The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World
by Alan Greenspan (ghostwritten by Peter Petre)
Published in September 2008
Thibault’s Score: 3/5
After reading The Creature from Jekyll Island I decided to read Alan Greenspan’s autobiography to get a more balanced perspective on the Federal Reserve. Much to my chagrin, Greenspan barely touches on the Fed and instead focuses on global macroeconomics.
The style of writing is very dry and is full of technical language. Luckily, I have had a significant amount of formal economics training and understood most of the book. I doubt that someone who didn’t major in economics in college and either get straight As or spend a lot of time researching the subject matter on their own would enjoy this book.
The insight’s aren’t particularly unique - Greenspan comes off as a more or less typical free marketer. I was shocked about the degree of Greenspan’s affinity for markets - he condemns economic interventionism at every step and only rarely supports statism. I feel like libertarians who portray him as a closet Keynesian have lied to me, and have never read anything Greenspan has written.
On an amusing side note, Greenspan mentions meeting and being impressed by Russian economist Andrei Illarionov who once gave a talk at one of my seminars.
Overall I don’t really recommend this book - it isn’t particularly interesting but isn’t particularly bad either. It comes down as a solid “3.”
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