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Panderer to Power: The Untold Story of How Alan Greenspan Enriched Wall Street and Left a Legacy of Recession Hardcover – October 22, 2009


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Panderer to Power: The Untold Story of How Alan Greenspan Enriched Wall Street and Left a Legacy of Recession + Greenspan's Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve + The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (October 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071615423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071615426
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Frederick J. Sheehan is a former director of asset allocation services at John Hancock Financial Services and the coauthor of the critically acclaimed Greenspan’s Bubbles. He has written for Marc Faber’s Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, Whiskey & Gunpowder, and the Prudent Bear Web sites. He serves as an advisor to investment firms and endowments. He lives in the Boston area.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 17 customer reviews
A very worthwhile read.
Stephen B. Selbst
This is a far better book than most post-recession analyses that have been published.
J. Davis
Thanks to Mr. Sheehan for revealing the real Mr. Greenspan.
William D. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Fernando del Pino Calvo on December 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Fred Sheehan is THE expert on Alan Greenspan and, in my view, this is THE book to know about him and his years at the Fed. Sheehan has written extensively about Greenspan and his policies for many years, being first skeptical and then critical when everyone else believed in the Maestro myth, which of course Greenspan himself and the media helped create through the long bull market. Thoroughly researched, the book is mostly factual, based on FOMC transcripts, memories from other Fed officials, conversations with colleagues, and other sources, each of them duly mentioned by the author. Among many eye opening issues, like his mediocre real forecasting track record, the transcript of the Senate confirmation hearing of the soon-to-be Fed Chairman back in 1987 will surely impress you. This is a serious book which shows the man behind the myth, and the politician - not the expert - Greenspan really was. Not only did he help create the bubble: he probably was a bubble himself. Finally, the book is a deep reflection on the flaws of the Federal Reserve as an institution. In the end, we must always focus on systems, not individuals. What has happened is not about a fallible man; it is about the flawed system that allowed him to do damage.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Lewitt on December 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an insightful study of the profound failures of Alan Greenspan's tenure as Federal Reserve Chairman. Fred Sheehan clearly articulates how Greenspan created a system that privatizes profit and socializes risk. In doing so, he performs an extremely important task in speaking truth to power about a man who was unquestionably revered by virtually every powerful sector of the financial sector. Mr. Sheehan shows why this was the case - because Greenspan was serving the interests of Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. This book provides an indispensable explanation of the Greenspan years, and serves as a bold warning regarding the misguided policies that continue to lead this nation down the wrong path. Mr. Sheehan deserves great praise for this book, which should be read by every person who wants to understand what is happening to our system.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Davis on February 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a far better book than most post-recession analyses that have been published. Sheehan hammers Greenspan for hundreds of pages in Panderer to Power, yet the book stays exciting the whole way through. It's one silly statement by the "Maestro" after another. But this is more than a negative biography of Greenspan; numerous other characters are ripped to shreds in this polemic-Barney Frank and Ben Bernanke are just two more of many victims of Sheehan's caustic wit. (On Frank's defense of Fannie Mae: "Whatever Frank's qualifications for his post, reading a balance sheet was not one of them.") In fact, other than Lawrence Lindsey, no one comes out looking competent in Panderer to Power. A must read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John J. Hughes on December 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a well written, deeply researched and thoughtfully analyzed account of Alan Greenspan's ascent to power. Author Fred Sheehan provides a critical account of the Fed Chairman's rise to prominence to support the proposition that Greenspan betrayed his principles--early and often-- to further his own personal ambitions. This book is an indictment of the man and the system that allowed him to flourish. It should be read as a complement to "Age of Turbulence", Greenspan's own interesting but overly sympathetic recollection of history.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael Caution on August 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Overall Sheehan's argument is that Greenspan made a concerted effort to obtain power through social and political manipulation and through obfuscation sought to maintain that power in his position at the Federal Reserve. Or as he puts it quoting Ayn Rand, "Do you think Alan might basically be a social climber?"

Sheehan makes the case using several examples throughout Greenspan's career that the Fed Chairman couldn't have bungled it up any more than he did during his tenure. He weaves a story that can be hard to follow for the lay reader not versed in economic jargon which limits the book's impact when trying to assess and follow Sheehan's arguments. Being a book on economic policy and the Fed it's expected to touch on aspects of this but a lot of the storyline hinges on the reader understanding economic parlance and shuffling between dates of a specific timeline that make it hard to keep track of it all. This lack of understanding can limit the reader in grasping the full argument of the book having to instead come away only with broad estimations of Greenspan's negative performance.

The facts Sheehan presents concerning Greenspan's performance amount to the same standard economic argument against central banking and the Fed that has been put forth many times over. Economic explanations against government intervention abound. But why aren't people convinced, why isn't there an overwhelming popular sentiment to get rid of the Fed and establish a real system of laissez-faire? Because people aren't moved primarily by economics but by morality. Enter Ayn Rand and the real flaw of Sheehan's argument.
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