Greenspan Shopping Around For Publisher

Monday, March 06, 2006

Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan is shopping around for a publisher. In a 10-page outline obtained by DealBook blog Greenspan says he will use his book to "outline what I have learned over the past 30 years, how I learned it and how it has helped policy makers like me anticipate the future."
According to DealBook
Greenspan's treatment starts with an anecdote describing the moment he learned of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, while flying from Zurich to Washington. The document moves on to discuss economic issues like protectionism (he is against it), the conundrum of long-term interest rates (he says he will explain it) and China's future role in the global economy (he thinks it's big).
The proposal drops a lot of names, though mostly foreign ones - Boris Yeltsin, Margaret Thatcher, Jacques Chirac - and it dances around the question of whether or not Greenspan will get personal. "I do not intend to dwell on personality aberrations, except as they affect policy decision-making - which, of course, always involves personalities."
More excerpts from Greenspan's proposal:
On 9/11
In the weeks and months following 9/11, I struggled to find some sense of certainty in a world in which senseless violence threatened to revisit at any moment. Widespread fear usually induces consumers and businesses to disengage from economic exchange, sharply contracting economic activity. But to my surprise that didn't happen. For a few weeks, of course, the bottom did fall out of the U.S. economy. But households and businesses quickly righted themselves and recovered. It is at such moments, when developments challenge my previous understanding of the way the economy works, that I gain new insights.
On Presidents And Being A "Prop"
With the exception of President Carter, I have known and worked with - or for - every resident of the White House since 1969. Some I have known exceptionally well; others less so. I will offer my impressions and comparisons along with evaluations of cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, members of Congress and lesser, but important, policymakers. I do not intend to dwell on personality aberrations, except as they affect policy decision-making - which, of course, always involves personalities. I will also describe what it's like to be a prop at a congressional hearing, which is too often the role of witnesses.
On Political Parties
The eventual dominance of Republicans in southern national politics brought the two major parties to numerical equality but, in the process, induced an ideological divide between conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats, leaving a vast untended center from which a well-financed independent Presidential candidate is likely to emerge in 2008 or, if not then, in 2012.
On China
The book will ultimately conclude that the longer-term outlook for the global economy and, for that matter the U.S. economy as well, will be significantly affected by the future of China. And China's future, in turn, will depend to a large degree on the internal struggle within China between the liberal technocrats, who seek a market-based China, and those whose primary concern is political control. I believe the liberals are currently winning and will ultimately prevail, for reasons I'll spell out.
On Energy
This ongoing shift of (GDP) to more conceptual and less physical products and services has, and will continue to slow the growth of our energy requirements. This will be important to our future since the worldwide growth in the demand for oil and natural gas, coupled with the prospect of inadequate investment by the nationalized oil companies, is likely to keep energy prices high. I will offer a set of policies that, although problematic in the current political climate, must be adopted if we are to fend off a crisis.
A bestseller in the making ... no matter what he writes.
UPDATE: According to the Wall Street Journal from March 8, Greenspan landed a deal with Pearson's Penguin Press. He will receive an advance of $8 million for his memoirs that will be published in fall 2007.
Penguin is pleased, to say the least.
"We think he is going to write a book that will live for a long time," said Susan Petersen Kennedy, president of Penguin Group (USA). "He lived through an amazing part of history, and he was never able to speak out. He had to be very careful because of his position."
Greenspan also will look to the future. "He's going to offer American readers a look at the economic situation, the political situation and the global economy," Ms. Kennedy said. "He has a complete world view."

So what do you expect under the xmas tree in 2007?


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