According to Peter Hartcher, from 1996 on, Alan Greenspan, chairman of the United States Federal Reserve Board from 1987 till 2006, knew that equity markets were overheated and should have taken concerted action to cool them. In fact, Greenspan gave one speech in December 1996 questioning the "irrational exuberance" of investors but never followed up to pop the bubble.By 1999, Greenspan had become an out-and-out cheerleader of the so-called New Economy, in which labor productivity was rising so quickly that inflationary pressures were of minimal concern. As the steward of America's financial markets, he should have known better, Hartcher argues, but in the face of jawboning from both Congress and the White House, Greenspan buckled under and took the easy way out.moreless
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