Greenspan’s Fraud: How two decades of his policies have undermined the global economy is an ambitious and bold book by Dr. Ravi Batra, professor of economics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas (Texas). This book is a direct, harsh, and explicit critique of Greenspan and his policies during the years he was the Fed Chief. Professor Batra blames Greenspan for most of the economic failures during his time at the Feds and later. The most interesting and provocative characterestic of the book is not only that Greenspan is held responsible for many economic problems, these problems are clearly attributed at times to stupidity and naivity and at other times to deception and fraud. Professor Batra discusses Greenomics- Greenspan’s economics- and finds that it was based on what Wall Street wanted, rather than on sound economic theory. The book’s conclusion (and assumption) is that Greenspan committed an intellectual and financial fraud on the American people, which resulted in substantial negative impact on the economy of the U.S. and the world.
Alan Greenspan was revered around the world for his leadership of the U.S. Federal Reserve. As Professor Batra acknowledges in his book, Greenspan was decorated by the Legion of Honor by France and knighthood (Knight of the British Empire) by England. However, this global reputation of Alan Greenspan has suffered seriously in the aftermath of the 2008 housing crisis. CNN has included him in its Hall of Shame of 10 people most responsible for the crisis in the economy. Italy’s foreign minister is believed to have said that Greenspan ranks only after Bin Laden in hurting America. Greenspan himself accepts that the (2008) economic situation is worse than it has ever been in his life. (An interview with Alan Greenspan about how he could have missed that such a crisis was coming can be found here. For those who prefer humor, here’s Alan Greenspan explaining what his role as Fed Chair was).
It is obvious that Alan Greenspan’s reputation has suffered, perhaps irrepairably, due to the economic crisis that has occured so soon after his leadership at the Federal Reserve. Professor Batra’s book presents an unflattering picture of Alan Greenspan that most people usually do not get to hear about. If the reader is willing to overlook Professor Batra’s obvious dislike of Alan Greenspan and his policies, the book can be helpful in learning about things that have been relatively less recognized and discussed in the media and in policy circles.