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Greenspan's Age Of Turbulence - must read!

I was stuck abroad last weekend and picked up Alan Greenspan's "Age of turbulence" to kill some time. I read the book cover to cover in one go (well actually two sessions to allow for dinner and drink) and want to endorse this book to anyone out there with the faintest interest in economics, US financial policy and business in general. “Age of turbulence” acts for half of it as a very interesting auto biography. The rest is devoted to exploring the world economy, the future, energy and capitalism in general.  

Greenspan frequently quotes the concept of "creative destruction" and (I think rightly so) that those who have the culture and the guts to apply creative destruction in a free market environment fare a lot better than those who don't or who stick to conservatism. In my world of IT for the financial industry, creative destruction is second nature, so most of us here in this web-site will have been converts all along.

Interestingly, I always held this image of Greenspan that he was a nerd economist / statistician who kept to his books and his secretive fed meetings. This image has now changed completely. The man rubbed shoulders with a complete who-is-who of world elite and does not shy away from identifying players such as Nixon and Clinton as "the cleverest presidents he worked with" and at the same time ventilating more sceptical opinions about others. 

His article on energy and oil is highly informative, although probably controversial as well. Greenspan advocates nuclear reactors as the only realistic way forward in the medium term and endorses "hybrid" or purely electrical engines there where they could be feasible. He seems rather optimistic that oil/gas supplies do not necessarily run out in the immediate future, but acknowledges that alternatives must (and will) evolve in time.

In short: a highly readable essay by a unique man! 

 

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