updated 3/31/2004 11:37:50 AM ET 2004-03-31T16:37:50

The Federal Reserve knocked down a rumor swirling in financial markets Wednesday that chairman Alan Greenspan had suffered a heart attack.

“There is no truth to the rumor. The chairman is fine,” said Michelle Smith, spokeswoman for the Federal Reserve.

Greenspan, who recently turned 78, has been chief of the Federal Reserve since August 1987. He is often described as the second-most important person in Washington because his comments can move financial markets and because of his lead role in setting interest rate policy in the United States, the world’s largest economy.

Last Friday, Greenspan had missed delivering remarks to a monetary conference because he had a cold but he still worked from home, the Fed said.

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