Image: "The Age of Turbulence"
Penguin Press
"I wanted to make the leap from writing economic analysis to writing in the first person about what I'd experienced," Alan Greenspan wrote about his forthcoming book.
updated 9/4/2007 6:26:11 PM ET 2007-09-04T22:26:11

Famously opaque when he was chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan — the author — says he relished the opportunity to break out of "Fedspeak" and share his own insights about the nation's economy.

Greenspan's book "The Age of Turbulence" hits bookstores later this month. Greenspan ran the Fed for 18 1/2 years — the second-longest serving chief of the central bank. He says he began to write the book on Feb. 1, 2006, the day his successor — Ben Bernanke — took over.

"I wanted to make the leap from writing economic analysis to writing in the first person about what I'd experienced. And after years of talking `Fedspeak' in carefully calibrated congressional testimony — I could finally use my own voice!"

Greenspan's musings were contained in a blog, dated Friday, posted on Amazon.com's web site.

On Greenspan's watch, the economy — from March 1991 to March 2001 — posted its longest continuous expansion in history. The two recessions during his tenure were mild.

He confronted crises including a stock market crash in 1987 — just two months into his job; financial upheavals in some parts of the world in the late 1990s; the bursting of the stock market bubble in 2000 that wiped out trillions of dollars in investor wealth; and the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

"Nothing fully prepared me for what I faced when President Reagan nominated me Fed chairman in June 1987, " Greenspan recalls. "So, in my waning months of my Fed tenure, I started getting excited about having time to stand back and think about all I'd been through," he says.

Greenspan, 81, says he especially enjoyed writing the final chapter of his book about how he thought the world would work in 2030.

"In the end, I can confidently say writing that final chapter brought me — and the book — closure," he wrote. "It is not the grand finale of Beethoven's Ninth, but for me, it hit the right chord."

A lover of classical and jazz music, Greenspan once worked as a jazz musician and studied the clarinet at Juillard.

Writing the book, “I tackled the personal part first, but then started unraveling the detective story about the economy,” he says.

As Fed chief, his agile handling of the economy had earned him monikers, including the maestro, the greatest central banker who ever lived and the second-most important person in Washington.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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