Greenspan drew from his analysis “a radical position: the United States should return to the gold standard of the nineteenth century. By tying money and credit to a fixed supply of gold, the nation could prevent toxic surges in purchasing power.” … “‘The pre-World War I gold standard prevented speculative “flights from reality” — with their disastrous consequences,’ “Greenspan insisted.”

President George W. Bush presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, one of 14 recipients of the 2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005 in the East Room of the White House. White House photo by Shealah Craighead


Alan Greenspan, Sellout

by David Gordon

Sebastian Mallaby is the Paul A. Volcker Senior Fellow for International Economic Relations at the Council on Foreign Relations. One can be sure, then, that his new comprehensive book, The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan, reflects an Establishment point of view. As if this were not enough to tell us where the book is coming from, Mallaby informs us that he had Greenspan’s full cooperation in writing it. “This book is based on almost unlimited access to Alan Greenspan, his papers, and his colleagues and friends, all of whom were generous in their collaboration.

Though the book is hardly a panegyric to Greenspan, Mallaby views his subject with considerable favor. Nevertheless, the book contains ample material for a more severe verdict: Greenspan abandoned the free market convictions he effectively defended early in his career as an economist. To uphold economic truth was not the path to the power and influence Greenspan sought; and he readily adjusted his beliefs to fit with his ambitions.

Greenspan attached himself to Ayn Rand’s inner band of disciples; but his adherence to free-market economics did not stem from his alliance with Objectivism. Greenspan learned economic theory from Arthur Burns at Columbia University. For Greenspan, like his mentor Burns, statistics had primary importance: economic theory emerged from discerning patterns in the data and was strictly subordinate to its empirical sources. “Burns was the chief heir to Wesley Mitchell’s empiricist tradition, and his influence restrained any enthusiasm that Greenspan might have felt for the new trends that had begun to stir in economics. … Even the cleverest econometric calculation was limited because yesterday’s statistical relationships might break down tomorrow; by contrast, finer measures of what the economy is doing are more than just estimates — they are facts.”

From his studies of the data, Greenspan arrived at an important conclusion. Financial markets played a crucial role in the genesis of the business cycle: “Squarely confronting the notion that financial markets are merely a casino of meaningless side bets, he laid out an insight for which Nobel laureate James Tobin would later capture the credit. Stock prices drive corporate investments in fixed assets. … In turn, these investments drive many of the booms and busts in a capitalist economy.”

Greenspan applied his insight to Fed policy in a way that resembles the Austrian theory of the business cycle. During the 1920s, “the Fed’s key error was to underestimate its own contribution to the stock bubble. The rise in the market had set off a rise in investment and consumer spending, which in turn had boosted profits and stoked animal spirits, triggering a further rise in the stock market. The 1920s Fed had been the enabler of this feedback loop — in order for investment and consumer spending to take off, companies and consumers needed access to credit. Faced with a jump in the appetite to borrow, the Fed had [wrongly] decided ‘to meet the legitimate demands of business,’ as Greenspan put it.”

Greenspan drew from his analysis “a radical position: the United States should return to the gold standard of the nineteenth century. By tying money and credit to a fixed supply of gold, the nation could prevent toxic surges in purchasing power.” … “‘The pre-World War I gold standard prevented speculative “flights from reality” — with their disastrous consequences,’ “Greenspan insisted.”

Nor was this the only area where Greenspan adopted a radically free-market stance. Defying the mainstream, “Greenspan followed up with an attack on government efforts to rein in monopolies with antitrust laws. … He pointed out that it was not just corporate managers who would want to challenge monopolists; the financial system would demand that they do so. If a monopoly extracted fat rents from its customers, its share prices would soar; that would give entrepreneurs an incentive to create rivals to the monopoly, and it would give financiers an incentive to ply those rivals with abundant capital.” Mallaby views this “crude” view with evident distaste, noting that both Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman adopted a more “nuanced” position.

What then became of this free-market radical? Unfortunately, his desire for “power and pelf,” in Murray Rothbard’s phrase, led him to alter his views. A firm commitment to freedom would never gain him entry to the inner sanctum of government, and Greenspan soon learned to temper his views.

In his radical days, Greenspan had opposed government bailouts to failing firms: the discipline of failure was essential to the operation of the free market. In 1971, he defied his teacher Arthur Burns, who favored bailing out Lockheed. “Testifying before the Senate, Greenspan refused to back his mentor. ‘I am in fundamental disagreement with this type of loan guarantee,’ he began. Government-directed lending ‘must inevitably lead to subsidization of the least efficient firms,’ damaging productivity and therefore living standards. … What the economy really needed was for weak companies to go bust, so that capital and workers would move to better-run establishments.”

