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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bob Brinker, Greenspan, Bernanke and Paul Volcker

Bob Brinker's comments about the "Maestro" on Moneytalk this last weekend (see excerpts I previously posted) are spot on, in my opinion. Alan Greenspan may be the first EX-Fed Chair to ever roam the world and shoot off his big mouth--no offense, SIR, but you had your seventeen years of doublespeak. Why now are your words crystal clear???
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PRAGUE (Reuters) - Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan sees no imminent danger in the weakening of the U.S. dollar, a Czech newspaper quoted him as telling a closed-door conference in Prague via a video link.
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Greenspan reiterated his view expressed earlier this month that the odds of a U.S. recession due to the credit crisis were 50 percent at most, the daily Pravo said in an advance copy of a story set for publication on Thursday.
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The ex-Fed chairman said inflation was a far bigger concern for the United States than the dollar, which was trading at a tolerable level, the newspaper said..
Greenspan said it was impossible to foresee an end to the U.S. economic troubles and that the outlook for the economy hinged on a recovery in the property market, he was quoted as telling the conference organized by the Czech Teleaxis agency..



Moneytalk Monologue Excerpt, March 17, 2007, Bob Brinker said:
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  • "I do admire Paul Volcker. When he turned over the reins to Alan Greenspan back in 1987, he did it with dignity. He did it with class. He did it with respect. Dignity, class and respect equals Paul Volcker. Because when the Maestro took over, he really did not have to look over his shoulder every day to see what Paul Volcker was saying.
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    Now Paul Volcker at that point had become a legend, an icon, a true legend in his time, unlike so many people that we know about today - names to be withheld - who are simply legends in their own mind. We know who they are. No, Paul Volcker was a legend in his time. And one should not be surprised at the way he respected the role of his successor, who happened to be the Maestro - and was not out there stirring things up all over the world while the Maestro is trying to get a foothold, trying to get the reins of the new job.
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    It's a tough job - the most powerful man in the world. Don't let presidents fool you by telling you they are - they're not - the Fed Chair is. And I think back to those Paul Volcker days, especially those days after he handed off the reins to the Maestro. And I think how wonderful it must have been for the Maestro to have had a classy, dignified, respectful predecessor in Paul Volcker, that would allow him to take his Chair and move forward without looking over the shoulder every five minutes at what Paul Volcker might be saying behind his back around the world to the investment community in particular. And I think myself how sad it is - how SAD it is that, in my opinion, Ben Bernanke has not been presented with that same set of circumstances. How sad that is, and yet how obvious that is"___Bob Brinker

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Moneytalk Call Excerpt, Sunday March 18, 2007:
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  • Caller: "With guys like Alan Greenspan out there, do you put that into your model portfolio. I'm starting to wonder about, is it about time to start thinking getting a little safe - to go to the sidelines?"
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    * Bob Brinker replied: "Well to be frank with you, to be frank with you, James - at this point, there's probably nothing that Alan Greenspan could say in his worldwide speech-making tour that would make a hill of beans difference to me.
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    Because, frankly, to be honest with you, I'm being straight here - I've pretty much discounted the guy at this point, and I'm going to tell you why. Because I would have thought seventeen years as the most powerful man on earth, being a knight of the British Empire, being coined the Maestro in a best-selling book - I would have thought that all of that - a career like that would have been enough, would have been enough for the Maestro. And when I see what I'm seeing, and I love your word "upstage."
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    I'm going to be honest, I've held back here, now I'm not going to hold back. If I were Ben Bernanke, I'd be furious with this guy. I would be FURIOUS with this guy. That's what would be the case, if I were Ben Bernanke. And the fact that Ben has held his tongue puts him more in the class of a Paul Volcker, in terms of dignity and self-control and respect. I would be furious with this guy, because I would be saying what you were saying earlier in your comment - what is this guy doing?!"___Bob Brinker

1 comment:

Kirk said...

"Alan Greenspan may be the first EX-Fed Chair to ever roam the world and shoot off his big mouth--no offense, SIR, but you had your seventeen years of doublespeak. Why now are your words crystal clear???"

Two comments.

#1. The peanut farmer had no problems shooting off his mouth after he left office and "they" gave him a Nobel prize. There is good money to be made in the media bashing Republicans.

#2. I watched several of Greenspan's interviews about his book. He was asked about "Greenspeak" and he came out and said he came up with that as a way to avoid saying "no comment" when pressed by some members of congress who wanted him to make statements that they could use in political arguments. I thought it was brilliant. When you listened to his answers in real time, as I often did, he pretty much said he wasn't going to give them a sound byte to use, especially if it went against his Libertarian beliefs that less government spending is good and it it means cutting taxes to starve the cancer, then that was fine by him. As a fellow Libertarian, it was not that hard for me to get his message but I think many on the rob from the rich to get elected by the poor were not sharp enough to pick up on it.