Nayeri: But surely you will acknowledge that Greenspan saved the planet at crucial turning points?
Artus: Yes, but after the fact. He’s congratulated for his role as fireman, but he’s the one who started the fire.
Immediately preceding the section quoted above, Artus has these two observations:
Greenspan was an arsonist and a fireman combined. He derived all his glory from his reaction to the savings-and- loans crisis, to the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management LP, and to Sept. 11, 2001. But LTCM and the savings-and-loans crisis were his doing. He absolutely failed to see where the malfunctions in the U.S. economy were.
Greenspan came up with a phrase, ``irrational exuberance,'' in 1997, but he didn't do anything about it.