Alan Greenspan goes down in history for his amazing 18-year reign as the Federal Reserve chairman. I always found it fascinating to track his decisions and his addresses to Congress. No one doubted the man’s intelligence. He was brilliant and everyone knew it, including Greenspan himself. In 1988, in one of his speeches, Greenspan, who often knew he was shooting over his audience’s heads, stated (as quoted in The New York Times, October 28, 2005):
“I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you’ve probably misunderstood what I said.”
This is just too funny for me!
The humor does not end there. Greenspan always took his share of criticism and praise. He knew the criticism just comes with being in the saddle. On the praise side of matters, Greenspan humbly self-effaces (“Charlie Rose Talks to Alan Greenspan” Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/28/13–11/3/13, p. 62):
“Look, I got a lot of praise . . . which I didn’t deserve. . . . Many people used to come up to me and say, ‘Thank you for my 401(k).’ I didn’t know how to handle that, and I would basically say, ‘I appreciate that, but I had very little to do with your 401(k).’”
Well, it’s a good thing he told us that!