What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? 144 pages/ ISBN 0-9710380-4-X
“The way our current monetary system works, the careful savings of a lifetime — including your pension — can be wiped out in an eye blink.”
About the Book
Table of Contents:
- What people are saying about this book
- About Larry Parks
- What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think?
- End Notes
- Reading List
- Notable Quotations
- About FAME
Foreword from the book :
Mr. Greenspan is the most brilliant of anyone who has ever served at the Federal Reserve. I have found some of his speeches, especially those given out of the country, to be extraordinarily candid about the perils—such as possible systemic collapse—of our irredeemable-paper-ticket-checkbook (fiat) money system and, alternatively, the benefits of the gold standard.
Mr. Greenspan is careful with his language. Sometimes he makes straightforward assertions that he believes to be true. Interspersed with these are statements that he qualifies with words such as “presumably,” “possibly as a consequence,” and so on. In these cases, I believe he is signaling that he does not share this position. Otherwise, he would leave out the qualifier.
The position he holds as Federal Reserve Chairman constrains his language. At the end of his speech, he says that he has to operate within the “context of his political environment.” I take this to mean that he does not see himself as someone who can boldly oppose or overtly criticize the current system. However, he is doing us a huge service by repeatedly emphasizing the disaster that awaits us with our present fiat monetary system and the benefits that we would enjoy with gold-as-money.
Mr. Greenspan has pointed the way. It is up to us to use the intellectual ammunition he has provided. It’s a mystery to me why the press and others are not paying more attention to what he’s been saying repeatedly for the past three years or more. Perhaps the reason lies with his arcane language.
To help explain how our monetary system works and make Mr. Greenspan’s views more easily understood, I have: (1) translated his FedSpeak terminology into plain English; (2) added critical comments; and, (3) suggested areas where further explanation ought to be forthcoming. Where I believe he is mistaken, I say so.
In effect, by enlarging upon Mr. Greenspan’s statements, I have constructed a primer about how our monetary system works to transfer wealth from poorer people (ordinary taxpayers) to richer people (bankers and those with a stake in Wall Street firms).
Lawrence Parks, Executive Director
Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education
Here is what people are saying about
What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think?:
“When a $70 billion market cap company (Enron) can turn to powder in just a few weeks, when more than $1 trillion in market cap companies (dotcoms and telecommunications) can similarly evaporate over a short period, one must conclude that there is something systemically wrong with our financial structure. In what may prove to be the most insightful book of the century, Dr. Larry Parks puts his finger on the paramount cause: our funny-money monetary system. What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? should not just be read—it should be studied!—by anyone who will depend on savings and/or a pension denominated in ‘dollars’ to stay alive when he can no longer work. This book could not come at a more opportune time.”
Sam Albert, Correspondent
1010WINS, New York, NY
“With this insightful analysis, Dr. Lawrence Parks reminds us that Daniel Webster was right when he wrote, ‘There is nothing so powerful as the truth – and often nothing so strange.’ Dr. Lawrence Parks’ lucid analysis clearly demonstrates in ordinary language the alarming ways ‘What you don’t know can hurt you and everyone else, too.’ A must read for those who think understanding vital aspects of our nation’s monetary policy is beyond them. Do not read this book unless you are ready for several startling monetary truths. Read this book only if you are ready for several jolting truths about the possible threat to our monetary system.”
Dr. Amelia Augustus, Ph.D., President
Women’s Economic Roundtable
“The logical acuteness of Dr. Parks’ commentary on Chairman Alan Greenspan’s remarks at the Catholic University Leuvan, Belgium, January 14, 1997, results in the realization to ordinary taxpayers that fiat money is the greatest deception played on humanity since the first enslavement of fellow human beings. Further, even those who understand and acknowledge the hoax being played by Government must cloak the truth with complex words, lest they offend the power brokers (bankers).”
Dominick Attanasio, former President
Societe De Chimie Industrielle
“In What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think?, Larry Parks not only reads between the lines of a Greenspan speech, but also literally writes between them. In doing so, Dr. Parks provides the reader with three vital services: 1) he highlights the discrepancies between what the Fed chairman actually believes and what he is required to do to keep his job; 2) he tears the veil of FedSpeak ‘respectability’ off of standard operating procedures that are anything but respectable; and, 3) he provides us a primer on what monetary policy really is, how it’s run and for whose benefit it’s run (hint—not yours and mine). It is quite revealing.”
