Reading Greenspan's Mind
Jude Wanniski
March 11, 1997


Memo To: Floyd Norris, NYTimes Sunday Business columnist
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Reading Greenspan's Mind

Nice try, Floyd, but you did not come within a mile of Greenspan in your copycat of the Bill Safire routine, putting your byline on what you imagine Alan is thinking. Safire at least would go to the trouble of putting himself into Greenspan's shoes and doing a little serious reporting. You are so anxious to raise interest rates to send the stock market to hell that you clean forgot to check the Reuters wire last week, when Greenspan spoke to the National Association of Business Economists. Instead of reading his mind, they asked him to speak his mind, and tell them what he watches that might cause him to deliver a pre-emptive strike. Greenspan told them he watches the money supply, even though it is not a very reliable number. He says he watches the new indexed bond, which is barely out of diapers. And he says he watches the price of gold, which is the one metal that really captures inflationary and deflationary impulses. I've been trying to tell you this for many years, Floyd! Greenspan has been telling congressional committees this for his 10 years as Fed chairman, but reporters have preferred to ignore him and put words in his mouth instead. The Reuters reporter at least stuck one line in his story. The Times, the Journal and the IBD all preferred to report Greenspan's warnings of a pre-emptive strike and leave it at that.