The Giant Stumbled

An Interview with Sebastian Mallaby

Few public figures have seen, in their own lifetimes, their reputations fall from sky-high to subterranean. Alan Greenspan, perhaps the most important financial statesman of the postwar years in America, is just such a figure: he now shoulders a significant share of blame for the global financial crisis. Sebastian Mallaby’s magisterial new biography of him, The Man Who Knew, charts the course of his ascent and downfall. In the interview below, Mallaby explains what made the Fed Chairman tick — and why our financial institutions have not learned all they should from the crisis.

Octavian Report: Why a Greenspan biography? Why now?

Sebastian Mallaby: I started out with the idea that I wanted to write a big-sweep history of the making of modern finance. As I thought about it, there is one person whose …

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