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Alan Greenspan: The Oracle Behind the Curtain Hardcover – February 16, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


Whatever the subject and the audience, he [Ray Cantebury] writes clear and interesting prose. --James Tobin, Nobel Prize, Economic Sciences, 1981

There are few scholars whose work I have found more interesting, and who have more consistently elicited my respect. --John Kenneth Galbraith, Harvard University

A fast rundown of the Ayn Rand devotee who pulls the right-wing strings on the US and global economy! --Gar Alperovitz, University of Maryland

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Alan Greenspan has been the single most powerful figure affecting the global economy since 1987. He had substantial influence before then as an economic adviser to Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald Ford. Even retired, he will remain an important political force. He has been called apolitical, someone so detached from politics that he can always be trusted. Above all, he is the detached observer subservient to no political motive or operative. He is pure. He wants also to maintain the purity of the Federal Reserve System so as to insulate the Fed from the influence of politicians, who surely cannot be trusted.

Greenspan’s purity—as with most self-consciously persistent claims—is a myth. Moreover, as we will come to know, the purity of the Federal Reserve System is a sham. In the instance of Mr. Greenspan, "purity" generally has meant selfless dedication to an objective view of economic conditions untarnished by decisions benefiting special interests. To the contrary, we best understand this wizard behind the veil of money through a realistic understanding of his aims as well as the supra-natural instincts of the Federal Reserve System. But, first, let us consider Greenspan.

Greenspan’s policies have always been directed at the protection of the greatest financial wealth holders. Whether it is dealing with stock market bubbles, currency crises or the bailout of giant financial institutions, his actions and those of the Federal Reserve generally have been forces shifting the income and wealth of Americans toward the top and away from the bottom and middle classes. Only through this prism can his policy positions and those inherited by his successor be understood. These effects go beyond the United States; it is a global strategy carried out not only though the Fed, but through multinational financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and private hedge funds. The Federal Reserve and the wizard have a unified defense for such policies: A central bank can’t influence the configurations of family incomes and wealth. This is simply and categorically wrong.

Maestro Greenspan’s background ideally prepared him for his historic conducting of monetary policy. From his early days in New York City he quietly groomed himself for the uncompromising ideological stance he would take. Because of the imprint he leaves at the Federal Reserve, a shift in direction will require two things: the selection of a chair of opposite ideological leanings (unlikely in the age of President George W. Bush) and a severing of the intimate ties of the American central bank to the American and global financial community. Because of the co-dependency of the two—the setting of financial policy by the Fed and the use of financial markets to conduct these policies— institutional reformwill require progressive forces at least as strong and effective as present day neoconservatism. We turn now to the maestro, the wizard, the oracle, and the Pope’s inevitability.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 193 pages
  • Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company; annotated edition edition (February 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9812566066
  • ISBN-13: 978-9812566065
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #569,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

One of the most respected economists worldwide, E. Ray Canterbery is the author of many acclaimed books, including, most recently, The Rise and Fall of Global Austerity, Harry S. Truman: The Economics of a Populist President, and The Global Great Recession. He has also published a novel, Black Box, Inc., while authoring two biographies (Alan Greenspan: The Oracle Behind the Curtain and F. Scott Fitzgerald: Under the Influence, with Thomas D. Birch), as well as other works in economics. His A Brief History of Economics is a best-seller, and his The Making of Economics is a classic. He also is the author of some 100 articles and reviews. He is currently working on Beyond Conventional Economics and a novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life entitled Scott.

Canterbery has served as President of the Eastern Economics Association and of the International Trade and Finance Association. In January 1996, Prentice-Hall, Inc. selected him for one of their 100 Hall of Fame Economist Baseball Cards for "significant contributions to the economics discipline," including "developing one of the first complete mathematical theories of foreign exchange." He was a Truman Scholar during 2001-04, during which he collected copies of documents related to his book on Harry Truman.

The International Biography Centre in Cambridge, England includes Canterbery among 500 persons worldwide in its Living Legends (2004), among 2000 scholars worldwide in its Outstanding Scholars in the 21st Century (2002), in 1000 Great Intellectuals (2002), in 2000 Outstanding People (2003), and in One Thousand Great Americans (2003). The American Biographical Institute includes Canterbery in its Great Minds of the 21st Century (2002) and American Biography (2003). In the same year, John Kenneth Galbraith, who knew both John Maynard Keynes and Michal Kalecki, called Canterbery "the best." He has also been listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in America, as well as other biographical sources.

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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. E. Mann on February 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read this book twice to make sure I understood. It is very readable and enjoyable, as much as one can enjoy any of the usual conspiracy theory books which abound, today. At least this is a scholarly conspiracy theory book.

Let's look at the book in a few short sentences, via the Lenses of Political Machinations, Historical Insight and Cynical Squint.

How does our present day political contest appear when translated by this book?

The McCain is his usual cynical self. It's OK to pander to the anti-Castroites and give them a few "Cuba Libre" salutes in Florida -- how else does anyone obtain votes down there? After he is elected, all bets are off, just as in every political race. He has some muddled ideas about how to fix the financial system, but in the end will rely upon another Greenspan.

Hussein Obama is, of course, a liberal and a sycophant of the Marcuse theory of "democracy". In his mind, you sleep with the Devil (and enjoy the Hell out of it) and get what you want.

Now what be happening when Obama be President? Pretty much what happened when political scientists studied the regimes of LBJ, HST, and FDR. A number of studies were made in the late 1990's which attempted to show how much disaster a far-left President could create by his Supreme Court appointments and by his pushing the Congress to do his liberal bidding.

You might be surprised that LBJ came out on top as the most liberal social activist president.

Aha, you say, but what about Carter and his Global yada yada? Nie'chevo, as Lenin would have said -- nada on his yada.

Compare LBJ -- a deep-south mentality pork-barrel politician of the Kingfish genre (Louisiana, not Amos 'n Andy) -- with Carter.
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Alan Greenspan: The Oracle Behind the Curtain
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