first majestic silver

Who Is Alan Greenspan?

May 21, 2002

Alan Greenspan's early writings propounded the gold standard in a clear, lucid, and morally compelling way. As many people know, he was a member of Ayn Rand's inner circle in the 1950s. Of course, she was bitterly opposed to fraudulent fractional reserve banking with fiat paper money, as was he.

Relatively recently, Mr. Greenspan was asked by Ron Paul whether he stood behind an article he wrote in 1967 about the superior morality of the gold standard, and he replied that he did.

How can we reconcile these indisputable facts with Mr. Greenspan's record in office, in which he has caused or at least allowed a gigantic fiat money catastrophe to develop? No one has yet answered this question publicly.

I have a hypothesis about this mystery. The key is in Ayn Rand's masterwork, "Atlas Shrugged". In that book, there is a character named Francisco D'Anconia, who in his youth was passionately devoted to honest and productive business ventures (primarily mining), intellectual pursuits, and the heroine of the book, Dagny Taggart (not necessarily in that order). Later in the book, he appears to have made a 180 degree turn with regard to all of these: his business profits from political corruption, his time is spent throwing absurd and wasteful parties, and he behaves apparently callously toward his former lover, Dagny.

She is tormented by his apparent turning against everything that he once held dear, and can find no rational explanation for it. This bothers her whenever she comes across a mention of him in the society pages of the newspaper, regarding one of his ridiculous parties or some other meaningless flirtation in which he has been reputed to be involved.

Finally, she learns the truth: he has been doing it all on purpose. The wasteful parties and all the other senseless behavior he is reputed to indulge in are a cover for his intentional destruction of his inherited fortune, so that it cannot be used to prop up corrupt regimes in the Latin American countries where his company's copper mines exist. He is making sure that the parasites who live off the wealth he and his ancestors have created will no longer be able to do so. They will perish without that wealth, whereas he can make a new fortune without them.

So what does this all have to do with Alan Greenspan? Simply this: is it possible that he has not changed his convictions in the least, but is acting out the part of Francisco? In that case, he is as strong a supporter of honest money as he ever was, and his apparent recklessness in promoting and sustaining the insane stock market, mortgage, and derivatives bubbles was not recklessness at all, but intentional. He wanted to make sure that this time, when the fiat money system collapses, it will take all of the parasites with it. The only ones left standing will be those who favor honest money, i.e., gold.

Steve Heller
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