What the maestro doesn't understand
Alan Greenspan went from pragmatic central banker to ideologue. In his memoir, he poses as the former but writes like the latter.
Has financialization gone too far?
As chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke can explain a lot about its response to the housing bubble. What he can't explain is whether much of our finance industry is more trouble than it's worth.
Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius By Sylvia Nasar (Simon & Schuster, 558 pp., $35) I thought I knew what this book was going to be about when I started it, but by the time I came to the end I was no longer sure.
Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative DestructionBy Thomas K. McCraw (Harvard University Press, 719 pp., $35) I KNEW Joseph Schumpeter only in the last five years of his life, from 1945 until his death in 1950, at the age of sixty-six. To say that I knew him is actually a bit of an exaggeration. First as a returning undergraduate and then as a doctoral student in economics at Harvard, I attended his courses on advanced economic theory andthe history of economic thought. The theory lectures bordered onincoherent; they alluded to everything but analyzed nothing.