Greenspan Stands Firm after Pulling the Rug
Greenspan Stands His Ground Ex-Chairman Says Fed Policies Didn't Cause Current Woes
By Steven Mufson Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, March 21, 2008; D01
Perhaps the Maestro composed some discordant notes after all.
The record of longtime Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan -- worshipped by business leaders and dubbed "Maestro" in a 2000 biography by The Post's Bob Woodward -- is getting a critical look as his successor Ben S. Bernanke wrestles with problems that began on the Maestro's watch.
Many economists blame Greenspan for lax bank supervision and for keeping interest rates too low, too long from mid-2003 to mid-2004. That, the theory goes, fueled the housing bubble and spawned subprime and adjustable-rate mortgages for low-income people, vast numbers of whom can't make their payments now. Banks bought those mortgages in bundles that are worth far less than they originally were. That has led to big write-offs, shaking the entire financial system.
In an interview yesterday, Gre…