Old & fat, but strong; American, Chinese, & Indian (sort of); Ph.D. in C.S.; strategy, economics & stability theory; trees & machining.
You would not travel to the ends of the earth to consult a great oracle and then ask for just the facts so you can draw your own conclusions. When consulting a grandmaster in any field the most useful thing to seek are the opinions that represent a synergy or summary of the 200K hours of work that went into becoming grandmaster (grandmasters don’t work 40 hour weeks).
Greenspan obliges. The book is nothing but onions from the first page to the last. But they are the opinions that are in his opinion the most important, which in the end may be the most important opinion to solicit from a grandmaster.
The result, however, is a very pleasant survey of economics. The kind of thing every citizen should know. His bias is decidedly modern and he’s slightly conservative. He seems to think of himself as an economic rebel, and I’m sure that was true when he started his career (before most readers were born), but today his views are the new mainstream.
This is really a book written for the average person, not the serious scholar. It succeeds at its goal, very well.
This is one of my favorite audiobooks this year. It was interesting, well read and kept moving. For a book about global economics, I was impressed at how much I wanted to continue listening when I had to stop (to go to work, etc.).
The narration is excellent. The book is downloadable in three parts. The content is disappointing and a bit smug. Ideal, for anyone who hasn't spent much time studying Economics. Economists can buy it to help them get to sleep.
Greenspan has decided to take many of the headline topics in the history of economic doctrines and couch them in everyday words, reinforcing the concepts by adding his own highly general comments. As one would expect, the poorly read mainstream media has already installed Greenspan as a genius -- a term with which he feels entirely at home. I was astounded at the naivite of his knowledge of modern Economics. For example, he claims he was influenced by H. De Soto when the two met. It was de Soto that led him to think that establishing a dedicated system of property rights could lead to an expansion of wealth in the Third World. But, property rights have been on the table in economics since at least Coase's time in the 1930's and have long been a well known specialty at schools like UCLA, the University of Virginia, and VPI. Giants in economic thought like Buchanan, Tullock,Demsetz, Alchian, and Hirchleifer have always emphasized the essential nature of property rights. I was taught this 30 years ago. How come it took Mr. Greenspan so long to get it?
When he gets to Adam Smith he finds someone worthy of apotheosis. Yet, he misses the most
important part of Smith's analysis -- namely that "free international trade" can expand the scope of the market and allow the otherwise limited division of labor and specialization of industry. R. Coase and G. Stigler have much more penetrating insights into Smith than Mr. Greenspan. But, they didn't serve as the head of the US central bank. They didn't enjoy making routine speeches to jet-setting, caviar filled bellies at Davos.
In summary, I expect the book will be justly panned at our major universities. Mr. Greenspan is in danger of breaking his own arm patting himself on the back.
Elegantly written. All of his assertions about the economy may not be entirely on mark. I mean totally hands off legislative policies and total deregulation are not ideal, because unfettered capitalist will run amok, but the book is totally interesting in the historical context in which it is written. And mostly lassiez faire capitalism is probably the best answer, but not entirely.
It is also an inspiring book. If an average Jewish boy from a lower middle class New York neighborhood can rise to the heights of the most powerful man in banking then anything is possible for anyone, right?
A bit too long...but full of exceptional insights... I would need to listen to this book at least a couple more times to begin to grasp it all... One last thought... you could start with part 2 of the download and miss almost nothing... I really didn't expect to hear about his early years in the glee club... But... it is still a great book!
A fantastic book to read/ listen to. Lots and lots of content. A must for everyone interested in economy and politics.
Probably better to buy it under a written form, as this book is a reference and will be used later to check our own understanding (this explains the 4 star rating)
Despite the hype, this book is a very good read. Provides an insight into economics, politics, business, and the workings of the Fed all in one package.
London Arizona man
I was a little disappointed with Greenspan's efforts as it did not provide nearly as much insight into his and the Fed's thinking and process as was hyped - most of the information he presented is already common knowledge amongst market participants; however, the memoir aspect of how he, the markets and the Fed evolved were very enjoyable.
Having admired the role of Greenspan, Rubin (and Summers) during the Clinton years and beyond, I eagerly anticipated this audiobook and I was not disappointed. Everything from the narrator to the rich and accessible content made the audiobook absolutely wonderful. At a time when the rapid and nauseating forces of globalization compounded with an seemingly vulnerable economy are creating much malaise, the voice of Greenspan could not have been more welcome and timely. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.