Greenspan summed up the trade-offs behind his deregulatory philosophy in a series of unusually lucid speeches in London in 2002, on the eve of being knighted by Queen Elizabeth. "The extent of government intervention in markets to control risk-taking," he said, "is a trade-off between economic growth and its associated potential instability, and a more civil but less stressful way of life with a lower standard of living."Good grief. It sounds to me like Greenspan was a man who never filed his own tax return or ever had to comply with a government regulation.
The real Greenspan legacy is the story of how a man went from someone who wrote an expose of antitrust in “Capitalism the Unknown Ideal” to a man who concluded that government intervention in the economy produces “a more civil but less stressful way of life.”