We were up all night at my house working on the school newspaper. It was my house because I was the only person in the entire high school who had a copy of Pagemaker and a laser printer.
The other editors started to complain about which things would be caught by our faculty advisor this time and we would be forced to change. One of them started calling her the “Fat Raging Bovine” or FRB for short. At that moment, I had a gap in the layout that no amount of finagling could cause me to get rid of. I filled the tiny space in with a line drawing of a bull overlaid with the text “FRB” crossed out.
We laughed, and moved onto the next page.
I never did get around to removing it.
The next day, when she was reviewing the layouts, she asked what that graphic was for.
Uhhhh… “It’s a protest because that new Alan Greenspan, the new chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), changed the prime interest rate,” I extemporized. “Think of it as a graphical editorial or editorial cartoon.”
“I don’t know. I don’t think the students will get it.” She paused. “Okay, I guess we can let it through.”
Slinging the bull—not one of my prouder moments.
“Maestro.” My. Ass
Fast forward almost two decades…
Appearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the man once dubbed “The Maestro” said he had found a flaw in the “critical functioning structure that defines how the world works”. “I don’t know how significant or permanent it is but I have been very distressed by that fact,” Mr Greenspan said.
“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms.”
Asked by committee chairman Henry Waxman if he was saying his world view was “not working”, Mr Greenspan said: “Absolutely, precisely. You know, that’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”
—“’I made a mistake’ admits Alan Greenspan” The Wall Street Journal, October 25, 2008
On reading that I had to laugh. A “flaw”? A “flaw”? The only “flaw” here is that it took 80 years for the someone to gain the common sense of a ten year old. Read the above again. If it wasn’t so disastrous it’d be positively humorous.
I’m now glad that I did that graphical editorial in my high school newspaper, all those years ago.
My small delusion caused some personal regret; his tanked the the world’s largest economy.
Alan Greenspan: he brings a new perspective to the phrase: “Economy Stupid.”