When Dr. Greenspan was the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the mere size of his briefcase could send markets into jitters. Remember those days? Speculation would be rife about what he would say. And then he did say "it" - whatever "it" was - and every word and even inflection was interpreted and analyzed. Talk about pressure. Suppose he just woke up with a sore throat one morning? Unreal.
Anyway, the world rocked today and it wasn't the briefcase. It was Dr. Greenspan's admission of "shock" about a "flawed" market. Yes, it is on CSPAN. And it is well worth watching the hearings on the Hill where he appeared with Christopher Cox and John Snow who both had some gems too. But if you are pressed for time and you want one article to read, here's one from the International Herald Tribune: Greenspan 'shocked' that free markets are flawed
So where do we go from here?
The markets are flawed and operating in a way that is unsustainable to themselves. As I said, problems cannot be solved overnight. But we could do with some "cease and desist" orders right about now just to help things stabilize and minimize further damage. Oh, for the days when a Federal Reserve Chairman could just give a "look" to the markets and they would quake - in a good way. Now, we have had so much damage that we have some way to go to get back to that kind of necessary authority from the regulators.
Until then, in my humble view, the markets and all of us would be better served, if the markets and the players would be a little more discerning in what sways them. And then maybe they will stop the seemingly never-ending roller-coaster ride at every word from anybody. We are all exhausted.