Dr. Robert J. Batemarco, Ph.D.,
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Economics, Marymount College
“Were there a bureaucrat controlling any other industry (e.g., farming, fishing, furniture making) who did for it what Alan Greenspan does for monetary policy, we would have no difficulty in labeling him as an economic czar, a socialist of the worst stripe. We would tell him to go back, not to Russia, or East Germany, but to Cuba or North Korea. We would give him Adam Smith’s message about the invisible hand being better able to coordinate the activities of millions of people than governmental fiat. But Alan Greenspan, somehow, is different. He is above the fray. He is in effect an economic dictator who widely receives credit as an advocate of free enterprise. He is guilty of the worst excesses of central planning, and is seen by virtually all commentators in the very opposite role. Alan Greenspan has feet of clay; he is an Emperor with no clothes.
Larry Parks is like the small boy who points out the nudity of the king. In this masterful debunking of the Greenspan myth, Dr. Parks places the Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve in a well deserved light; not as the savior of the capitalist system, but as one of its greatest enemies.”
Dr. Walter Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar
Loyola University New Orleans
“The Federal Reserve System has a profound effect on our daily lives; yet not one in a million truly understands the implications of the Fed’s actions and of our monetary structure. This book brings together two people who do understand the system. Alan Greenspan is one such person but is constrained politically from speaking openly about it. Lawrence Parks is another such person who explains Mr. Greenspan’s sometimes cryptic and carefully worded remarks in plain English. This book is both a warning and an exposé. The warning is that history has taught us the inherent instability of fiat money. The exposé is of the shocking unfairness of the subsidies involved. Anyone who works for a living or saves for the future should read this book and understand those funny little things called ‘dollars.’”
Lloyd Buchanan, Chief Operating Officer
Axe-Haughton Associates, Inc.
“Larry Parks is the shadow public prosecutor who has succeeded in putting Alan Greenspan on the witness stand. The charge is that his Federal Reserve System is not now, nor has it ever been, run in the interest of labor, seniors, or other citizens and taxpayers. On the contrary, it has been run in order to plunder them — as a result of a conspiracy involving Big Banks and Big Government.
This unholy alliance has been milking labor and seniors (not to mention widows and orphans) out of their substance for over four scores of years, and their blatant pilfering from savers and taxpayers has pushed our entire economy to the abyss or, in the scholarly words of the witness, ‘has exposed the global financial environment to the dangers of a systemic breakdown.’
The most amazing thing in all this is the cooperating stance of Dr. Parks’ witness. For example, Mr. Greenspan freely admits that ‘the central bank [has been given] unlimited power to create money…’. This is tantamount to admitting that, in the United States, the Federal Reserve banks are unconstitutional. That country happens to have a constitution stating in no uncertain terms that it is the charter of a government of limited and enumerated powers. Not only is the (delegation of) power to create unlimited amounts of money not enumerated, but the Constitution explicitly bars the government from letting its bills of credit be organized into currency.
Dr. Parks is wondering about the cooperating tone of his witness, too, as the title of his book suggests. While Mr. Greenspan is not testifying under oath, his incentive to speak the truth may be motivated by more powerful considerations. It is the desire to establish a solid public record of eloquent admonitions, in order to cover up his being an accomplice in bringing about a systemic breakdown which, as he might well judge, is by now inevitable.
Be that as it may, it would appear incumbent on the suave Mr. Greenspan to initiate a constitutional debate on the monetary provisions of the U.S. Constitution which neither he nor his predecessors have ever mustered the decency or the moral courage to recommend for repealing. If he fails to do that, the conclusion remains inescapable that he would rather live with the stigma of violating the Constitution every time puts his signature on an official paper, just because labor and seniors appear to be too dumb to understand what’s going on. In the meantime, as every discriminating reader of this book will agree, when time comes to put Mr. Greenspan and his accomplices squarely in the dock, the best candidate to act as the real prosecutor should be none other than Dr. Parks.”
