Friday, October 24, 2008

Roll Over, Ayn Rand

and tell Herbert Spencer the news. The Times reports:
[A] humbled Mr. Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending.“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Floyd Norris: "What was missing was a regulator who understood markets, rather than worshiped them."

Since some of my students seem to actually like Ayn Rand, I will outsource the obligatory Rand-bashing to Dean Baker, who does it well. Actually, I do think Greenspan does deserve some credit for admitting error, at least a little bit. As Keynes said, "when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?"

Update (10/25): This video at Calculated Risk reveals uncanny parallels between Greenspan and Smooth Jimmy Apollo and Captain Renault.

Update #2 (10/26): Although Greenspan was a member of Rand's circle and contributed several chapters to "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal," the Rand-ites have apparently excommunicated him (see also the comments to this post). Hat tip: Marginal Revolution.


john said...

Yes, he must change. Perhaps he could become an Objectivist!

My point is that any resemblance between Greenspan and Ayn Rand's ACTUAL system is total illusion.

Greenspan DID make a monstrous error yesterday: he blamed "flawed market forces." How craven. He should have said: "I am totally shocked and ashamed I allowed myself to believe that market forces could continue to clean its own stables while half-regulated, politicized/subsidized, throughly federalized and social-mandate-driven. Instead, the men of integrity and production were driven out and scoundrels flourished. I guess Miss Rand was right after all. And I am an idiot."

John Donohue
Pasadena, CA

Richard said...

Further to Mr. Donohue's comment...

You, and readers who agree with you, are egregiously uninformed about Rand, and the entire financial crisis…

from The American Competitive Enterprise Institute:
“While the Dow collapses, we have a bull market in government regulations. The 50-plus departments, agencies and commissions are now at work on 3,882 rules; 757 will affect small businesses. More than 51,000 final rules were issued from 1995 to 2007.”

That’s 51,000 NEW regulations, added to what was there before.

On another of their web pages:
“Well over 48,000 final rules were issued from 1995 to 2006–that is, during Republican control of Congress.”

That isn’t capitalism, that’s fascism/corporatism & some socialism. At root, the very destructive things Rand’s lifetime was spent in presenting to Americans. Read “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” to see how “The Virtue of Selfishness” really works, and why Capitalism is the only moral system. (Greenspan dropped any pretense of understanding her arguments sometime before he became head of the Fed., and became a major part of the problem.)

Americans will get no relief from this massive problem from either McCain or Obama, nor until they return to the Founding Father's principles, as refined by Rand.

Bill C said...

Thanks for the comments. Obviously I have a different opinion of Ayn Rand, and I'm not going to argue on the correct interpretation of her views. But I appreciate having a different point of view available to anyone who reads my posting.

Richard said...

Perhaps, it would be in your best interest to investigate Miss. Rand's views more thoroughly. Carefully consider the many articles in such collections as "The Objectivist", "The Ayn Rand Newsletter" and "The Objectivist Forum". Keep track of points you disagree with, and where you encountered them. Then when you fully understand her "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology", you can then rethink the readings that troubled you. It is fascinating, and in many ways fun, to see your own confident mind go, "Oh, YEAH! That IS right, I just never thought to acknowledge that part of it as being so important! Or, some variation thereof.

Anonymous said...

China and Russia put the blame on some screwed up experiments of US for the earthquake that happened in Haiti.
Chinese and Russian Military scientists, these reports say, are concurring with Canadian researcher, and former Asia-Pacific Bureau Chief of Forbes Magazine, Benjamin Fulford, who in a very disturbing video released from his Japanese offices to the American public, details how the United States attacked China by the firing of a 90 Million Volt Shockwave from the Americans High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facilities in Alaska
If we can recollect a previous news when US blamed Russia for the earthquake in Georgio. What do you guys think? Is it really possible to create an earthquake by humans?
I came across this [url=]article about Haiti Earthquake[/url] in some blog it seems very interesting, but conspiracy theories have always been there.

Anonymous said...


I'm just browsing sites for the kids of Haiti.

I'm doing this for a non-profit haiti organization that devotes themselves to
creating an oppurunity for the children in haiti. If anyone here wants to donate then do so here:

[url=]Donate to Haiti[/url] or Help Haiti

They give children in Haiti a positive learning environment.

And yes, they are legitimate.

I greatly appreciate anyone's help

Anonymous said...

looking for the purpose ed drugs? [url=]buy viagra online [/url]and charge out of outspoken shipping at . another good place to [url=]buy viagra online[/url] is .

Anonymous said...

