Alan Greenspan is a well-known economist with years of experience in the economic spectrum. He has held many prestigious positions for an economist including Although Greenspan’s political party affiliation is with the republicans, he has proclaimed himself as a long-time “libertarian Republican.”
Greenspan’s most famous written work is The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World. In this memoir he recounts his entire life, from childhood, to decisions he made while the chairman of the Federal Reserve.
In 2005 Greenspan was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. This accolade is the highest civilian award in the United States. This medal is bestowed upon a person to recognize their outstanding meritorious service to the United States.
One interesting fact about Alan Greenspan is that he completes a good amount of his most important work in the mornings, while soaking in his bathtub.

Family Life and Education:

Alan Greenspan was born in New York City in 1926 to Herbert Greenspan and Rose Goldsmith. His family lived in the Washington Heights area and practiced Judaism. Unfortunately, Greenspan’s parents divorced when he was five and he moved in with his mother and her parents. Greenspan was a very intellectual student and did extremely well in grammar school. Greenspan graduated from George Washington High School in 1943 with honors. Although Greenspan eventually attended a series of universities acquiring various degrees he first enrolled at The Juilliard School. However, he only went to Juilliard from 1943-1944 to study the clarinet. After his stint at Juilliard, Greenspan joined a professional jazz band and then returned to college in 1945. Greenspan chose to attend New York University, receiving his BA in economics in 1948 and his MA in Economics in 1950. Greenspan also obtained his Ph.D. in economics from NYU in 1977.
Greenspan is currently married to Andrea Mitchell, a journalist who hosts Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC. Greenspan was also married once before to a painter, Joan Mitchell, however the marriage was annulled after a year. Greenspan and Andrea currently live in the Palisades neighborhood of Washington, D.C.


Before becoming chairman of the Federal Reserve in 1987, Greenspan held many different jobs. For a short period of time, between 1948 and 1953, Greenspan was employed by The Conference Board, as an economic analyst. From 1955 to 1987 Greenspan held a steady position as president and chairman of Townsend-Greenspan and Company, his economic consulting firm. images5.jpgOne other position Greenspan held during that time included his work under President Ford as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
In 1987 Greenspan was nominated by President Reagan as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Greenspan held this important position for almost twenty years. During his time as chairman he dealt with many tumultuous economic issues. One event he was able to persevere through was the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Although this day affected many citizens differently, Greenspan had to think of the economy and how it would be changed due to this tragedy. 9/11 is also one topic he recalls in his book, The Age of Turbulence.
After his tenure at the Federal Reserve, Greenspan continued to do what he does best, give advice. He has been hired in such places as Paulson & Co. to be an advisor on economic issues. Greenspan has also started his own consulting company, Greenspan Associates LLC.

Thoughts and Theories:

One famous term Greenspan will always be remembered for is irrational exuberance. Irrational exuberance was first used in Greenspan’s speech at the American Enterprise Institute in the middle of the Dot-com bubble of the 1990s. This phrase was used to express his concern of how the market could be, to some extent, overvalued.
While on an episode of the Daily Show Greenspan expressed his belief that macroeconomic forecasting is a failure. He says it is no better than it was about fifty years ago. Greenspan then concluded that forecasting hasn't improved because human nature can't be changed.images1.jpg
Greenspan was greatly influenced by his friend, Ayn Rand, a writer and social philosopher, and her philosophy of Objectivism. Objectivism can be seen as the pursuit of economic self-interest to the exclusion of the interests of society as a whole. Rand’s influence was able to get Greenspan to look at things that he originally thought were outside the realm of reason.

Current Events:

Due to the recent economic crisis Greenspan’s reputation has somewhat faltered. He was once considered the greatest central banker that ever lived and is now receiving an extensive amount of criticism. Greenspan has had to defend himself many times in the past couple of years.
Greenspan is currently the president of Greenspan Associates LLC. He works as a private advisor and provides consulting services for firms.

The following videos don't show Greenspan in the best light, however, they are somewhat accurate and quite humorous :)

"Alan Greenspan." NNDB: Tracking the Entire World. Web. 30 Nov. 2010. <>.
Greenspan, Alan. The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World. New York, NY: Penguin, 2008. Print.
Kershner, Isabel. "Greenspan's Firm Is Closing - New York Times." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. 30 July 1987. Web. 30 Nov. 2010. <>.
Martin, Justin. Greenspan: the Man behind Money. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Pub., 2000. Print.
Hagenbaugh, Barbara. " - 'Bigger-than-life' Fed Chairman Retires." News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World - 01 Feb. 2006. Web. 30 Nov. 2010. <>.
Krugman, Paul R. The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009. Print.