What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think?
Dr. Lawrence M. Parks
November 9th, 2002
FSO's Top 10 Ask The Expert Interviews for 2002
Mr. Greenspan is the most brilliant of anyone who has ever served at the Federal Reserve. I have found some of his speeches, especially those given out of the country, to be extraordinarily candid about the perils, such as possible systemic collapse, of our irredeemable-paper-ticket-checkbook (fiat) money system and, alternatively, the benefits of the gold standard.
Mr. Greenspan is careful with his language. Sometimes he makes straightforward assertions that he believes to be true. Interspersed with these are statements that he qualifies with words such as "presumably," "possibly as a consequence," and so on. In these cases, I believe he is signaling that he does not share this position. Otherwise, he would leave out the qualifier.
The position he holds as Federal Reserve Chairman constrains his language. At the end of his speech, he says that he has to operate within the "context of his political environment." I take this to mean that he does not see himself as someone who can boldly oppose or overtly criticize the current system. However, he is doing us a huge service by repeatedly emphasizing the disaster that awaits us with our present fiat monetary system and the benefits that we would enjoy with gold-as-money.
Mr. Greenspan has pointed the way. It is up to us to use the intellectual ammunition he has provided. It’s a mystery to me why the press and others are not paying more attention to what he's been saying repeatedly for the past three years or more. Perhaps the reason lies with his arcane language.
To help explain how our monetary system works and make Mr. Greenspan's views more easily understood, I have: (1) translated his FedSpeak terminology into plain English; (2) added critical comments; and, (3) suggested areas where further explanation ought to be forthcoming. Where I believe he is mistaken, I say so.
In effect, by enlarging upon Mr. Greenspan's statements, I have constructed a primer about how our monetary system works to transfer wealth from poorer people (ordinary taxpayers) to richer people (bankers and those with a stake in Wall Street firms).
About the Author:
Lawrence Parks is the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education (FAME). He has broad experience in academia, in business, and in finance. He holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Polytechnic University. Dr. Parks has studied the money issue for more than thirty years. His writings have appeared in Pensions & Investments, The Economist, The Washington Times, The Freeman, The Free Market, American Outlook, The United States Congressional Record, National Review, and others. He is an active member of many civic and social organizations, a member of The United Association for Labor Education, The National Writer's Union, UAW 1981, AFL-CIO, and he is a frequent speaker on the Fight for Honest Monetary Weights and Measures. His focus is on how our present fiat monetary system operates to destroy savings, pensions and jobs and what to do about it.
Referenced speech in the interview:
Remarks by Chairman Alan Greenspan
At the Catholic University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
January 14, 1997 "Central Banking and Global Finance"
Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education
Box 625, FDR Station
New York, NY 10150-0625