Alan Greenspan, a notable American economist and financial advisor, was born on March 6, 1926, in New York City. Alan came from a well to do family, his father was a stockbroker and a financial analyst. He studied at the George Washington High School, where he developed a passion for music. This passion may have stemmed from his friendship with future musician Stan Getz, both played the clarinet and saxophone in the school’s music society. After graduating, Alan enrolled at Juilliard to study clarinet, however, a year later, he got a transfer to the New York University. At NYU, Greenspan earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics. He began working on the Wall Street alongside his education. In 1977, Alan received his doctoral degree.
He officially began his career by accepting a position in the equity research department of Brown Brothers Harriman firm. In 1955, he left Brown Brothers Harriman after founding a consulting company Townsend-Greenspan & Co., he took over its leadership until he received his federal appointment in 1987. Greenspan has been a member of several corporate boards and responsible to coordinating chief domestic policy positions for Richard Nixon during the presidential campaign of 1968. Nixon’s victory increased Greenspan’s involvement in politics. He was appointed the chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under the supervision of Gerald Ford. In 1981, during Jimmy Carter’s presidency, Alan was selected to chair the bipartisan National Commission on Social Security Reforms.
In 1987, Alan Greenspan was appointed as the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board by President Ronald Reagan. His tenure lasted for 19 years, ending in 2006. During this period, Alan exerted enormous influence on the monetary and economic policies of the US, earning worldwide acclaim and respect for his economic savvy and intellect. He served both Republican and Democratic governments, and acted as a personal and political advisor to presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. However, Greenspan’s policies have also garnered criticism, he has been blamed for the dot-com collapse in 2000, and has also been accused for being a contributor to the subprime mortgage crisis.
When his fifth term with the Fed expired in 2006, Greenspan chose to retire from his position at the Federal Reserve Board. He established his own private economic consulting firm, Greenspan Associates LLC. The firm provides strategic and economic advice to investment banks, hedge funds, government agencies and other financial institutions. The firm boasts the accomplishment of accurately forecasting and predicting the economic downturn of 2008.
Greenspan has been advising, guiding and influencing minds on complex economic issues, and providing beneficial and market friendly strategies. He is accredited for the accomplishment of orchestrating the longest official economic expansion in the history of United States, which lasted from 1991 to 2000. His voice on economic issues and financial problems was considered significant worldwide, and he ranked among the notable economist and financial advisors of his time. The Sunday Times of London named him as ‘one of the three most powerful people in the British Isles’. His services to the field of finance and economics have been acclaimed internationally and he has been honored with various awards, including the Legion of Honour by the French government in 2000, the title of an honorary Knight of the British Empire by the Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’ by President George W. Bush in 2005 and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service among others.
In 2007, Alan Greenspan published his memoir, ‘The Age of Turbulence’.