"You know, that's precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 yeas or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well."
While trying to have it both ways, he admitted his faith in regulatory free markets was shaken, saying:
"I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms."
"The Federal Reserve had as good an economic organization as exists. If all those extraordinarily capable people were unable to foresee the development of this critical problem...we have to ask ourselves: Why is that? And the answer is that we're not smart enough as people. We just cannot see events that far in advance."
In his book "Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country" William Grieder called Greenspan one of "the most duplicitous figures to serve in modern American government."
He used "his exalted status as economic wizard (to) regularly corrupt the political dialogue by sowing outrageously false impressions among gullible members of Congress and adoring financial reporters."
His ideology was hokum. Somehow he managed a Columbia doctorate without its dissertation requirement. His economic consulting firm flopped. It faced liquidation. He closed shop to join the Fed after serving earlier in the Reagan, Nixon and Ford administrations.
His background in government got him his job. His inability to forecast made him a perfect Fed choice. So did his reliability to serve monied interests over populist ones.
Saying he got it wrong after the fact hardly matters. Where was he when it counted. In 2006, Bernanke replaced him. He made a bad situation worse. Since 2008, he more than tripled the Fed's balance sheet from about 6% of GDP to 20%.
His day of reckoning approaches. Perhaps in future congressional testimony, he'll address his own shortcomings. Doing it when it counts matters. After the fact turns memoirs into best-sellers.
His cross to bear and Greenspan's could fill volumes. Millions their policies harmed won't line up to buy them.
How can they? They're broke, on their own, out of luck, and unreceptive to hear defrocked Fed chairmen say they're sorry. If so, they'd have done it right in the first place.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Email address removed .
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"