Dr. Antal E. Fekete, Ph.D.,
Professor Emeritus Memorial University of Newfoundland
“I have no intention of providing a blurb. I thoroughly disagree.”
Professor Milton Friedman, Ph.D.
Winner of the Swedish Bank Prize in Economic Sciences in
Memory of Alfred Nobel, a.k.a., “The Nobel Prize in Economics”
“Reading Lawrence Parks’ study of Alan Greenspan’s analysis of contemporary economics, one encounters approbation of the gold standard and phenomena such as fiat money, inflation, volatile interest rates, evanescent safety nets, moral callousness, pernicious transfers of wealth, undeserved rewards and unjust punishments. It is lucid and frightening, and a stern and principled critique of the financial architecture of our economy. Whether or not one agrees with its call for a recrudescence of the gold standard, the reader will be educated and perforce, outraged. This potent plea is a monetary equivalent of Tom Paine’s ‘The Crisis.’”
Murray I. Franck, Esq. Law Professor,
City University of New York
“Mr. Parks presents real food for thought relating to the issue of fiscal responsibility.”
Former National Chairman of the Reform Party
“By analyzing an Alan Greenspan talk in Belgium January 14,1997, Larry Parks presents a devastating critique of Federal Reserve policy. The Fed tries to maintain a precarious balance betwixt the Scylla of implosion (economic collapse) and the Charybdis of inflation. On the one hand Greenspan admits that the Fed’s ‘unlimited power to create money’ ‘induces’ banks to expand credit and make potentially risky loans. A ‘safety net/subsidy’ then protects the banks from losses on bad loans even though, as Greenspan admits, the subsidy distorts incentives by relieving banks of the full costs of the risks taken and, if regularly anticipated, ‘would only encourage reckless and irresponsible practices.’ Moreover, Parks explains, the ‘safety/net subsidy’ benefits banks, at the expense of taxpayers, workers and seniors. On the other hand, if the Fed allowed bank loans to default, a chain reaction might set in, ‘culminat[ing] in financial implosion.’
Because ‘market signals that usually accompany excessive risk-taking are substantially muted,’ as a result of Fed policy, ‘and because the prices to banks of government deposit guarantees . . . do not, and probably cannot, vary sufficiently with risk to mimic market prices,’ central bank officials ‘try to achieve the proper balance through official regulations, as well as through formal and informal supervisory policies and procedures.’ In the process, they ‘are compelled to act as a surrogate for market discipline.’ Central bank officials, who are no less fallible than other human beings, cannot possibly know ‘what market responses. . . would occur if there were no safety net.’ Yet they make decisions every day, either explicitly or by default, that affect the lives of everyone. And Fed Chairman Greenspan admits that he and his colleagues ‘can never know for sure whether the decisions [they] made were appropriate.’
On the one hand the Fed seeks to employ with caution its unlimited power to create money so as not to induce over-expansion, and on the other hand it tries to mute the effect on prices of its subsidizing of risky bank loans. And at the same time it pursues an impossible dream — of trying to replicate market prices. Parks describes Fed policy not only as one fraught with danger, but also as absolutely unnecessary if we should adopt gold as money and leave to private lenders the right to make loans without fear of government threat or favor.”
Dr. Bettina Bien Greaves, Ph.D.
Resident Scholar, The Foundation for Economic Education
“Larry Parks’ comments are always stimulating and original. Reading them in his What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? throws a new light on the money issue. I highly recommend this book.”
Dr. Ernest van den Haag, Ph.D.
Distinguished Scholar, Heritage Foundation
“Dr. Parks portrays Alan Greenspan as a central planner, par excellence. In his scholarly analysis of the Fed Chairman’s own words, he exposes an important truth about the Western World’s financial system….that it is nothing more than a confection held together by the decisions and judgments of this very fallible individual and his co-central planners, the Fed Governors. It is hard to conclude after reading this commentary that the system is on sound footing. In fact, it has been built upon ever more reckless interventions into freely trading markets which by Greenspan’s own words have distorted incentives and increased the leverage of its core financial institutions.”
John Hathaway, CFA, Senior Partner
Tocqueville Asset Management, LP
“Who is Alan Greenspan? Why do we care what he thinks? What the hell is he saying, and why in the world do we ordinary citizens and working stiffs let him keep robbing us? Larry Parks tells all. Read, reflect, rebel.”
