WSJ/CNBC Question Greenspan’s Integrity for Post-Fed Career

January 15th, 2008 3:58 PM

You might disagree with how he slashed the Fed funds rate during times of economic turmoil as Federal Reserve chairman.

You might have even disavowed him after showing his coziness with the Clinton administration throughout the 1990s. But after 18 years of public service, you can't deny that Alan Greenspan should have a shot in the private sector.

However, despite media accolades through four Republican and one Democratic administration, some in the media think he broke an unspoken rule by going to work as a consultant for a hedge fund. One CNBC report called it "unseemly." The January 15 Wall Street Journal even hinted he may be profiting from the housing crisis, something they suggested he caused.

According to the Journal, Greenspan, 81, signed on with Paulson & Co., a hedge fund, the third consulting contract he has signed since retiring from the Fed.

"Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, whom some blame for fueling a housing bubble, is signing on as an adviser to hedge-fund firm Paulson & Co., which has profited handsomely from the collapse of that bubble," Greg Ip and Gregory Zuckerman wrote in the Journal.

One CNBC analyst took issue with Greenspan's post-Fed career also. Vince Farrell, a CNBC contributor, was upset about Greenspan's post-Fed career, stating he was acting incorrectly and cashing in on his name.

"To me this is just unseemly," Farrell said on CNBC's January 15 "Power Lunch." "The man occupied the pinnacle of power and hey, he's making a pretty good living. I can't understand the motivation because I think he's destroying the reputation that he led the Fed with."