Online guitar lessons are a great way to learn guitar. Cheaper and more convenient than private studio lessons, the technology is now at a point where the difference in quality is nonexistent and actually has many advantages.
[url=]Online Guitar Lessons[/url]

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone! I don't know where to start but hope this place will be useful for me.
In first steps it's very good if somebody supports you, so hope to meet friendly and helpful people here. Let me know if I can help you.
Thanks in advance and good luck! :)

Anonymous said...

[url=] Buy reductil online

Anonymous said...

The French gourmet cheese Bleu d'Auvergne has a wonderful aroma, a rich taste; the saltiness increases with the incidence of veining. The overall flavor is piquant but not overly sharp. Bleu d'Auvergne started life as an imitation of Roquefort, using cow's milk in place of sheep's milk. Legend has it that a peasant, around 1845, decided to inject his cheese with a blue mold that he found growing on his left-over bread (the motto being, waste not, want not). And thus, the gourmet cheese Bleu d'Auvergne was born. This French gourmet blue cheese comes from the region of Auvergne and the cheese is made from milk of Salers and Aubrac cows. The rind is very thin and so the cheese is usually wrapped in foil. The cheese is rich and creamy with a pale yellow color and scattered holes and well-defined greenish-blue veining. We cut and wrap this cheese in wedge of 8 ounces and 1 pound.

buy fresh blue cheese

[url=]buy fresh blue cheese[/url]

Anonymous said...

I have developed a new clean web 2.0 wordpress theme.

Has 2 colours silver and blue, has custom header(colour or image).
I am curently working on it, so if you have suggestions let me know.

You can view live demo and download from here
If you found bug reports or you have suggestions pm me.
Wish you a happing using.

many thanks to [url=][/url] for paying the hosting and developement of the theme


Anonymous said...

It's so easy to choose high quality [url=]replica watches[/url] online: [url=]Rolex replica[/url], [url=]Breitling replica[/url], Chanel replica or any other watch from the widest variety of models and brands.

Anonymous said...

Exceptional site.

SMOtop the Swedish seo consultant offering a wide range of seo services.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

it seems pretty cool here

hopefully i can participate in some lively discussions here!

talk to you all soon!


Anonymous said...

hey everybody

I just wanted to introduce myself to everyone!

Can't wait to get to know you all better!


Thanks again!

Anonymous said...


I just wanted to say hi to everyone



Anonymous said...

[url=] coleman roadtrip grill

Anonymous said...

Do you think the best way to get the cheapest plane tickets is by calling the airline? Or, do you scan through hundreds of websites provided by search engines to find low airfare tickets? Maybe you hope to find cheap airfare in the local newspaper's travel section.
Finding cheap airline tickets can be one of the most frustrating experiences that most of us learn very quickly. Of course, most people eventually give up after spending hours scanning websites that offer virtually the same flight schedules and pricing. People purchase what they believe is the cheapest plane ticket, only to find their neighbor paid just a third of what they did!

Unless you understand the concept of of how airlines set prices, all the searching in the world won't provide the cheapest airline ticket prices. The following information will give you a guide to follow, as you wander through the maze searching for cheap airfare.

Understand how prices are set by airlines! Air ticket pricing is complex and unpredictable, and driven by competition, demand, and inventory. Airlines call this "yield management."

Competition is the beast behind the cheapest plane tickets. All major airlines utilize central reservation systems (owned by various airlines) to fill available seats. The systems are known as Apollo, Sabre, WorldSpan and Galileo. Prices are based on demand, and if some flights are selling well, the price will increase. If the flight is unpopular and has very little demand, the fare is lowered in hope of attracting consumers. In short, fares and inventory change every minute of every day!

Finding the cheapest plane tickets is difficult because travel agents and Internet websites use the central reservation systems that are updated periodically throughout the day. The reason why different searches come up with different results is because the systems are not updated at the same times. And, each system may use different algorithms when searching for low airfare tickets, which can provide a variety of ticket prices .

[url=]Tips and tricks for cheap air tickets[/url]

Anonymous said...

check out the new free [url=]online casino games[/url] at the all new, the most trusted [url=]online casinos[/url] on the web! enjoy our [url=]free casino software download[/url] and win money.
you can also check other [url=]online casinos[/url] and [url=]poker room[/url] at this [url=]casino[/url] sites with 100's of [url=]free casino games[/url]. for new gamblers you can visit this [url=]online casino[/url].

Anonymous said...

if you guys constraint to convey blood to [url=]viagra[/url] online you can do it at, the most trusted viagra dispensary advocate of generic drugs.
you can learn drugs like [url=]viagra[/url], [url=]cialis[/url], [url=]levitra[/url] and more at, the pre-eminent [url=]viagra[/url] originator on the web. well another great [url=]viagra[/url] pharmacy you can find at

Anonymous said...

You should visit [url=][/url] if you want to enjoy the best adult webcams.