Greenspan: The Man behind Money

Greenspan: The Man behind Money

Greenspan: The Man behind Money

Greenspan: The Man behind Money

Synopsis

Alan Greenspan is one of the most powerful and enigmatic men in the world. Although endlessly pursued by the press and ceaselessly present in the public spotlight, very little about his private life has ever been revealed. Citizen Greenspan: The Man Behind Money presents the celebrated Fed Chairman as few know him. It spans his hardscrabble childhood in Depression-era New York City, his fascinating decades-long friendship with controversial author Ayn Rand, his Juilliard education and days spent touring with Henry Jerome's jazz band, as well as his two marriages, dynamic D.C. social life, and service to five U.S. presidents. Artfully crafted, this biography paints an astonishing and enthralling portrait.

Based on unprecedented access to Greenspan's family members and to such peers as Henry Kissinger, Gerald Ford, and Milton Friedman, Citizen Greenspan: The Man Behind Money makes news and breaks new ground. It also provides fresh insight into Greenspan's reign at the Fed -- from the stomach-churning crash of 1987 to today's rollicking markets -- and a glimpse at what's next for the famous Chairman.

Excerpt

The crisis began with a whimper in a far-off corner of the world. On July 2, 1997, Thailand threw in the towel and gave up defense of its currency, the baht. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was well aware of the event but didn't think it cause for alarm--yet. the perspective from Washington, D.C., suggested that the problem was very much a localized one.

Thailand had been on a borrowing binge for years--sopping up international investment money and using it to finance everything from skyscrapers to shopping malls to golf courses. As the country's economic policy grew increasingly cavalier, managers of U.S. mutual funds and other overseas investors began to suspect that they would not see adequate returns on their money. They started pulling out of Thailand en masse throughout the first half of 1997. That prompted currency speculators to rush in to bet against the baht. Thailand's central bank fell under immense pressure to stave off a devaluation.

In desperation, the country turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for relief. That unexpected cry for help was a signal heard around the world. As the value of the baht fell by 10 percent against the dollar, it became apparent that Thailand was in deep trouble. the first seeds of a global crisis were planted.

Malaysia, Thailand's neighbor to the south, was next to topple. Culturally, the two nations are fairly dissimilar--Thailand is a Buddhist country, while Malaysia's population is predominantly Muslim. Come summer of 1997, however, they shared some conspicuous economic similarities. Each had achieved supercharged gross domestic product . . .

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