Alan Greenspan

United States
Born on 6 Mar 1926


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Regrettably, history is strewn with the visions of such 'new eras' that, in the end, have proven to be a mirage. In short, history counsels caution.

Financial Times (London) (1997)
Every economy exists, no matter what the level of democracy, has elements of crony capitalism. It's - given human nature and given the democratic structures, which we all, I assume, adhere to, that is an inevitable consequence.
Unlike a straight academic career, you end up fully recognizing that hypotheses matter, that actions matter, and the ideas that you come up with matter.

Speech, Washington D.C. (2000)
The true measure of a career is to be able to be content, even proud, that you succeeded through your own endeavors without leaving a trail of casualties in your wake.
To succeed, you will soon learn, as I did, the importance of a solid foundation in the basics of education - literacy, both verbal and numerical, and communication skills.
Corruption, embezzlement, fraud, these are all characteristics which exist everywhere. It is regrettably the way human nature functions, whether we like it or not. What successful economies do is keep it to a minimum. No one has ever eliminated any of that stuff.
Discrimination is against the interests of business � yet business people too often practice it... they erect barriers to the free flow of capital and labor to their most profitable employment, and the distribution of output is distorted. In the end, costs are higher, less real output is produced, and national wealth accumulation is slowed.

Speech, San Francisco, California (2000)
I see nothing to suggest that the trends... toward increased demand for conceptual skills in our workforce will end. The rapidity of innovation and the unpredictability of the directions it may take imply a need for considerable investment in human capital.

Speech, State College, Pennsylvania. 'Structural Change in the New Economy' (2000)
If risky investments turn out poorly � as risky investments are wont to do on occasion � governments or international financial institutions should not endeavor to shield investors from loss. This is as it should be, since investors earn premiums to compensate for the risks of such investments.

Speech to the Financial Crisis Conference, New York. 'Global Challenges' (2000)
Private capital markets are the fundamental building block of the capitalist system of resource allocation across activities and over time. Such markets can function properly only if investors bear the costs of their bad decisions and bad luck and reap the benefits of their good decisions and good luck.

Speech to the Financial Crisis Conference, New York. 'Global Challenges' (2000)
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."