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Greenspan's Fraud: How Two Decades of His Policies Have Undermined the Global Economy Hardcover – April 14, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1987, Alan Greenspan was appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Batra had a bestseller predicting a depression deeper than the Great Depression, lasting from 1990 to 1996. Batra's second book, two years later, predicting the crash of 1990 did less well, and his books predicting disaster in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 found fewer readers, lucid as they were. Batra did correctly predict a stock market downturn in 2000, but erred by blaming the Y2K computer bug and forecasting high inflation and deep, long lasting negative growth. Now Batra has switched from predicting the future to criticizing the past. Readers expecting sensational charges will be disappointed. "This is not fraud in the legal sense," the author reassures us. Instead, Greenspan has "seriously afflicted the finances of millions of families." Batra faults Greenspan's views on social security, minimum wage, taxes and the trade deficit. As always, his economic arguments are expressed elegantly. Missing is a direct link to Greenspan, who had only a peripheral advisory role in these issues (his job is setting interest rates, financial policy and bank regulation) and voices only highly modulated views when he does give opinions. The misplaced focus weakens the sound economic arguments, and the title is sensationalized at best. 100,000 first printing. $100,000 ad/promo. (May 9)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
It is hard to decide who has the bigger ego, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan or prolific author and professor Batra, who has written, among other books, The Great Depression of 1990 (1987). Batra takes great glee in demonstrating, step by step, how Greenspan has committed all kinds of fraud, starting with Social Security on through the trade deficit. When it comes to Social Security, the author claims, Greenspan has been operating a three-part ploy: raise an alarm about the deficit, ask workers for yet more sacrifices, then spend the extra monies on various government programs. Laissez-faire reigns supreme; the principle of an economy untouched by government holds sway. What's more, Batra includes charts detailing events pivotal to the chairman's fraud. His statistics are impressive, such as the fact that the bottom 20 percent of the country (or 56 million people) live on 3.6 percent of the national income. So are his visions of an economic democracy, including stability, fair and efficient treatment, and a far better standard of living for all; however, Batra's emotional presentation lessens his book's effectiveness. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
This will shock you as to how corrupt our political system is, along with our pathetic business climate in this country and a worthless media.
Mr. Batra is an accomplished writer and he manages to explain to the layman difficult economic principles. The last part of the book carries Mr. Batra's recommendations for a sound economy. This is a great economics book.
The real question then becomes how responsible was Greenspan ? Batra glosses over the fact that there are three other regulatory players involved besides the Federal Reserve System's Federal Open Market Committee(FOMC),a quasi private,quasi public agency that controls monetary policy.The other 3 regulatory agencies are the Comptroller of the Currency,the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC),and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation(Federal Savings and Loans Insurance Corporation).All of these agencies have failed to enforce basic loan and creditworthiness standards and requirements.Probably the greatest blame can be assigned to the various chairmen of the SEC after Bill Casey.They have all failed egregiously by failing to protect Main Street from the Wall Street bubble makers.None of these bubbles would have had a chance to get going if Casey were still running the SEC.Greenspan can be assigned no more than 25% of the blame. Batra's other criticisms,such as Greenspan's statements on Social Security and its future prospects as the Baby Boomers retire,is not really relevant since Greenspan had no explicit policy making power in this area.