Author, America’s #1 Populist
“Alan Greenspan is highly regarded on Wall Street. But he has one severe critic: Alan Greenspan. Larry Parks has the ability to translate Mr. Greenspan’s statements into common sense English, and this reveals the enormous gulf between what Mr. Greenspan says and what he is doing. Given the great power that Mr. Greenspan has over the U.S. economy, it is very disturbing that this man is suffering a crisis of conscience over his own behavior. Since so much in our lives depends on him, What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand the world in which he lives.”
Howard S. Katz, Author
The Paper Aristocracy
“In a rational society, Alan Greenspan would earn a living in some useful pursuit like pumping gas or flipping burgers. Larry Parks would be systematically dismantling the Federal Reserve System and they would both benefit from the increased prosperity that this reallocation of responsibilities would bring about.”
Robert D. Kephart
“After two relevant degrees from Harvard and a lifetime career involving money, I feel that What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? ranks with the best of books of this genre both as to readability and insight. I pray it receives widespread attention and that Dr. Parks’ views as to the inequities and misallocation of resource attributable to fiat money be brought into the public debate.”
Hon. Brewster Kopp
Former Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management)
Former principal financial officer, First National Bank of Boston
“Dr. Parks’ book is a must for anybody interested in the world of finance and the future of human society. Mr. Alan Greenspan who, in his younger years, was one of the most eloquent proponents and defenders of ‘Gold and Economic Freedom,’ has become prisoner of an unholy system and has betrayed his earlier convictions. Today, he seems like a shaman who gets his message from the gods of evil, and he speaks in symbolic language only understood by the initiated few. Damned be the man on the street, the workers, the pensioners and the economically weak. All who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. France’s experience with John Law is being repeated today on a worldwide basis. But, Dr. Parks has learned his lesson well. He demonstrates that the only way out of this avalanche of misallocations leading to the complete destruction of the world economy is the gold standard. He prods us into the realization that the only currency that can lead the world back to prosperity, justice, order, culture and peace is gold.”
Private Banker, Switzerland
“There are very few people who understand the arcane ways in which money is created or, for that matter, who benefits and who is adversely affected by this act of creation. By parsing the language of the Fed chairman, Larry Parks has uncovered a minefield of illuminating observations. Larry Parks, the president of FAME, is the quintessential truth-teller in a world of obscurantism and misunderstanding. For most people, banking and global finance are a mystery wrapped in an enigma. However, the creation of fiat money affects transactions, buying power, investments, personal wealth and the rise and fall of nation states. Even today the runaway inflation during the German Weimar period in the 1930’s affects the attitude of the European Central bankers. Through textual analysis Mr. Parks offers extraordinary insight into the operation of the Federal Reserve and, as importantly, the future purchasing power of money. Lest anyone think these are either abstract or pettifogging matters, the creation of money is a transfer of wealth from Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public to the banking establishment. It is hard to conceive of any issue that is more profound than this one.”
Dr. Herbert I. London, Ph.D., President
“What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? is dynamite! Mr. Greenspan has really spilled the beans, and Dr. Parks has caught him red-handed. In effect, Mr. Greenspan’s assertion that the Federal Reserve stands ready to create money ‘without limit’ is in fact an admission that none of us have any property rights in anything denominated in ‘dollars,’ including our savings, our stock portfolios, and our pensions. The reason is that those ‘rights’ can be diluted to nothing to bail out the banking system on account of banks leveraging their balance sheets to garner ever-greater unearned profits! It is certainly a credit to Mr. Greenspan that he has opened the door to the issue of ordinary taxpayers subsidizing the banks, and, as Dr. Parks has shown, what a subsidy that is! How else to explain the more than $600 billion that the financial sector takes out of the economy? I am in awe of what is being said, and I am dismayed that the establishment media has not focused on this. This book is a real eye-opener. Dr. Parks has done an important public service by writing it.”
