Talking Points: A Decision We Won't Be Allowed to Make

A very important decision is about to be made and you and I will not be consulted. That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.

Last fall, The Factor was one of the first media outlets to criticize Fed chief Alan Greenspan for failing to cut interest rates. We still don't know why Mr. Greenspan made that terrible mistake.

Tomorrow, the Fed is expected to cut rates for the sixth time this year because the economy is in trouble. You may remember that I was called all kinds of names by Greenspan supporters last fall, but now there's no question that this man has damaged all Americans with his inexplicable policies.

Because the high-tech bubble was so intense, the U.S.A. was ripe for a slowdown, but because Greenspan kept interest rates so high for so long for no apparent reason, the slowdown has become catastrophic for corporate earnings and the stock market.

Earnings in the Standard & Poor's companies are down 20 percent in the second quarter, the worst showing in 10 years. Your portfolio and 401(k)s are probably down much more than that. I know mine are.

Yet Mr. Greenspan continues to go his merry way and nobody seems too concerned with his behavior. He has the financial press in his pocket, at least most of them, and the Bush administration doesn't utter a peep. Greenspan continues to snub the people by ignoring them totally.  He never gives a press conference or an interview. 

Once again, this man has way too much power and is unaccountable.  He can't be fired and his term runs three more years.  We pay his salary, but he seems to owe us nothing.

What other public official gets this kind of deal?

Because the majority of Americans now own stocks, our economy is tied to the market.  Greenspan wanted to hurt the market and succeeded in doing so, thus he hurt all of us. 

I am personally very angry about this, and I believe President Bush has to address the matter and soon.  The economy is too vital to Americans to have one dictator calling all the shots without public accountability. 

Alan Greenspan should be under intense heat, and I'm not talking about a summer vacation at the beach.  This guy owes all of us an explanation, and until he gives it, we should look askance at his presence, even if he does continue dropping rates.  And that's the memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Denise Rich, the former wife of Mark Rich, the fugitive pardoned by Bill Clinton, is living large in the Hamptons this summer.  She bought a $4 million house and has reportedly paid a decorator another $3 million to spruce it up.

Well, pardon me.  Could be ridiculous.

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