Common Sense: Human After All?

I say he should have cut more than he did, if for no other reason, to offset his ridiculous interest rate hikes last year.

Carlo Giustinoni, Salem, N.H., writes:

"Neil, I agree with you; Alan has blown it, he should resign for health reasons, he's making all of us sick."

Tom Clabough, Queens, N.Y.:

"I've heard it said that Mr. Greenspan, being such an extremely proud man, won't give in to those on Wall Street who demand he cut rates solely because he doesn't want the appearance of someone telling him what to do."

Tom, you said it brilliantly. That's my theory on Greenspan: I think he is stubborn. And I think he is arrogant. But more important, I think he is desperate to avoid looking human, after all.

Let me be clear. I think Alan botched it. Big time.

I think he was so busy chasing an inflationary ghost last year, that the only thing he has since succeeded in doing, is scaring investors this year. He hiked rates too much, fearing inflation that didn't come, that now he's left with a market panic that did.

Is he to blame for the mess we're in? Not entirely. But he's a big reason. And I think, because he clearly has a big ego.

Now, who am I to judge the great Alan Greenspan? Just a journalist. But, if you don't mind a little of my ego here, a journalist who did say, on this program, and in print, a year ago, that his hikes were overdone, and his "oz-like" grip on the market, ridiculously over-hyped.

The way I look at it, the greatest among is still just like us. We're all human. We all make mistakes. The difference with Al, is that he refuses to acknowledge them. He won't budge an inch. Just this past month on Capitol Hill, he said he had no regrets about those half-dozen interest rate hikes, that they were entirely justified.

Come on!

I'm no Ivy Leaguer here, but even I can tell you, Al, they were overdone. Why don't you just say it? And un-do it? I do note that you're frantically making up for lost time. I say too little, too late. Get hopping and fast.

Not to save the markets, Al, but to save yourself.