“Dr. Parks has accomplished the equivalent of a headline ‘scoop,’ but for academicians and those with a longer term view on the important factors affecting our world and our lives. The Fed, its chairmen, and Alan Greenspan in particular are not known for straightforward clarity. Indeed, Mr. Greenspan’s actions often seem to contradict the economic principles he espouses. He does a superb job of obfuscation—of keeping domestic analysts and reporters perplexed regarding his actual beliefs and the principles on which he bases the decisions that affect all our lives significantly. Offshore, freed from the scrutiny of domestic observers, Mr. Greenspan uncharacteristically let his guard down. Apparently he did not reckon with the likes of Dr. Lawrence Parks. Dr Parks has, for once and all, defined for us many of Alan Greenspan’s economic principles in clear, unambiguous terms for the first time, with irrefutable logic applied to ‘best evidence,’ straight from the horse’s mouth. This is an inestimable service to all who need or want to understand the mindset and motivations of the man at the helm of our banking system, whose decisions determine our collective economic destiny. Mr. Greenspan is a man who understands much more than he lets on—but who is apparently willing and even eager at times to act in diametric opposition to his own professed beliefs. If you are an acute Fed observer, Dr. Parks will confirm with irrefutable evidence much of what you may have heretofore only suspected—and you may well discover a few surprises in his analysis too.”
Morris Markovitz, Author, President
Mercury Management Associates, Inc.
“What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think?” by Dr. Lawrence Parks is an interesting, thorough and rational analysis of our monetary system as managed by the Federal Reserve. It should be read by professionals who are involved as economists, bankers, experts interested in the U.S. economy, and by lay persons who will be affected by the action or lack of action of the banking community. I am somewhat amazed by my belief that even among the experts there is little understanding or acceptance of the implications of Dr. Parks’ explanation of Mr. Greenspan’s comments about our monetary system.”
Herbert S. Meeker, Esq., Partner
Baer Marks & Upham
“There is good research, provocative disclosure, and much food for thought in Dr. Parks’ erudite analysis of ‘Doc’ Greenspan’s speech.”
Dr. Victor Niederhoffer, Ph.D.
Author, The Education of a Speculator
World Champion squash player
“Lawrence Parks has written an insightful book about the most powerful man in the world. If you have any money — you need to read this book.”
Bill O’Reilly, Television Anchor
Author, The O’Reilly Factor
“My old friend Larry Parks has done the nation a valuable service by exposing how even Alan Greenspan, the ‘man behind the curtain’ in America’s monetary OZ, knows that the Federal Reserve is an unaccountable bureaucracy that enriches special interests at the expense of working Americans and our nation’s economic security. I highly recommend this work to anyone who wishes to understand the dangers of our fiat money system and the reforms necessary to ensure the dollar is once again ‘as good as gold.’”
Hon. Ron Paul, MD
Member of the United States House of Representatives
Member of the House Banking Committee
“Larry Parks has performed an extraordinary public service by explaining with clarity in layman’s language the ways and means by which Congress has permitted the Federal Reserve System to tax the American people without any real accountability to either Congress or the taxpayers. Using direct quotes from Alan Greenspan, Parks demonstrates how the earnings and savings of the American people have been diminished to enrich a powerful Establishment elite. My prayer is that our President, our Vice President, and every member of Congress will take the time to read this book, and that perhaps some few of them will understand it and even act on it.”
Howard Phillips, Chairman
The Conservative Caucus
“In What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? Larry Parks has translated the Orwellian ‘newspeak’ of the Federal Reserve into language understandable by us all. Anyone who reads Dr. Parks’ hard-hitting translation of Alan Greenspan’s words will never again fall victim to the irrational belief that the Federal Reserve is the guardian of the national economy. His book is a great addition to the literature on sound money.”
John A. Pugsley
Chairman, The Sovereign Society
“How refreshing it is to read a clear-headed, critical analysis of the Federal Reserve and its operations, as opposed to the official news releases the major media is happy to regurgitate without serious question! One doesn’t have to agree with every point Dr. Parks makes to realize that he has performed a valuable public service by explaining in lay terms why the monetary emperor has no clothes.”
Dr. Lawrence W. Reed, Ph.D. President
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
“It’s great to see Greenspan deconstructed, as only Larry Parks could do.”
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., President
Ludwig Von Mises Institute
“What does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? is a well written analysis of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s statements about the possibility of a complete monetary collapse under our present fiat currency monetary system. Dr. Larry Parks’ analysis shows how Mr. Greenspan justifies the transfer of ordinary citizen’s money to banks when they experience systemic defaults. This is a ‘must read’ for anyone who is concerned about his economic future.”
