Surprising piece in the FT today from Greenspan, where he seeks to refute a critic who blamed him for the housing bubble.
"Housing bubble? Nah, had nothing to do with it" Greenspan essentially retorts.
Well, let's make HP the judge and jury today in regards to Mr. Greenspan and his housing bubble. Here's my list of charges, please add to it:
1) Dropped interest rates too low in a panic
2) Kept interest rates too low for too long
3) Failed to regulate the out of control mortgage lending industry he was supposed to regulate
4) Didn't speak out against the bubble ('oh, a wee bit of froth' cutesy cutesy is not speaking out)
5) Falsely said the Fed could and should do nothing to deflate bubbles
6) Stupidly steered people away from fixed-rate mortgages and into risky ARMs at exactly the wrong time (before he began raising rates), while encouaging the out of control REIC to get even more creative and even more stupid with exotic lending
7) Didn't warn Americans that they could be financially destroyed if they bought a home at a price that was not justified by the fundamentals
Here's Greenspan, approaching his likely date with the gates of hell, futily trying to salvage his destroyed reputation. Too long to print here, but read the whole thing. I did like this one sentence (but Angelo Mozilo won't) - too bad HP'ers knew what was going on and Greenspan didn't. Amazing.
"Could tightened regulation of subprimes have contained some of the reprehensible, and presumably criminal, acts of lenders? Probably. But the broader crisis would likely have arisen even with increased micro-surveillance."