Alan Greenspan

Definition of 'Alan Greenspan'


The former chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as well as the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Fed's principal monetary policymaking body. His tenure at the helm of the Fed lasted 18 years from 1987 until early 2006, when Ben Bernanke replaced him. He was first appointed to the post by then-president Ronald Reagan and kept at the Fed's helm by successors George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush.

Investopedia explains 'Alan Greenspan'


Greenspan is the first person to have been appointed to five consecutive terms as the Fed's chairman. He became known for being adept at guiding the Fed's board to consensus on policy issues and his public comments were regarded as so powerful that they could send financial markets sharply in any direction.

He was widely perceived as an inflation hawk, often criticized for focusing more on controlling prices than on achieving full employment. Greenspan also became infamous for his often technical and cautiously worded speeches, and reportedly once mocked his own speaking style during a 1988 speech in which he said, "I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I said."



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Marginal Analysis

    An examination of the additional benefits of an activity compared to the additional costs of that activity. Companies use marginal analysis as a decision-making tool to help them maximize their profits. Individuals unconsciously use marginal analysis to make a host of everyday decisions. Marginal analysis is also widely used in microeconomics when analyzing how a complex system is affected by marginal manipulation of its comprising variables.
  2. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities - TIPS

    A treasury security that is indexed to inflation in order to protect investors from the negative effects of inflation. TIPS are considered an extremely low-risk investment since they are backed by the U.S. government and since their par value rises with inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, while their interest rate remains fixed.
  3. Gilt-Edged Switching

    The selling and repurchasing of certain high-grade stocks or bonds to capture profits. Gilt-edged switching involves gilt-edged security, which can be high-grade stock or bond issued by a financially stable company such as the Blue Chip companies or by certain governments.
  4. Master Limited Partnership - MLP

    A type of limited partnership that is publicly traded. There are two types of partners in this type of partnership: The limited partner is the person or group that provides the capital to the MLP and receives periodic income distributions from the MLP's cash flow, whereas the general partner is the party responsible for managing the MLP's affairs and receives compensation that is linked to the performance of the venture.
  5. Class Action

    An action where an individual represents a group in a court claim. The judgment from the suit is for all the members of the group (class).
  6. Retail Sales

    An aggregated measure of the sales of retail goods over a stated time period, typically based on a data sampling that is extrapolated to model an entire country. In the U.S., the retail sales report is a monthly economic indicator compiled and released by the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce.
Trading Center