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Nostradamus — King of Terror
High price unguarded: none will have foreseen it
PAGE SUMMARY: The economy began to slow in the last six months of President Clinton's administration as the dot.com economy dot.bombed with a alarming thud. Consequently, the economic damage caused by the September 11, 2001 surprise attack on America dealt our already weakened economy a crippling blow.
As far back as 1996, Chairman Alan Greenspan of the Federal Reserve Board warned us "irrational exuberance" and began increasing interest rates. Rather than indulge in finger pointing, this page clearly correlates the high prices caused by a heady stock market, as investment firms enticed their clients into "unguarded" investments.
Drunk with inflated stock profits, we showed great rancor at Greenspan's warnings and blinded ourselves so thoroughly that we could not have foreseen the today's consequences back during the August 1999 eclipse over Turkey.
The Federal Reserve Board
Dr. Greenspan took office June 20, 2000, as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for a fourth four-year term ending June 20, 2004. Dr. Greenspan also serves as Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee, the System's principal monetary policymaking body. He originally took office as Chairman and to fill an unexpired term as a member of the Board on August 11, 1987. Dr. Greenspan was reappointed to the Board to a full 14-year term which began February 1, 1992. He has been designated Chairman by Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton.
His previous Presidential appointments include the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Commission on Financial Structure and Regulation, the Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force, and the Task Force on Economic Growth.
Dr. Greenspan in recent years served as a Corporate Director for Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa); Automatic Data Processing, Inc.; Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.; General Foods, Inc.; J.P. Morgan & Co., Inc.; Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York; Mobil Corporation; and The Pittston Company.
Reuters, March 3, 1999
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan warned older savers against keeping all their retirement money in stocks, especially Internet stocks.
Greenspan, the most powerful figure in American finance, was testifying before a House subcommittee at a hearing on proposals to reform the Social Security system.
Greenspan issued a warning on broader stock levels when he testified to a Senate committee two weeks ago, saying he had concerns over market levels.
In December 1996, he sent global markets into a famous tumble when he brought up the possibility of "irrational exuberance" among investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, trading on Wednesday afternoon at around 9,270, is currently about 2,800 points higher than when Greenspan made those remarks.
CNNfn, August 29, 1999
Fed chief: Central banks should heed stocks in determining in determining interest rates
NEW YORK - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Friday that central banks must pay closer attention to what is happening in equity markets when determining interest rates, although he didn't comment directly on whether he thinks U.S. stock prices are overvalued.
Speaking at an annual Fed gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Greenspan warned central bankers that the Fed must keep track of asset prices because more Americans own stocks than ever before. Anticipating potential panics in the stock market, he said, is crucial to incorporate into monetary policy, particularly the wealth effect rising stock prices have on U.S. and other citizens.
"There are important -- but extremely difficult -- questions surrounding the behavior of asset prices and the implications of this behavior for the decisions of households and businesses," the Fed chief said. "Accordingly, we have little choice but to confront the challenges posed by these questions if we are to understand better the effect of changes in balance sheets on the economy and, hence, indirectly, on monetary policy."
Greenspan, responding to a question after his speech, said the central bank would intervene in financial markets to correct a sharp and sudden increase in stock prices, but he acknowledgedsuch increases seldom occur.
"Central banks cannot respond to gradually declining asset prices and we don't respond to gradually rising asset prices," he said.
We do respond to sharply reduced asset prices, which create a seizing up of liquidity in the system," he said.
The Federal Reserve Board,
October 14, 1999
Remarks by Chairman Alan Greenspan Before a conference sponsored by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington, D.C.
One of the broad issues that you have been discussing today is the nature of financial risk.This evening I will offer my perspective on the fundamental sources of financial risk and the value added of banks and other financial intermediaries.
There is little in our historical annals that suggests that human nature has changed much over the generations.But, as I have noted previously, while time preference may appear to be relatively stable over history, perceptions of risk and uncertainty, which couple with time preference to create discount factors, obviously vary widely, as does liquidity preference, itself a function of uncertainty. These uncertainties are an underlying source of risk that we too often have regarded as background noise and generally have not endeavored to capture in our risk models.
Almost always this has been the right judgment.However, the decline in recent years in the equity premium--the margin by which the implied rate of discount on common stock exceeds the riskless rate of interest--should prompt careful consideration of the robustness of our portfolio risk-management models in the event this judgment proves wrong.
As I have indicated on previous occasions, history tells us that sharp reversals in confidence occur abruptly, most often with little advance notice.These reversals can be self-reinforcing processes that can compress sizable adjustments into a very short period.Panic reactions in the market are characterized by dramatic shifts in behavior that are intended to minimize short-term losses.Claims on far-distant future values are discounted to insignificance.
Please note, the prophecies of Nostrdamus were written in French language as it was used in that day. As with all languages, words and phrases take on new meanings as time passes an interpretations can and will vary. For the sake of consistency, the English translations were taken from a Russian web site. This is because the Russians share a closer cultural history with the French, and a deep respect for the language. There was a long period of time in Russia, when the nobility preferred the French language over their own.