Once close to the levers of power, matters were different. He wished to become Paul Volcker’s successor as Fed chairman, and he knew that firm opposition to Fed policy would hurt his chances for the job. Going against his earlier analysis, he supported the “largest bank bailout in U.S. history,” the rescue in 1984 of the Continental Illinois National Bank. He admitted the dangers of the bailout, but it was, as Mallaby summarizes his position, “necessary and appalling.” Appalling, one suspects, because of its effects on the free market; but necessary to advance Greenspan’s career. By the time he became Fed Chairman, the transformation was complete. By 1989, his “libertarian rejection of bailouts was long gone; what he wanted above all was the space to fight inflation.”

Greenspan wanted to fight inflation; but the best way to do it was no longer acceptable. A gold standard, he had long ago recognized, would bring with it monetary stability; but to replace the Fed with a commodity standard not subject to control by the government would erode his power. Accordingly the gold standard had to go.

He cast aside the gold standard with a transparent sophism: “A necessary condition of returning to a gold standard is the financial environment which the gold standard itself is presumed to create. … But, if we restore financial stability, what purpose is then served by a return to a gold standard?” (quoting Greenspan). Why a gold standard cannot help create a stable financial environment, but instead presupposes it, Greenspan left unclear. Even less clear was how the Fed was supposed to preserve stability in the absence of the gold standard. Evidently we were to rely on his supreme powers of judgment in steering the economy.

Greenspan in his long career as Fed chairman gained the power and acclaim he coveted; but the crash of 2008, two years after the end of his tenure in office, led to a sharp decline in his reputation.

In their attitude toward compromise, Greenspan is the polar opposite to Murray Rothbard. Rothbard could have tailored his views to win the favor of Arthur Burns, who was a family friend, but he refused to do so. He never abandoned his principles, and he took the measure of Greenspan. Writing about him in 1987, Rothbard observed: “Greenspan’s real qualification is that he can be trusted never to rock the establishment’s boat. He has long positioned himself in the very middle of the economic spectrum. He is, like most other long-time Republican economists, a conservative Keynesian, which in these days is almost indistinguishable from the liberal Keynesians in the Democratic camp.”

In looking over Greenspan’s fall from free-market grace, the melancholy first lines of Browning’s The Lost Leader, addressed to Wordsworth, come to mind: “Just for a handful of silver he left us,/Just for a ribbon to stick in his coat. …”

Statement zum GLS Beitrag von Thomas Jorberg, Vorstandssprecher der GLS Bank from GLS Bank on Vimeo.

“Die historisch niedrigen Zinsen stellen uns – wie auch alle anderen Banken – vor eine ebenso historische Herausforderung.

Die Zinsen auf Sparkonten und andere Einlagen gehen immer weiter zurück. Und die Kreditzinsen fallen noch schneller. Damit geht die Haupteinnahmequelle der GLS Bank, die so genannte Zinsmarge, zurück.”

Auf die sinkende Zinsmarge reagieren wir. Mit effizienteren Arbeitsweisen und Strukturen. Mit neuen Angeboten wie dem Crowdinvesting. Und mit dem GLS Beitrag.” 1€ für Geringverdiener – Formular ausfüllen – 5€ für alle anderen.

“Der verminderte GLS Beitrag darf nur beansprucht werden, wenn Ihr jährliches Einkommen unterhalb der sächlichen Existenzminima liegt. Bitte begründen Sie nachfolgend, warum Sie die Verminderung beantragen.”

“Existenzminimum 2017/2018”

“Die Höhe des Existenzminimums wird jährlich der allgemeinen Preissituation entsprechend nach oben angepasst. Grundlage für die Anpassung ist der alle zwei Jahre erscheinende Existenzminimumbericht. Wie aus dem als Unterrichtung vorgelegten 11. Existenzminimumbericht für das Jahr 2018 hervorgeht, wird das steuerfrei zu stellende sächliche Existenzminimum für die Jahre

2017 und 2018 für einen Erwachsenen € 8.820,00 bzw. € 9.000,00 betragen.

Für Ehepaare beträgt das Existenzminimum für 2018 € 14.856,00. Die Beträge umfassen neben dem Regelsatz die Aufwendungen für Kosten der Unterkunft sowie Heizkosten.”

“Existenzminium für Kinder”

“Für Kinder wird das sächliche Existenzminimum für 2017 auf € 4.716,00 und für 2018 auf € 4.788,00 festgelegt. Der Satz beinhaltet neben dem Regelsatz Aufwendungen für Bildung und Teilhabe, Kosten der Unterkunft sowie Heizkosten.”

“Stand: 28. Dezember 2016”


“Für dieses gesellschaftliche Wirken erhält die Bank von dem Kunden einen Beitrag („GLS Beitrag“) der dem verpflichtenden Beitrag der Mitglieder entspricht (vgl. §§ 12 d, 2 Absatz 4 Satzung der GLS Bank).

