Biography of Alan Greenspan

Biography of Alan Greenspan

Alan Greenspan is an influential American economist.

Childhood and youth

Alan Greenspan was born in Washington Heights, New York. His father was Herbert Greenspan, a stockbroker and market analyst in New York, and his mother was Rose Goldsmith. His family was of Jewish origin.

In 1943, he graduated from the George Washington High School and entered the prestigious Julliard School, where he studied the clarinet, where he played with his school friend Stan Goetz. In 1948, Greenspan received a bachelor’s degree in economics, and in 1950 – a master’s degree in economics from New York University. After that, he entered Columbia University for further study of the economy, but then interrupted his studies.


While studying at New York

University, Greenspan began working in one of the investment banks on Wall Street – “Brown Brothers Harriman”, at which time the head was Eugene Banks. He worked in the department of capital assessment.

From 1948 to 1953 he worked as an economic observer at The National Industrial Conference Board, which dealt with industry and business issues.

In 1954, he became a partner of William Townsend at Townsend-Greenspan & Co., Inc., and when, four years later, William died, Alan bought out his share and became president of the company.

In 1968, a friend of Alan Greenspan introduced him to Richard Nixon, whom he later helped with during the election campaign. But when Nixon won the election, Greenspan gave up his proposed administrative post.

In March 1969, he began working in the Commission of the Unnecessary Armed Forces, better known as the “Gates Commission.” The members of this commission suggested canceling the conscription for military service.

In 1974, Nixon appointed him head of the Council of Economic Advisers. When Ford became president, Greenspan remained in office, but during Carter’s term, the term of office was completed and was not renewed and Greenspan left the post.

In 1981, US President Reagan appointed Greenspan to the post of chairman of

the National Commission for Social Security Reform. Two years later, the Greenspan Commission presented its report on social security reform.

In 1987, Reagan appointed him chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System after his predecessor, Paul Volcker, resigned. Many believed that Greenspan lobbied his appointment to this post.

In 1991, George HW Bush extended, and the Senate approved, Greenspan’s tenure as chairman, and appointed Greenspan a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for a period of 14 years.

US President Clinton also extended the tenure of Greenspan’s presidency twice – for the third and fourth terms. George W. Bush also appointed Greenspan chairman, but only once, and his tenure in office ended in 2006.

In 2011, the Commission investigating the causes of the crisis found that the global financial crisis three years earlier was due to Greenspan’s inability to stop trading in securities in a soap bubble and financial deregulation.

Basic work

In 1987, the Dow Jones industrial index fell by 508 points. Greenspan, who only served as chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System, was forced to act quickly to ensure liquidity in the markets. As the economies of Asia experienced the financial crisis and recession the same year, to protect the economy, Greenspan lowered US interest rates, and two years later raised them when the economies of Asia “went on the mend.”

Awards and achievements

Alan Greenspan was awarded the “Presidential Medal of Freedom,” which is the highest civilian award in the United States. The award was presented by George W. Bush in 2005. He was also awarded the medal “For Difference in the Public Service” from the US Department of Defense.

In 2000, the French government awarded Greenspan the honorary title of Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honor, and in 2002 Greenspan became a Knight of the Order of the British Empire.

According to his official biography posted on the US Federal Reserve website, Greenspan was awarded honorary degrees from the following universities: Harvard, Yale, Pennsylvania, Leven Catholic University, Notre Dame University, Wake Forest University and Colgate University.

Personal life and heritage

Greenspan was twice married – his first marriage was with Joan Mitchell and did not last long, and in 1997 he married Andrea Mitchell, a reporter for the NBC television channel, who was twenty years his junior. For Andrea Mitchell, this marriage also became the second.

The state of Alan Greenspan is estimated at $ 10 million; he is the owner of Greenspan Associates LLC, which provides private consulting services to other companies.

Interesting Facts

Alan Greenspan said that he wrote his book of memoirs “The Age of Shocks: Adventures in the New World” in the bath. A habit of staying in the bath for a long time appeared after a back injury.

He gave such an economic forecast: “Protectionism policy will not help us in creating new jobs, because if foreigners want to fight this, we will certainly continue to observe a reduction in the number of jobs.”

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Biography of Alan Greenspan