Helen Reisler, President
Rotary Club of New York
“Finally, someone tells us what Mr. Greenspan really thinks! Dr. Lawrence Parks gives Americans the first penetrating insights into a man who has tremendous influence on all of our lives. I encourage you to read What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think?”
Christopher Ruddy, President & CEO
“This book is like a 1773 Thomas Paine pamphlet calling for freedom. Freedom from Greenspan and what he represents. The need is as desperate as it was in 1773. We need to get this book into the hands of innocent citizens.”
Chevalier Harry D. Schultz
International Harry Schultz Letter
“Larry Parks is like a sculptor who chips away at a rough-hewn block of marble until he reveals the art work ‘hidden’ inside. Only here there is a gargoyle waiting within the marble, because Parks’ raw material is the elusive mind that lurks behind the familiar, impassive countenance of Alan Greenspan. This man, the most powerful figure in the realms of money, banking, and finance, discusses central banks and their effects on economic conditions. In ruthless fashion, Parks analyzes Greenspan’s remarks and translates them into common language. What one finds is that the combination of central banking and fiat currency is a deadly one. Modern monetary systems encourage excessive risk-taking by financial intermediaries, can create crippling rates of inflation, and, above all, redistribute part of the wealth and income of the average taxpayer to a politically-privileged elite. The solution? Get rid of the bureaucratic management and return to the market discipline imposed by laissez-faire principles and a gold standard. I could not agree more.”
Dr. Larry J. Sechrest, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Economics
Sul Ross State University
“Understanding the actual workings of our monetary system is very complicated for most people including myself. Money to the economy is like air to a living organism; it is necessary. Do we have the right kind of money? Larry Parks does an amazing job at making our system understandable and creates reading that every American can and should comprehend.”
Denison E. Smith, Chairman,
For Our Grandchildren
“In conventional wisdom, economics is the dismal science and Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is the saintly, obscure master regulator of our nation’s and the world’s economic well being. Dr. Larry Parks, in a unique and challenging intellectual tour de force, makes economics anything but dismal and Chairman Greenspan anything but obscure. This volume is worth reading for fun or, if one prefers, for profit and understanding. What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? is not to be taken lightly because the implications of what is revealed are truly momentous. The very heart of this nation’s economic system, fiat money, is an intricate contrivance which is inherently unstable and unfair. Our apparent success to date says more about the astuteness of the Chairman than it does about the suitability of the system. We are proceeding at breakneck speed and at enormous risk, gambling all the while on good luck and human perfection. Neither one can be assured with confidence. This book is an understandable call to arms.”
Charles Darwin Snelling,
Columnist, MCALL.com; Venture Capitalist
“We should all be thankful that Mr. Greenspan has raised the issues of financial collapse, ongoing wealth transfer from ordinary citizens to the banking system, and, especially, that the banking system has a call on virtually all of everyone’s savings and promises of future payment—such as pensions—by virtue of the Federal Reserve’s mandated function to create money without limit to attempt to quell a systemic collapse. But we should be even more thankful that Dr. Parks has brilliantly translated Mr. Greenspan’s arcane language into a form that everyone can understand. What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about their investment portfolio and, more important, justice, fairness and living in a just society.”
Dr. Leon Sutton, Ph.D.,
Abraham Ben Jacob Sutton Foundation
“Larry Parks has laid bare the essence of the monetary system and it should scare the wits out of you. Not only is our economic system based on the flimsiest of reeds—fiat money—but, as such, it rewards the idle at the expense of hard-working Americans, and people the world over.”
Greg Tarpinian, Executive Director
Labor Research Association
“This little book is wonderful. By providing an insightful analysis of a major speech delivered by Alan Greenspan, Dr. Lawrence Parks has created an educational tool of great use. Reading between the lines and translating arcane jargon into terms everyone can understand, Dr. Parks identifies the fallacies, myths and the ultimate folly of central banking and its diabolical progeny: fiat currency. I hope that this book is circulated wide and far so that many people are given the opportunity to read not only what central banks have done to our money, but what they have done to our society — in other words, what they have done to us.”
