Greenspan: Brains or Bull Market?

by Alex Stenback on January 31, 2006

There’s an old saying on Wall Street: "Never confuse brains with a bull market."  It means, simply, that a bull market has a way of making investors, money managers, and even Federal Reserve Chairmen, look like geniuses, when they may have just been in the right place at the right time.

Enter Barry Ritholtz, who, while discussing five ‘myths’ about the outgoing Fed honcho, points out that Greenspan assumed the Fed Chairmanship early in the biggest bull market in history, and that his reputation as an economic maestro may have been helped by fortuitous timing.  Here’s the top five myths of the Greenspan era, (see The Big Picture for more on these):

1. Greenspan whipped inflation.
2. Greenspan’s flexibility met all challenges.
3. The ‘plunge protection team.’
4. The Greenspan ‘put’
5. Greenspan as economic sage.

We know this borders on heresy, with Greenspan sure to be ensconced in the economic pantheon, but thought it was an interesting counterweight to the wall-to-wall Greenspan love coverage.  After all, how smart can a guy be if he once voluntarily dated Barbara Walters in the 70′s?
ยท Free Lunch: Myths of the Greenspan Era [The Big Picture]

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