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The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World
 
 

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World [Kindle Edition]

Alan Greenspan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Review

?The most unexpectedly charming Washington insider memoir since Katharine Graham's a decade ago.? ?Michael Kinsley, "The New York Times Book Review" ? Entertaining and insightful . . . [Greenspan] is an oracle smart enough to know what he doesn?t know. . . . Such humility, coming from someone as powerful as Alan Greenspan, is disarmingly refreshing, as is this interesting and edifying book.? ?"The Boston Globe" ? [Readers] will find that Greenspan's well-informed musings offer much more food for thought than the usual Washington memoir.? ?"BusinessWeek" ? With his book, [Greenspan] finally lets us know what he's thinking. . . . surprisingly frank . . . downright entertaining.? ?David Leonhardt, "The New York Times" ? First rate . . . ["The Age of Turbulence"] is intelligent in a way that few popular books on economics manage or even try to be . . . An enjoyable read.? ?"The Economist"

Review

?The most unexpectedly charming Washington insider memoir since Katharine Graham's a decade ago.?
?Michael Kinsley, "The New York Times Book Review"

? Entertaining and insightful . . . [Greenspan] is an oracle smart enough to know what he doesn?t know. . . . Such humility, coming from someone as powerful as Alan Greenspan, is disarmingly refreshing, as is this interesting and edifying book.?
?"The Boston Globe"

? [Readers] will find that Greenspan's well-informed musings offer much more food for thought than the usual Washington memoir.?
?"BusinessWeek"

? With his book, [Greenspan] finally lets us know what he's thinking. . . . surprisingly frank . . . downright entertaining.?
?David Leonhardt, "The New York Times"

? First rate . . . ["The Age of Turbulence"] is intelligent in a way that few popular books on economics manage or even try to be . . . An enjoyable read.?
?"The Economist"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2817 KB
  • Print Length: 567 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (10 Sep 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9ZBI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #111,505 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Gaurav Sharma VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
In light of the credit crisis, many blame former US Federal reserve chairman Alan Greenspan for the current malaise in the world economy. However, the man himself chooses to describe it as a once in century type event. Caught in the debate is this memoir of his which went into print barely months after credit bubble burst.

Greenspan unquestionably played a key role in how the US economy as well as the world economy has panned out for over the last five decades. Bearing that in mind this book deserves respect and it does not disappoint. It is engaging and interesting. The author clearly acknowledges that he conveys his understanding of the world in context of his own experiences.

Essentially, the book dwells on Greenspan's illustrious career in the first half and his thoughts on the economy and monetary policy in the second. A trawl through Greenspan's career is highly readable containing bits about how he found his way into central banking and dealt with not just a succession of US presidents from Ford to Bush, but incoming and outgoing administrations as well. It is packed with anecdotes about anything in government circles from Greenspan meeting Margaret Thatcher to conversing with Rush Limbaugh about the Mexican crisis.

From there on to the latter stages of the book, one gradually gets an insight into the former Fed Chairman's thoughts, the influence of Adam Smith on him and his vivid description of the "failure of Keynesian economic models." For those claiming Greenspan had a preference for keeping rates artificially low, there's plenty on ammunition as he admits his liking for "cutting interest rates to make it easier for people to borrow and spend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
The first part of the book takes you through Greenspan's working life and reminds us that financial crises occur rather frequently and although circumstances change two factors appear to be constant: the greed of the financial community and their sheep like behaviour in following others into, for example, SE Asia prompting the financial crisis there in the 90's or high tech stock driving the dot.com bubble. No surprise then that the current crisis (a level 5 crisis according to the definition provided early in this book) is a consequence of reckless pursuit of high risk investment.

In the second part of the book Greenspan shares his thoughts on economic theory across a range of subjects (and in doing so loses some of the writing fluency from the first part as too much technical jargon is employed - losing a star in the process!). In this section he reveals, unwittingly, a fundamental flaw in his economic thinking. Greenspan's view is regulation needs to be minimised to allow markets to grow most effectively and that control in the market will come from self interest. The fundamental flaw is the self interest of the CEO, who sets the strategy for a company, is not necessarily the same as the self interest of the company i.e. the CEO gets rich while the company goes bust (RBS...!).

Overall a great read - full of stacks of relevant and valuable information.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I found this book to be a great read, if a little dry to begin with. First of all, it can be split into two sections: the first half covers Greenspan's years growing up and most of all his career as an economist, particularly as chairman of the Federal Reserve, but also formerly as an economic consultant and as an advisor to Republican presidents; the second half contains his thoughts on what he sees as the major economic issues of the day, those that will face policy-makers across the globe in the near future. Having studied economics I was more interested in the latter so I read the second half first, and I do not think I lost anything by it.