James Turk, Managing Director & Founder
“In What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? Dr. Lawrence Parks brilliantly translates and deconstructs the latest Greenspanese—demonstrating that the Federal Reserve System’s true purpose is to employ fiat currency and bank credit to redistribute real wealth from average citizens to an economic and political elite. Moreover, that the Federal Reserve can, as Chairman Greenspan admits, ‘produce [fiat] money without limit,’ means that it can redistribute society’s wealth just as thoroughly—implying that no one outside the elite can enjoy economic security as long as the central bank exists. So, Dr. Parks’ commentary is both an education and a warning that all Americans need to study, to take to heart, and to act upon before the harsh laws of economics call the Federal Reserve System to account.”
Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Esq., President & Founder
National Alliance Constitutional Money
“Most will recall the childhood game called ‘telephone’ whereby a message is passed from person to person, and then, at the end of the chain, the message turns out to be greatly distorted from its original content. In the media today, that describes what generally happens to Mr. Greenspan’s remarks. Dr. Parks has short-circuited this process by juxtaposing Mr. Greenspan’s comments with what they mean in plain English so that ordinary people can understand his message, and that message is very profound. In this small and very important book, Dr. Parks raises questions that should be the concern everyone, and especially our elected representatives. As the former President of the New York Chapter of the Federalist Society, I can say with some authority that What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? should be studied by every citizen. It is a truly remarkable and valuable accomplishment.”
Michael Weinberger, Esq.
Former President, Federalist Society – NY Chapter
“Straight talk from a straight shooter.”
Kathryn M. Welling, Editor and Publisher
Welling@Weeden, Weeded & Co. LP
“The most important aspect of this extraordinary book is the basic question it raises: Is the power Mr. Greenspan wields consistent with our system of limited constitutional government? Dr. Parks’ thoughtful analysis and easy-to-understand explanation of Mr. Greenspan’s views should be at the top of the agenda of anyone concerned about his economic future.”
Hon. Faith Whittlesey, President & Chairman
American Swiss Foundation
Former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland
Media Inquiries Media Flyer in pdf format
Why Your Pension and Retirement Savings
May Be an Empty Bag
Americans believe their pensions and savings are guaranteed safety nets for retirement. To the contrary, former Wall Street money manager Dr. Larry Parks says people may be in for a nasty surprise when they reach retirement age.
WOULDN’T YOUR AUDIENCE LIKE TO KNOW:
- How a lifetime of careful savings, including pensions, could be wiped out in an eyeblink by Federal Reserve action, as confirmed by Mr. Greenspan.
- Why the traditional approach to retirement savings may leave ordinary people destitute at a time when they cannot replenish.
- What really happened to the retirement savings and pensions in Argentina, Peru, Russia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and elsewhere and the implications for ordinary Americans.
- What the average person can do to protect his or her financial future.
CREDENTIALS: Dr. Larry Parks is the founder of the Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education, (FAME), and the author of What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? A former adjunct professor at the Polytechnic University for 14 years, Parks has written extensively about monetary issues. Some of his work has appeared in magazines including American Outlook, Ideas on Liberty, The Money Review, and the National Review.
- Is Enron an aberration, or is it the “canary in the mine?”
- Why are almost all of the savings plans sold by Wall Street a giant scam?
- Why has the structure of our monetary system been a disaster for manufacturers and farmers?
- Why our country is heading for a financial collapse?
- Why do ordinary people always lose, all over the world?
- What is the true function of the Federal Reserve, and how does it work against the interests of ordinary people?
- What’s to be done
What Does Mr. Greenspan Really Think? by Lawrence Parks
As published in Liberty Magazine, January 2002
Reviewed by Bettina Bien Greaves
Money is one of the most important, if not THE most important phenomenon in the market. Money, indirect exchange, evolved out of barter (direct exchange) as a medium of exchange when a man who couldn’t get what he wanted through direct exchange took in trade something else that was valuable but more easily negotiable than what he had brought to market, i.e., he took a medium of exchange which he could trade later for what he really wanted. In time, the division of labor evolved; one man produced shoes, for instance, another armor. As this market system developed, armor could be exchanged through the intermediary of money against shoes, and vice versa, each according to its respective value. Thus it became possible for the originators of an exchange, who could not get today what they needed, to take in trade a medium of exchange that was more negotiable than the shoes or armor they had brought to market. With this medium of exchange, they could acquire finally what they themselves wanted to consume.
