But Greenspan Said So

How Markets Fail
The Logic of Economic Calamities
John Cassidy
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, 390 pp.

If Alan Greenspan got the economy wrong, what chance was there for the rest of us? His aura as a financial wiz outshone dissenting economists who questioned the novel financing schemes inflating the housing market (those dissenters included colleagues at the Federal Reserve, where he was chairman from 1987 to 2006). Though there were multiple warning signs, Greenspan was surprised when the bubble finally burst and major financial institutions began to collapse—and with them the global...

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About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.