Both parts of the book are compelling. The author makes clear that he is a strong supporter of free and open markets, balanced government budgets and a view of the economy which sees 'creative destruction' as essential to economic development. While I do not fully agree with his philosophy, he does make a case that markets have a tremendous power to modernise society and can be a great force for material gain. Even a final chapter (in the 2008 paperback edition) on the current financial crisis leaves him quite unmoved in his position. This was however written before the nationalisation of many of our banks and other such dramatic interventions.

The author makes reasonably clear his views on the US presidents he has worked with, though he is more subtle about George W Bush, not giving away too much except for his clear disapproval of the latter's budgetary policy.

The vast majority of the book then is about economic policy, which I find very interesting. But it remains a personal account, and is full of fascinating anecdotes. I would recommend it to anyone interested in macroeconomic and financial policy, US politics and world affairs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Peek behind the Curtain! 31 July 2008
Format:Hardcover
The Age of Turbulence is engaging, fascinating and educational. Watching Greenspan on television in the Senate Sub Committee meetings was interesting...but tough to know who the man behind the curtain was. This book opens the curtain and lets us see a motivated individual who is confident of his skills, but doesn't flaunt it.

In the first part of the book Alan Greenspan does an exceptional job of explaining what makes him tick and provides a peek into the world of the Fed Chairman. In the second part he talks about various parts of the world and spices it with a bit of crystal balling.

It is clear that Alan Greeenspan has strong Critical Thinking and Decision Making skills. He has been succeeded in many of his ventures. As with all humans he has his weaknesses as well. His honest candor in the book made it refreshing and useful.

There are some great topics in the book that let us get to know Alan Greenspan. Some of these are: City Kid, The Making of an Economist, Black Monday, The Fall of the Wall, Irrational Exuberance, Millennium Fever and Downturn. The second half of the book has equally excellent subjects: The Choices that Await China, The Tigers and the Elephant, Russia's Sharp Elbows, Latin America and Populism, Globalization and Regulation, The World Retires, Bit Can it Afford To, the Delphic Future an more.

Overall the book is insightful and a great read!

One final thought: I found that Age of Turbulence coupled with Revolutionary Wealth by Alvin and Heidi Toffler help to provide a look into possible futures and what we can do to make a great one for ourselves!

The Re-Discovery of Common Sense: A Guide To: The Lost Art of Critical Thinking
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Greenspan - frank and readable
Greenspan's early interactions with politicians in the US well worth reading. He has 100% confidence that he could run the economy to target just after WWII. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars He got it wrong
A well written book, however AG like other leaders of world financial institutions failed to predict the collapse of LB, this sent the world into financial melt down. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Martin Fierro
5.0 out of 5 stars financial education
from one of the money men who could have made a bigger contribution to roping in the dirty tricks brigade but would not have been around to tell the tale.
Published 9 months ago by abbeybarn
5.0 out of 5 stars Good one
Good book, interesting to read as it gives a good view of the situation and brings good knowledge about the story.
Published 18 months ago by Toysoft
1.0 out of 5 stars Turgid, self-justifying and inaccurate
As Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Mr Greenspan's job was "putting in place the monetary conditions for maximum sustainable long-term growth and employment". Read more
Published on 30 Dec 2011 by manager
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent text
Excellent (semi) auto-biography from Alan Greenspan. Love the earlier chapters of his early life and how he dealt with the previous financial policies from economic downturns... Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2011 by wing
2.0 out of 5 stars Too driven by ideology to be credible
I found this a very disappointing book. It does contain a lot of interesting comments on the workings of economics, but in the end Greenspan's ideology simply leaves out anything... Read more
Published on 14 Mar 2011 by colin_pixel@yahoo.co.uk
5.0 out of 5 stars for the delivery and good condition
As this was a request for a present I can only comment for the delivery and good condition, not the content.
Published on 13 Dec 2010 by K. Athanasiadou
4.0 out of 5 stars A must-read overview of modern economic history
When I picked up this book, I expected a memoir. But in fact, the memoir was covered in the first half of the book. Read more
Published on 29 Sep 2010 by Penguin
5.0 out of 5 stars insightful economics
An insightful account of world economic affairs. Greensapan is one of the most prominent figures in finance and reading his analysis is like seeing the future of economics.
Published on 29 Aug 2010 by badger
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Take the guys halo off he does not deserve it 0 29 Jun 2008
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