As Fed chairman, Greenspan dominated the American economy for two decades, using monetary policy to steer through several disasters as well as through one of the longest economic booms in history.
Greenspan weathered the Black Monday stock crash of 1987; the first Gulf War and the recession that followed in 1990 and 1991; the dot-com bubble that burst in 2000; and the housing boom that collapsed just after he left the Fed. His tenure was exceeded only by William McChesney Martin, who served from 1951 to 1970.
Less than a year after testifying that his free market approach to the financial sector was "wrong 30 percent of the time," Greenspan took aim at what he called "government activism." Writing in International Finance in March of 2011, Greenspan railed against the "frenetic pace of new financial regulations," which he said hampered "what should be a broad-based robust economic recovery."
Greenspan was appointed head of the Federal Reserve in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan. He served on advisory boards for Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan. He was born and educated in New York City.
After earning his MA in 1950, Greenspan became a 20-year associate of the philosopher Ayn Rand, author of books "The Virtue of Selfishness," "Atlas Shrugged" and the founder of Objectivism. Greenspan wrote for Rand’s newsletters and contributed a chapter for one of her books.
Greenspan attended The Julliard School, where he played the saxophone and clarinet. He received a BA (1948) an MA (1950) and a PhD (1977) in Economics from New York University. He also studied at Columbia University from 1950-1951.
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