You have to give former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan credit for having no shame. Well, he did once look a bit rattled before Congress for about five minutes and ‘fessed up it never occurred to him that people would be so greedy as to pull so much cash out of companies so as to leave burned hulks in their wake.
Did he utterly miss reading the news during Enron and the 2002 accounting scandals?
Greenspan also made life difficult for Bernanke in early 2007 more than once. Indeed, prior to Greenspan, no former Fed chairman made frequent pronouncements. This is unseemly, but having a sense of propriety went out of fashion in America some time ago.
Now Greenspan is saying the banks are not OK (if they need a lot more capital, then by definition, they are undercapitalized now) when the powers that be have a full court press on to present precisely that image. And whose responsibility might it be that the banks are in such sorry shape? Might the Greenspan Fed’s extreme laissez faire stance have had a wee bit to do with it?
Note also Greenspan was more upbeat only a bit more than a week ago.
From Bloomberg (hat tip readers Steve L. DoctoRx):
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan signaled that the financial crisis has yet to end even as borrowing costs tumble, warning that U.S. banks must raise “large” amounts of money.
“There is still a very large unfunded capital requirement in the commercial banking system in the United States and that’s got to be funded,” Greenspan said in an interview yesterday in Washington. He also said that “until the price of homes flattens out we still have a very serious potential mortgage crisis.”
Greenspan’s comments suggest he sees a bigger capital shortfall in the banking system than reflected in regulators’ stress tests on the 19 biggest U.S. lenders…..
“We’re on the edge and if this thing doesn’t get resolved quickly I’m worried,” he said before a meeting with House of Representatives members on financial regulation that was organized by the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center.
Home prices will only start to stabilize once the “liquidation” rate of single-family homes has peaked, he said. “I don’t think we’re there yet.”