Der GLS Beitrag beträgt derzeit 60 Euro pro Jahr, in Ausnahme dazu für Volljährige bis zur Vollendung
des 28. Lebensjahres derzeit 12 Euro pro Jahr.

Ein freiwillig höherer Beitrag ist möglich.

Zukünftige Reduzierungen oder Erhöhungen des GLS Beitrags kann die Generalversammlung auf der Grundlage der §§ 2 Abs. 4, 12 d) der Satzung beschließen.

Sollte der GLS Beitrag zukünftig reduziert oder erhöht werden, wird dies dem Kunden spätestens zwei Monate vor dem vorgeschlagenen Zeitpunkt ihres Wirksamwerdens in Textform angeboten.”


“Mit ihm stärken Mitglieder, Kundinnen und Kunden die Kernleistung der Bank, das transparente, faire Bankgeschäft mit sinnvoller Geldverwendung. Gleichzeitig machen wir uns als GLS Gemeinschaft ein Stück weit unabhängiger von den unabsehbaren Entwicklungen der Finanzmärkte. Der GLS Beitrag wird so zur Garantie für unser langfristiges, sinnvolles Wirken und die Weiterentwicklung unseres werteorientierten Bankgeschäfts.”


Macht bei 210.000 Kunden c.a. 1 Millionen EURO pro Monat für die GLS.

Statement zum GLS Beitrag von Thomas Jorberg, Vorstandssprecher der GLS Bank

Bilanzpressekonferenz Februar 2017


“Die Welt erstickt an ihren Schulden”

Warum? Weil Banken über SCHULDEN NEUES GELD GENERIEREN. Es ist zu ihrem HAUPTGESCHÄFT geworden. Ohne neue Schulden, sind die Banken mit ihrem “traditionellen Geschäftsmodell” – ähnlich der großen Energie-Konzerne – AM ENDE. Wann kommt endlich die re-demokratisierung, das EEG für den Finanzmarkt? Man kann sagen durch das EEG wurde der Strommarkt in Deutschland zu 40% re-demokratisiert.

Leider vertragen sich Demokratie und Diktatur äh Kapitalismus überhaupt nicht.

“Die größten Schulden-Macher sind die Staaten, allen voran die Industriestaaten 160 Billionen € in der Kreide stehen.

Diese Verschuldung birgt enormen Sprengstoff, wer erlaubt ihnen diese Schulden zu machen?

Sie alle gerieten in große Schwierigkeiten, wenn Staaten ihre Verbindlichkeiten nicht mehr zurück zahlen könnten

“Die Welt operiert auf Basis gewaltiger Schuldenberge, das Risiko einer Staats-Pleite wächst von Tag zu Tag und man mag sich nicht ausmalen, was die Folgen davon seien könnten” (Wenn die DDR kein Hartz4 mehr bekommt oder die Polizei kein Gehalt – dann gute Nacht 😀 – die Banken – allen voran die Notebank haben den/die Staaten “im Griff” – Merkel: “Dass wir es schaffen, als Politik, aus dem Erpressungspotential heraus zu kommen – es darf nicht wieder vorkommen” (HAHA :-D)

Frank Bethmann

Hätten wir es doch nur wie Island gemacht – keine Bank gerettet – trotzdem überlebt, wäre die Staatsverschuldung nicht so hoch.

Merkel: “Dass wir als Politik aus dem Erpressungpotential eizelner (Finanz)Akteure heraus kommen – es darf nicht wieder (und wieder) passieren”

Seit ihr Politiker wirklich so doof – oder tut ihr nur so? Jede Krise ist ein Raubzug.

Bankenrettungen als einträgliches Geschäft

“Das Transnational Institute beziffert die Kosten auf mindestens 747 Milliarden Euro und kritisiert, dass die Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaften für ihre früheren Fehler noch belohnt werden…”Das Geschäft mit Bankenrettungen” In einer aktuellen Analyse beziffert das “Transnational Institute” die Kosten der angeglich “alternativlosen” Bankenrettung auf mindestens 747 Milliarden Euro, die die europäischen Steuerzahler meist durch Erhöhung von Staatsschulden und mit jährlich immer neuen Zinszahlungen bestreiten mußten. Dazu kommen noch über 1,2 Billionen für Bürgschaften und Garantien. Read More »

External Debt in Iceland decreased to 2823222 ISK Million (23.658 Million EUR) in the fourth quarter of 2016 from 3052311 ISK Million (25.579 Milleion EUR) in the third quarter of 2016. External Debt in Iceland averaged 5852830.16 ISK Million (49.047 Million EUR) from 1995 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 15748529 ISK Million in the third quarter of 2009 and a record low of 280593 ISK Million in the first quarter of 1995. src: