On This Day

Alan Greenspan

Economist and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan

Profession: Economist and Chairman of the Federal Reserve

United States of America

Biography: Alan Greenspan is an economist and financial adviser that was the Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006. He also provides consulting services through his firm Greenspan Associates LLC and it was on the back of his career as a consultant that he was appointed to the Federal Reserve.

He is known for his association with the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, best known for her 'Atlas Shrugged' which Greenspan read as she was writing it. Rand gave Greenspan the nickname "the undertaker" based on his reserved manner and tendency to wear dark clothing. The two remained friends until Rand's death in 1982.

Greenspan's tenure at the Federal Reserve has been subject to criticism, with some linking the easy-money policies he oversaw to the dotcom bubble and subprime mortgage crisis. The Wall Street Journal described these economic disasters as having "tarnished his reputation."

Despite the criticism which has been levelled against him, Greenspan has also received numerous accolades including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. He has even received honours in France (Commander of the Legion of Honour) and the United Kingdom (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire).

Born: March 6, 1926
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Age: 96 years old

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Tiger
Star Sign: Pisces

Married Life

  • 1997-04-06 Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan (71) weds NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell (50) at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia

Historical Events

  • 2006-01-31 Alan Greenspan retires as Chairman of the Federal Reserve
  • 2006-02-01 Economist Ben Bernanke becomes chairman of the US Federal Reserve, succeeding Alan Greenspan

Quotes by Alan Greenspan

  • "I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant."

Famous Economists