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On February 1, a panel of monetary policy experts met at AEI to discuss Sebastian Mallaby’s new book, “The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan” (Penguin Press, 2016). In the book, Mr. Mallaby highlights Alan Greenspan’s role in overseeing the evolution of modern finance as chairman of the Federal Reserve. He suggests Dr. Greenspan’s acute awareness of the political sphere influenced his rise as an economist and his failure to prevent the 2000s housing bubble.

J. Alfred Broaddus, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond during Dr. Greenspan’s tenure, praised Mr. Mallaby’s depiction of Dr. Greenspan, and AEI’s Paul H. Kupiec, who worked for Dr. Greenspan at the Fed, shared his own memories of Dr. Greenspan.

The panel then discussed what lessons policymakers and economists could draw from Dr. Greenspan’s story. Citing Dr. Greenspan’s famous “irrational exuberance” speech, given at AEI and warning about a potential stock market bubble in the 1990s, Mr. Mallaby suggested the Fed has the ability and responsibility to fight similar bubbles in the future. Dr. Broaddus questioned whether this would impair the Fed’s ability to fulfill its traditional mandate of fighting inflation. Dr. Kupiec argued that the Dodd-Frank Act’s reliance on the Fed is dangerous, given how difficult it was for the Fed to minimize the impact of the 2000s housing bubble.
—Ryan Divers

Event Description

As chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2005, Alan Greenspan was universally hailed as the maestro of the US economy, before the 2007–09 financial crisis tarnished his reputation. In a new biography, Sebastian Mallaby traces the economic and political philosophy that made Chairman Greenspan one of the most influential economists of all time. In many respects, his life and accomplishments align with the evolution of monetary policy and the global financial system. Where was he right, and where was he wrong? What is his enduring legacy?

Join Sebastian Mallaby and expert panelists in a discussion of Chairman Greenspan’s legacy, including his impact on US and foreign central bank monetary policies and our understanding of financial cycles. This event will be followed by a wine and cheese reception and book signing.

Join the conversation on social media with @AEI on Twitter and Facebook.


4:45 PM

5:00 PM
Alex J. Pollock, R Street Institute

5: 10 PM
Sebastian Mallaby, Council on Foreign Relations

5:40 PM
Panel discussion:
J. Alfred Broaddus, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (former)
Paul H. Kupiec, AEI

6:15 PM

6:30 PM
Adjournment to wine and cheese reception and book signing

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Kaavya Ramesh at [email protected], 202.862.7193.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries or to register a camera crew, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829

J. Alfred Broaddus was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond from 1993 to 2004. He received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University, where he was elected to Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Beta Kappa. Following graduation, he studied in France under a Fulbright Fellowship and received a graduate degree from the Center for Advanced European Studies at the University of Strasbourg. After military service, he received his master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from Indiana University. He was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Washington and Lee in 1993 and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Indiana in 1996. Dr. Broaddus joined the Federal Reserve Bank’s research staff as an economist in 1970. He was named senior vice president and director of research in 1985 and was promoted to president on January 1, 1993. In addition, he served every third year as a member of the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve System. He is the author of numerous articles on banking and monetary policy and has lectured at several colleges and universities. He is a member of the board of directors of the Virginia Council on Economic Education, the executive advisory council of the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business of the University of Richmond, the Virginia Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates, the executive committee of Richmond Renaissance, and several boards and boards of associates. Dr. Broaddus is a former chairman of the boards of United Way Services of Richmond and St. Christopher’s School.

Paul H. Kupiec is a resident scholar at AEI, where he studies the management and regulation of banks and financial institutions markets, including issues of systemic risk and the impact of financial regulations on the US economy. Before joining AEI, Dr. Kupiec was director of the Center for Financial Research at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and served as chairman of the Research Task Force of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Before joining the FDIC, he held positions at the International Monetary Fund, Freddie Mac, J. P. Morgan, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Dr. Kupiec has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Financial Services Research, Journal of Risk, and Journal of Investment Management. He was a member of the Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee.

Sebastian Mallaby is Paul A. Volcker Senior Fellow for International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. An experienced journalist and public speaker, he is also a contributing columnist for The Washington Post, where he previously served as a staff columnist and editorial board member. His interests cover a wide variety of domestic and international issues. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic and Financial Times, where he spent two years as a contributing editor. His book “More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite” (Penguin Books, 2011) was the recipient of the 2011 Loeb Prize, a finalist in the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs prize, and a New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of “The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan” (Penguin Press, 2016); “The World’s Banker: A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations” (Penguin Books, 2006); and “After Apartheid” (Faber & Faber, 1992). Before joining The Washington Post in 1999, Mr. Mallaby spent 13 years with The Economist. Between 1997 and 1999, he was The Economist’s Washington bureau chief and wrote the magazine’s weekly Lexington column on American politics and foreign policy. He is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist: once for editorials on Darfur and once for a series on economic inequality. In 2015, he helped to found, a web publication making the fact-based case for Britain to remain in the European Union. He was educated at Oxford, graduating in 1986 with a first-class degree in modern history.

Alex J. Pollock is a distinguished senior fellow at the R Street Institute. He was previously a resident fellow at AEI. Before joining AEI, he was president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago from 1991 to 2004. Mr. Pollock focuses on financial policy issues, including financial cycles, government-sponsored enterprises, housing finance, banking, central banking, uncertainty and risk, retirement finance, corporate governance, and political responses to financial crises. He is the author of “Boom and Bust: Financial Cycles and Human Prosperity” (AEI Press, 2010), as well as numerous articles and congressional testimonies. Mr. Pollock is a director of CME Group, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, and the Great Books Foundation, where he was chairman of the board from 2006 to 2014, and he is a former president of the International Union for Housing Finance.

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