Friday, August 19, 2011

"The Biggest Asshole in the Universe"

Contrary to popular opinion, it's not me.

I've long suspected that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was something less than the economic "maestro" he was lauded as. In the second chapter of Griftopia, Matt Taibbi exposes the real Greenspan, and it's much worse than I imagined. From an interview, here's a taste of what makes Greenspan so, er, distasteful:
Greenspan is a classic con man. A guy who reached power by sounding smart and giving pretty speeches to politicians who didn’t know what he was talking about much of the time... And he stayed in power by giving the powerful what they wanted. There were disastrous consequences for everybody but him. In the process, he presided over this period where more and more political decisions were moved to unaccountable financial bureaucracies. That’s a big part of the story too: how guys like him gained power and the politicians officially lost power.
My wife snatched the book from me at Christmas, literally picking it out of my gift pile, but now I'm finally reading it. Taibbi is my favorite political writer -- the best (only?) reason to subscribe to Rolling Stone -- and so far Griftopia doesn't disappoint.

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