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Old 09-15-2007, 01:34 PM   #1
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Greenspan finally reveals what he really thought about Bush

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...eenspan115.xml

"Alan Greenspan, the former head of the US Federal Reserve, has issued a withering attack on President Bush handling of the American economy.

The man credited with guiding the US through two decades of economic boom says Mr Bush and his inner circle put their political priorities ahead of the economic good of the country.

Denouncing the tax cuts which President Bush brought after winning power, Mr Greenspan says in his memoirs that the Republicans deserved to lose the last Congressional elections in November because they abandoned fiscal discipline and hugely swelled the US budget deficit.

........

Without elaborating, he also observes: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

By contrast Mr Greenspan said Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were the most intelligent presidents he worked for."
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:05 PM   #2
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Too little, too late Mr. Greenspan. Where was your criticism when you were in office?
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:07 PM   #3
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Originally posted by DrTeeth
Too little, too late Mr. Greenspan. Where was your criticism when you were in office?
Good point, and one that has been made repeatedly by Paul Krugman in his columns.
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:12 PM   #4
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His almost over-complimentary comments regarding Clinton also strike me as a means of trying to associate himself with a successful president, after the fact, as a means of further distancing himself from the Bush administration.

Some people at least had the courage of conviction to point out that Bush was a disaster almost right from the start.
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Old 09-15-2007, 05:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
Too little, too late Mr. Greenspan. Where was your criticism when you were in office?
The problem is that the Federal Reserve chairman is supposed to be politically neutral and be able to work with no matter who is in office. He could have been combative and called Bush an idiot while at the helm, but it might have set a poor precedent for the position, turning it into a political position like the Cabinet. And for someone with as much power as the Federal Reserve Chairman, that would be a disastrous situation.

Perhaps in this case, restraint was the prudent course of action.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:50 PM   #6
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And for someone with as much power as the Federal Reserve Chairman, that would be a disastrous situation.

Is it neutrality to go along with fiscal policy (tax cuts in this instance) which you, at the time, as he admits, felt was inappropriate for the country? He could have resigned if he didn't want to participate in political acrimony, instead of writing a book half a decade later decrying what a horrible economic policy he willingly went along with.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:57 PM   #7
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Originally posted by anitram
Is it neutrality to go along with fiscal policy (tax cuts in this instance) which you, at the time, as he admits, felt was inappropriate for the country? He could have resigned if he didn't want to participate in political acrimony, instead of writing a book half a decade later decrying what a horrible economic policy he willingly went along with.
I was speaking generally, but this instance, I believe, is an example of Greenspan "rewriting history." No, it is not proper for the Fed to go around picking "favorite presidents" while in office, but it is his job to offer sound economic advice. And when it came to the question of the tax cuts, Greenspan, I believe, was openly in support of it.

So this says one of two things about his character: that he's either a liar (saying back then that he was in support of tax cuts when he really was not) or he's disingenuous (rewriting history for the sake of legacy). Nonetheless, the "unreliable narrator" is a fixture of critical analysis of literature, so I'm not too surprised if the latter is actually true.
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Old 09-15-2007, 10:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
Too little, too late Mr. Greenspan. Where was your criticism when you were in office?
He actually did criticize some of Bush's policies while in office.
In his testimony sessions to Congress, he issued warnings about the negative impacts of high budget deficits.
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:23 PM   #9
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In his long-awaited memoir, to be published tomorrow, Greenspan, a Republican whose 18-year tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve was widely admired, will also deliver a stinging critique of President George W Bush’s economic policies.

However, it is his view on the motive for the 2003 Iraq invasion that is likely to provoke the most controversy. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil,” he says.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:54 PM   #10
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Alan Greenspan > Pile of Shit > George W. Bush
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Old 09-16-2007, 10:46 PM   #11
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Wow, I am so glad he spoke up, this needs to be known! I knew it was about oil and Bush is an oilman himself.
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:02 PM   #12
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Wow, I am so glad he spoke up, this needs to be known! I knew it was about oil and Bush is an oilman himself.
Hey. No War For Oil!
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Prosecutors say evidence at the trial will include the diary of an employee of Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization who said Wyatt bragged during a Jan. 27, 2003, meeting that he had convinced a U.S. senator to speak out against an attack on Iraq.

Diary entries indicate Wyatt also discussed the nature of a U.S. invasion of Iraq, including anticipated troop numbers, timing and direction of attack, prosecutors said.

