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the following may be of interest to many who follow the current
economic crisis from Hong Kong to New York, affecting the East Asian
economies and greed out of control. How Clinton handles the China visit
in the wake of the Hong Kong sell off disaster will be most interesting
Note, that Greenspan was board member of Mobil. Did you know that
Total's former boss, Serge Tchuruk (Tchurukdichian-armenian) spent his
first sixteen years at Mobil, in the US, changing posts every 18 months
until he knew what he had to know about capitalism the American way.
Tchuruk now heads one of the biggest companies in France, Alcatel,
recently favored by the new Jospin socialist government. Business is
business, the american way, in France.
> LaborTalk: When Greenspan Speaks...
> By Harry Kelber
> When Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board,
> in a speech on December 5, implied that stocks might be overpriced,
> his remarks triggered a panic button for investers around the world.
> By next morning, the stock markets in Japan and Germany reported
> losses of more than 3 percent of their value, and in the United
> States, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 144 points. (The
> Dow recovered nearly two-thirds of its losses later in the day
> because of the "good news" that the unemployment rate had
> increased from 5.2 percent to 5.4 percent.} What they were all
> worried about was whether Greenspan and his seven-member board
> would raise interest rates and by how much, an action that could
> impact heavily on the nation's economic growth.
> Who is Alan Greenspan and how come that he is regarded as the
> most influential person in the nation, second only to the President?
> The son of a New York stockbroker, the 69-year-old "Fed"
> chairman received his training as an economist at New York
> University and Columbia University. Several years later, he ran an
> economic consulting firm with William Townsend, a bond trader.
> A life-long Republican, he was an adviser in Nixon's 1968
> presidential campaign and was named chairman of the Council of
> Economic Advisers in 1974, only months before Nixon resigned.
> Shortly after he took office, Greenspan made this remarkable
> statement: "Everyone was hurt by inflation. If you want to examine
> percentages who was hurt most, it was Wall Street." A while later,
> he conceded that poor people suffered more than stockbrokers.
> In 1987, Greenspan was nominated by President Reagan for the
> Fed chairmanship and easily won Senate confirmation after a brief .
> hearing where his close ties with Wall Street financiers and
> industrialists were regarded as an asset rather than a liability. He
> had served on the boards of such corporations as Mobil, Alcoa,
> J. P. Morgan & Company, the Morgan Guarantee Trust Company and the
> Pittston Company.
> Although the Fed performs many functions within the economy,
> Greenspan's prime interest is in preventing inflation. He sees no
> danger in record corporate profits, but worries that any decline in
> the unemployment rate below 6 percent and any significant increase
> in wages may trigger an inflationary spiral, which he is determined
> to stop through an increase in interest rates and other measures. The
> alarming fact is that Greenspan's fateful decisions on the economy
> can not be vetoed or rescinded either by the President or Congress.
> In 1913, Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act to establish
> a national bank, after years of wrangling over how to avoid periodic
> bank panics. The new institution was created as an independent
> regulatory agency to insulate it from political pressures. For a
> similar reason, its seven board members were given 14-year terms.
> The Fed's mandate was expressed in vague terms: to conduct
> its operations with a "view of accommodating commerce and
> business." It was given the job of keeping the currency stable by
> managing the nation's supply of money and credit through its control
> over interest rates. Congress also made the Fed self-financing and
> thus free from the appropriations process and intrusive questioning.
> The Fed's sacrosanct position has grown in importance during
> the tremendous expansion of the economy in the past 93 years. Its
> actions affect economies around the world as well as our own.
> While politicians may grumble about Fed policies, no one in Congress
> dares to suggest a modification of its independence.
> The Federal Reserve System now regulates about 7,000
> member banks and oversees 12 regional Federal Reserve banks
> throughout the United States. It employs 25,000 people and has an
> annual budget of $1 billion.
> But today, Greenspan poses a serious problem for working
> people, particularly those who are unemployed. It is a cause for
> concern to have a "czar" over the economy who believes in curbing
> job opportunities and limiting wage increases to prevent inflation,
> and who can manipulate interest rates arbitrarily to achieve his
> Has the time come to make the Fed accountable to Congress
> and open up its policies and practices for public debate?