I finished Alan Greenspan‘s book The Age of Turbulence Adventures in a New World and learned it was more than I expected from the former Chairman of The Federal Reserve. And with the recession still in high gear it was also good timing.
Beyond his sheer volume of knowledge regarding the economy, global markets and international finance I was most impressed with Greenspan’s simple yet immense observation: America needs an overhauled K12 educational system for our country to have a strong economy in 2030.
The impact of Technology, Globalization & Innovation as he outlines should not be overlooked regarding educational reform. I must admit the real interest for most readers would be to jump the chapter that addresses the recession. Its worth taking the time to read the book in full.
Greenspan’s impact in Washington, the economy and Republican politics spans Presidential administrations from Nixon to W. Bush. Greenspan has enjoyed a pretty interesting life. I was most struck not by his interest in music but rather his high school music partner Stan Getz. His comments about his role in Y2K for the government and financial markets and the impact of fiber optic networks were welcoming for any geek or fanboy.
There is just a huge amount of economic learning you can pickup from his 25 chapters. My favorite chapters surprisingly fall in a row:
19. Globalization and Regulation
20. The “Conundrum”
21. Education and Income Inequality
22. The world retires. But can it afford to?
There are some amazing things you can learn from an economist. His view of W. Bush’s administration and their loss of focus on the economy was eye opening. Bush never changed any economic plans beyond what he promised during his election campaign. W. Bush repeatedly ignored The Fed’s view of the sliding economy and needed changes over the close of his Presidency and handed his successor an economy with financial, housing and automotive markets in crisis.