Alan Greenspan Had My Job
By Richard E. Noble
This is an excerpt from my book "The Eastpointer." It won a 1st place humor award from the Florida Press Association in 2007. Click on the link at the right of this page for more information.
My editor has advised me that my Eastpointer column should be concerned with local people and local problems or at least have some tie-in to the local community. Soo...
I once knew an oysterman who looked exactly like Alan Greenspan. And speaking of Alan Greenspan, I have several Eastpointer type observations to offer.
Being a student of economic thought and theory, I have been listening to Alan Greenspan give his lectures on TV for years and I even purchased two or three of his past publications. My analysis of Mr. Greenspan has always been: What in the world is that man talking about?
I would sit in front of the TV and make a call for silence in the room each and every time Mr. Greenspan would appear on the TV giving his economic address to the Congress. I would listen to every word assiduously, determined to get “The Message” from the Prophet.
After he would finish, my wife would ask, Richard what did he say? My usual answer went something like this: Well, he said that the economy is good and bad and that it has a tendency to go up and down; those who can afford to wait should and those who can’t shouldn’t; he said that we should all be concerned and worried but that we should retain our faith in the fundamentals of economic thought and not panic; he said that some people will probably benefit and that other people probably won’t.
“And what has all of that got to do with the price of tea in China?”
Well, actually he did mention the price of tea in China and he said that it may go up but that there were extraneous forces that indicated that the possibility of a downward trend due to tea coming from Nairobi could possibly be an influence giving some concern to Chinese tea exporters but Americans who drink primarily black tea which comes from the lower regions of Botswana really have no need to be overly concerned - but of course Britain is an entirely other story.
“So basically he said nothing?”
Now recently Mr. Greenspan has appeared on TV to tell the nation that for his entire stay at the Federal Reserve he has in effect said nothing. He admitted that over the years he has purposely said nothing because for him to say something would have put the onus of responsibility for the future world economy on his shoulders. He admitted that he said nothing for all of these years intentionally.
Now, in response to questions about his job at the Federal Reserve he explained that as head of the Federal Reserve he tried his best to do as little as possible since he is an avid believer in the Laissez Faire philosophy.
So basically as head of the Federal Reserve he did and said nothing and now he has just written a book that is selling by the millions explaining why he did nothing and how his doing and saying nothing has benefited the nation and the world.
I have come to the conclusion that this man had my job. I mean that is the job that I have always dreamed of. Alan Greenspan made big bucks for doing this job where he did and said nothing by his own admission. But he actually earned nothing when compared to what he would have made if he had remained in private enterprise where I imagine he would have had to do and possibly say something. But, of course, he can’t tell us what he would have said and done if he had remained in private enterprise because his revelation of such information would change the course of the economic world.
Where do I apply for that position? I can do that. And I could do it well. I am sure of it. Every place and position that I have ever held in my life others have accused me or said flat-out that I was doing nothing and that what I had to say about what I was doing amounted to nothing whatsoever.
I certainly have the resume’ to fulfill the position as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of America following the Alan Greenspan guidelines. I have no doubt about it. I can do and say nothing with the best of God’s creatures - just give me the chance and stand back and watch me not do anything. Actually, just keep reading this column and see if you can point out where anything that I have ever said has ever accomplished more than nothing whatsoever. Clearly the proof is in the pudding.