Alan Greenspan/ Thomas Gradgrind

Sorry for all the Dickens-related posts, but this amazing scene of Alan Greenspan admitting the failure of his free-market ideology reminds me of Thomas Gradgrind’s anguished confession to his daughter Louisa, whose life he has destroyed with his inhumane utilitarian philosophy:

“I have proved my — my system to myself, and I have rigidly administered it; and I must bear the responsibility of its failures.  I only entreat you to believe, my favorite child, that I have meant to do right.”

Here’s the Ayn Rand acolyte Greenspan admitting to Congress that his ideology didn’t really turn out so well:

Published: October 23, 2008

Facing a firing line of questions from Washington lawmakers, Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman once considered the infallible maestro of the financial system, admitted on Thursday that he “made a mistake” in trusting that free markets could regulate themselves without government oversight….

“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” Mr. Greenspan said.

Referring to his free-market ideology, Mr. Greenspan added: “I have found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.”

Mr. Waxman pressed the former Fed chair to clarify his words. “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working,” Mr. Waxman said.

“Absolutely, precisely,” Mr. Greenspan replied. “You know, that’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”

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