While admitting that he did make some mistakes during his tenure, Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan defended his record last week, arguing that his policy of keeping interest rates low did not contribute to the financial collapse.
Testifying before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Greenspan, who was chairman of the Fed from 1987 to 2006, was bombarded with questions from panel members who were highly critical of his lack of response concerning irresponsible mortgage lending.
"Very simply, Mr. Chairman, why…did you not act to contain abusive, deceptive subprime lending?" asked panel chairman Phil Angelides. "Why did you allow it to become such an infection in the marketplace?"
In response, Greenspan noted several steps that the Fed took under his leadership to prevent irresponsible lending, and claimed that he made the correct decisions 70 percent of the time, according to Fox News. He refused to mention the specific failures that he felt he was responsible for.
Greenspan also indicated that the Federal Reserve helped to temper the economic recession through the decision he made in the early 2000s, CNN.com reports.
"We did do almost all of the things that you are raising," Greenspan told the panel. "And the consequence of that, I think, is that things were better than they could have been."