In permitting the evidence to be shown to jurors, Chin noted in a ruling last week that the government planned to prove that Wyatt received the first allocation of oil under the oil-for-food program in 1996 and continued to receive oil until U.S. armed forces entered Iraq in 2003.

Wyatt's lawyers are expected to argue at trial that he always had the best interest of the United States in mind in his dealings with Iraq.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
Too little, too late Mr. Greenspan. Where was your criticism when you were in office?
You don't criticize your boss when you're still working for him.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by AchtungBono


You don't criticize your boss when you're still working for him.
The Federal Reserve is not part of the Executive Branch.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:27 PM   #15
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Greenspan: Ouster Of Hussein Crucial For Oil Security

By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 17, 2007; A03

Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, said in an interview that the removal of Saddam Hussein had been "essential" to secure world oil supplies, a point he emphasized to the White House in private conversations before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Greenspan, who was the country's top voice on monetary policy at the time Bush decided to go to war in Iraq, has refrained from extensive public comment on it until now, but he made the striking comment in a new memoir out today that "the Iraq War is largely about oil." In the interview, he clarified that sentence in his 531-page book, saying that while securing global oil supplies was "not the administration's motive," he had presented the White House with the case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy.

"I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan said in an interview Saturday, "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential."

He said that in his discussions with President Bush and Vice President Cheney, "I have never heard them basically say, 'We've got to protect the oil supplies of the world,' but that would have been my motive." Greenspan said that he made his economic argument to White House officials and that one lower-level official, whom he declined to identify, told him, "Well, unfortunately, we can't talk about oil." Asked if he had made his point to Cheney specifically, Greenspan said yes, then added, "I talked to everybody about that."

Greenspan said he had backed Hussein's ouster, either through war or covert action. "I wasn't arguing for war per se," he said. But "to take [Hussein] out, in my judgment, it was something important for the West to do and essential, but I never saw Plan B" -- an alternative to war.

Greenspan's reference in "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World" to what he calls the "politically inconvenient" fact that the war was "largely about oil" was first reported by The Washington Post on Saturday and has proved controversial.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates took issue with Greenspan on ABC's "This Week" yesterday. "I wasn't here for the decision-making process that initiated it, that started the war," Gates said. But, he added, "I know the same allegation was made about the Gulf War in 1991, and I just don't believe it's true."

Critics of the administration have often argued that while Bush cited Hussein's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and despotic rule as reasons for the invasion, he was also motivated by a desire to gain access to Iraq's vast oil reserves. Publicly, little evidence has emerged to support that view, although a top-secret National Security Presidential Directive, titled "Iraq: Goals, Objectives and Strategy" and signed by Bush in August 2002 -- seven months before the invasion -- listed as one of many objectives "to minimize disruption in international oil markets."

Though Greenspan's book is largely silent about Iraq, it is sharply critical of Bush and fellow Republicans on other matters, denouncing in particular what Greenspan calls the president's lack of fiscal discipline and the "dysfunctional government" he has presided over. In the interview, Greenspan said he had previously told Bush and Cheney of his critique. "They're not surprised by my conclusions," he said.

As for Iraq, Greenspan said that at the time of the invasion, he believed, like Bush, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction "because Saddam was acting so guiltily trying to protect something." While he was "reasonably sure he did not have an atomic weapon," he added, "my view was that if we do nothing, eventually he would gain control of a weapon."

His main support for Hussein's ouster, though, was economically motivated. "If Saddam Hussein had been head of Iraq and there was no oil under those sands," Greenspan said, "our response to him would not have been as strong as it was in the first gulf war. And the second gulf war is an extension of the first. My view is that Saddam, looking over his 30-year history, very clearly was giving evidence of moving towards controlling the Straits of Hormuz, where there are 17, 18, 19 million barrels a day" passing through.

Greenspan said disruption of even 3 to 4 million barrels a day could translate into oil prices as high as $120 a barrel -- far above even the recent highs of $80 set last week -- and the loss of anything more would mean "chaos" to the global economy.

Given that, "I'm saying taking Saddam out was essential," he said. But he added that he was not implying that the war was an oil grab.

"No, no, no," he said. Getting rid of Hussein achieved the purpose of "making certain that the existing system [of oil markets] continues to work, frankly, until we find other [energy supplies], which ultimately we will."
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