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More profoundly, Greenspan is a maestro, a conductor, exquisitely attuned to every instrument in the political and economic orchestra. He rules by consensus, but with a firm hand and notoriously inscrutable words. Marvelously, Woodward relates that Greenspan had to propose twice to his wife, the violinist-turned-TV news star Andrea Mitchell, before she understood: "His verbal obscurity and caution were so ingrained that Mitchell didn't even know that he had asked her to marry him." Woodward gives us the inside story of what Greenspan really thinks and how he outmaneuvered the most ruthless politicians on earth in some of the hairiest times imaginable, from the 1987 stock market crash to the 1994-95 Mexican crisis to the stomach-churning turn of the century. It turns out that for all his awesome knowledge of monetary minutiae, the Fed chief literally relies on "a pain in the pit of my stomach" to make decisions. "At times, he found his body sensed danger before his head," writes Woodward. The Fed chief also adapts Einstein's technique to economics, hunting for discrepancies as keys to deeper theories. Einstein made breakthroughs out of bent light; Greenspan deduced productivity gains that government statisticians had overlooked for years. (The gains appeared when Greenspan made the statisticians calculate productivity by business sector, the way it's done in the real world.)
Woodward's prose is cool and rational, not exuberant. But if you're into economics and politics, you'll find a rich gossip trove here. Who knew Reagan had a draft of a presidential order to shut down Wall Street trading at hand in 1987? Scary! Reading Maestro is better than sitting with Greenspan in his famous tub as he charts your future--it's like being right there inside his head. --Tim Appelo
I read all of Bob Woodward's books as I find him to be an author who can take a fairly academic topic (e.g. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Peter
This was ordered as a gift and as far as I can tell it was appreciated. He was reading it before Christmas night was done!Published 23 months ago by Book Woman
Read it for the second time and liked it again. It may be slightly favorable on its review of Mr Greenspan (e.g. Read morePublished on November 9, 2013 by George Benaroya
I read this book back in 2003. I did not have yet a good understanding of many issues related to economics or monetary policy. Read morePublished on June 26, 2013 by Hugo Chu
This is a great topic, looking behind the scenes at the head of the Federal Reserve during a period of unprecedented success and economic stabilization. Read morePublished on January 5, 2013 by Russell J. Mercer
I bought this book because it was required reading for my AP Macroeconomics class. I felt like it was going to be a drag to read because I had to and was going to have a test on... Read morePublished on May 5, 2012 by laxclimblive15
Reading the book will help you learn more about the American economy, how money flows through the banking system and Wall Street. Read morePublished on July 22, 2011 by Steven C. Thedford
This book makes a macroeconomic text book look exciting! It might be a fun read if you'd like to go through all his assumptions and see how many he got wrong or completely missed.Published on July 1, 2010 by Justin Miller