To be acceptable in a trade originally, a medium of exchange, money, must be something people value – gold, silver, or currency redeemable in gold or silver. The destiny of an inconvertible paper currency is bound to be, as Hobbes described pre-capitalistic life, “nasty, brutish, and short” – consider our “Continental,” the Civil War Confederacy’s money, the 1923 German Mark, the post World War II moneys of Hungary, Argentina, Bolivia, among others. Once a money becomes worthless, it will no longer be accepted in trade. Government can, of course, support the value of a paper money and maintain it in circulation for a time by declaring it “legal tender,” and compelling creditors to take it. But for how long?
Lawrence Parks, an ardent proponent of the gold standard, is concerned by the complete divorce of the U.S. legal tender dollar from gold and the Federal Reserve’s unlimited power to create dollars. This important booklet explains how the U.S. dollar is threatened by the very institution responsible for protecting it.
Parks analyzes, sentence-by-sentence, a speech by Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. His basic criticism of the Fed is of its role as “lender of last resort,” which provides a “safety net subsidy” to the banks, reduces their risks, “induces” them to make questionable loans to less qualified borrowers and/or at lower interest rates, and assures the banks of gains without fear of suffering losses. (p.37) The “market signals that usually accompany excessive risk-taking” are “muted” so that, when trying to set interest rates, the Fed’s “regulators are compelled to act as a surrogate for market discipline.” Greenspan realizes that lowering interest rates induces malinvestment while allowing interest rates to rise tends to snuff out jobs. In attempting “to simulate the market responses that would occur if there were no safety net,” the Fed’s regulators make decisions every day, “either explicitly or by default,” (pp.38-39) without ever knowing for sure whether their decisions are “appropriate.” (p.48)
In the talk Parks analyzed, Greenspan admitted, not once, but five times that the central bank has “unlimited power” (p.41) to create unlimited dollars. (pp.5, 7, 12, 41-42) The market value, the purchasing power of our “legal tender” currency, has become completely dependent on faith in the Fed. Greenspan admits that “The abandonment of the domestic convertibility of gold effectively augmented the power of the monetary authorities to create claims [dollars].” (p.12) And if, in some crisis, the Fed should increase dollars without limit, as Greenspan admits it has unlimited power to do, it could destroy entirely the value of U.S. legal tender dollars, their usefulness as a medium of exchange, and thus the market itself.
Parks highlights the Fed’s inability to counteract the effects of the “safety-net subsidy” to banks by simulating the market and calls attention to the Fed’s unlimited power to create unlimited dollars. Yet today owners of U.S. dollars and of all other assets fixed in dollar terms, have no recourse but to rely on the Fed and the fallible human beings who operate it and who, by Greenspan’s admission, can never know if their decisions are “appropriate.”
Parks quotes a Greenspan 1966 pro-gold standard article. (p.10) Asked in 1993 if he still agreed with his 1966 conclusions, he replied: “Absolutely!” Parks: “So why don’t you speak out?” Greenspan: “Because my colleagues at the institution I represent disagree with me.” (pp.83-84) Parks reminded Greenspan this could lead to complete collapse. Greenspan gave “a very pained look” and walked away. (p.84)
This incident illustrates Greenspan’s dilemma. Should he resist Fed expansionist pressures or face possible monetary collapse from inflation?
Lawrence Parks is the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education (FAME). He has broad experience in academia, in business, and in finance.
He holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Polytechnic University. Dr. Parks has studied the money issue for more than thirty years. His writings have appeared in Pensions & Investments, The Economist, The Washington Times, The Freeman, The Free Market, American Outlook, The United States Congressional Record, National Review, and others.
He is an active member of many civic and social organizations, a member of The United Association for Labor Education, The National Writer’s Union, UAW 1981, AFL-CIO, and he is a frequent speaker on the Fight for Honest Monetary Weights and Measures.
His focus is on how our present fiat monetary system operates to destroy savings, pensions and jobs and what to do about it.