on the prairie you wouldn't survive.

It's only when the markets are perceived to have exhausted themselves on the downside that they turn. Trying to prevent them from going down just merely prolongs the agony.

It is decidedly not true that "nice guys finish last " as that highly original American baseball philosopher Leo Durocher was alleged to have said.

We really can't forecast all that well and yet we pretend that we can but we really can't.

I was sort of shocked when it all of a sudden turned out that I got all A's through college with the exception of two B's in the first term. I never envisaged myself as summa cum laude.

You have to really stretch your imagination to infer what the intrinsic value of Bitcoin is. I haven't been able to do it. Maybe somebody else can.

It's a bubble. It has to have intrinsic value. You have to really stretch your imagination to infer what the intrinsic value of Bitcoin is. I haven't been able to do it. Maybe somebody else can.

I'm a better economist than I was a sax player.

Without calling the overall national issue a bubble it's pretty clear that it's an unsustainable underlying pattern.

Since I've become a central banker I've learned to mumble with great incoherence. If I seem unduly clear to you you must have misunderstood what I said.

Indeed better risk management may be the only truly necessary element of success in banking.

Anyone willing to do what is required to become president of the United States is thereby barred from taking that office. I'm only half joking

When trust is lost a nation's ability to transact business is palpably undermined.

...our market system depends critically on trust-trust in the word of our colleagues and trust in the word of those with whom we do business.

We need in effect to make the phantom 'lock-boxes' around the trust fund real.

One of the major problems with China is that its innovation is largely borrowed technology.

Any informed borrower is simply less vulnerable to fraud and abuse.

Improvements in lending practices driven by information technology have enabled lenders to reach out to households with previously unrecognized borrowing capacities.

If I've made myself clear I've misspoken.

If I turn out to be particularly clear you've probably misunderstood what I've said.

I guess I should warn you if I turn out to be particularly clear you've probably misunderstood what I've said.

I'm a plain soap kind of guy.

The purpose of a politician is to be a leader. A politician has to lead. Otherwise he's just a follower.

I love to play tennis and golf listen to music watch baseball and root for the Redskins.

To succeed you will soon learn as I did the importance of a solid foundation in the basics of education - literacy both verbal and numerical and communication skills.

We can guarantee cash benefits as far out and at whatever size you like but we cannot guarantee their purchasing power.

Markets do very weird things because it reacts to how people behave and sometimes people are a little screwy.

There is no evidence that the business cycle has been repealed.

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.

Since 1948 I have spent every single day thinking how the economic and political worlds have changed.

There are no easy choices. Easy choices are long gone.

I came to a stark realization: chronic surpluses could be almost as destabilizing as chronic deficits.

Now I only play very occasionally and in fact more piano than clarinet or sax.

Although the outlook is clouded by a number of uncertainties the central tendencies of the projections .. imply continued good economic performance in the United States.

Rules cannot take the place of character.

Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth.

Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the 'hidden' confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights.

Without the triggers that tax cut is irreponsible fiscal policy. Eventually I think that will be the consensus view.

I've always considered myself more of a mathematician than a psychologist.

The very nature of finance is that it cannot be profitable unless it is significantly leveraged... and as long as there is debt there can be failure and contagion.

The need for values is inbred. Their content is not.

You can't have the capitalist system if an increasing number of people think it is unjust.

In general corruption tends to exist whenever governments have favors to extend or something to sell.

The process of innovation is of course never ending.

We will have more crises and none of them will look like this because no two crises have anything in common except human nature.

Crony capitalism is essentially a condition in which... public officials are giving favours to people in the private sector in payment of political favours.

Remember what we're looking at. Gold is a currency. It is still by all evidence a premier currency that no fiat currency including the dollar can match.

The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching since the end of the Second World War.

Fear is a far more dominant force in human behaviour than euphoria - I would never have expected that or given it a moment's thought before but it shows up in the data in so many ways.

The problem is you cannot have free global trade with highly restrictive regulated domestic markets.

Fear invariably and universally induces disengagement and disengagement is negative division of labor.

While local economies may experience significant price imbalances a national severe price distortion seems most unlikely in the United States given its size and diversity.

All taxes are a drag on economic growth. It's only a question of degree.

Regulation of derivatives transactions that are privately negotiated by professionals is unnecessary.

I'm not denying that monopolies are terrible things but I am denying that it is readily easy to resolve them through legislation of that nature.

By far the most significant event in finance during the past decade has been the extraordinary development and expansion of financial derivatives.

The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default.

Productivity is notoriously difficult to predict.

Diplomacy is really far less important than the stock movements within Russia.

[Republicans] swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither. They deserved to lose.

I love facts and figures. It's like following a detective story piecing together what's going on in the economy.

Excessive optimism sows the seeds of its own reversal.

I'm a free-market economist from years and years back and I've never veered from that.

The number one problem in today's generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy.

The gut-feel of the 55-year old trader is more important than the mathematical elegance of the 25-year old genius.

I was a good amateur but only an average professional. I soon realized that there was a limit to how far I could rise in the music business so I left the band and enrolled at New York University.

I get so engaged when I have a problem you cannot solve that I just cannot break away from what I am doing - I keep thinking and thinking and cannot stop.

Protectionism will do little to create jobs and if foreigners retaliate we will surely lose jobs.

Forecasting our futures is built into our psyches because we will soon have to manage that future. We have no choice. No matter how often we fail we can never stop trying.

The culture of Greece is not the same as the culture of Germany and to fuse them into a single unit is extremely difficult.

If I say something which you understand fully in this regard I probably made a mistake.

The free lunch has still to be invented.

Greenspan who knew so much more than most knew far less than most supposed ...

The guiding purpose of the government regulator is to prevent rather than to create something.

Whatever you tax you get less of.

If we allow terrorism to undermine our freedom of action we could reverse at least part of the palpable gains achieved by postwar globalization. It is incumbent upon us not to allow that to happen.

The tub helps me relax and it's a great place to read.

If you think you understand what I am saying you do not understand what I am saying.

History cannot be reduced to a set of statistics and probabilities.

Amateurs want to be right. Professionals want to make money.

Anything that we can do to raise personal savings is very much in the interest of this country.

Revolutions are something you see only in retrospect.

But rules cannot substitute for character.