My Qualified Defense of Greenspan
By David Henderson
In today’s Wall Street Journal is a round-up of views on whether Alan Greenspan caused the housing boom. The lead piece, by me, says that he didn’t, for reasons that will be familiar to regular readers of this blog. My favorite paragraph is this:
I’m not claiming that we should have a Federal Reserve. We simply can’t depend on getting another good chairman like Mr. Greenspan, and are more likely to get another Arthur Burns or Ben Bernanke. Serious work by economists Lawrence H. White of the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and George Selgin of West Virginia University makes a persuasive case that abolishing the Fed and deregulating money would improve the macroeconomy. I’m making a more modest claim: Mr. Greenspan was not to blame for the housing bubble.
Those who have followed my work on this issue will recognize that the whole short piece is similar to longer pieces I’ve co-authored with economist Jeff Hummel. I ideally would have liked to have co-authored this with Jeff, but the ground rule I was given by the Journal was that each article could have only one byline.