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Opinion

Greenspan hire evinces a feeling of irony

When Deutsche Bank announced in August that it had retained former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan to provide insights and advice to the bank and its clients, competitors were quick to point out the irony.

Alan Greenspan

Here is the bank rumoured to have made hundreds of millions from a huge short on the mortgage market hooking up with the former central banker accused of inflating the asset bubble in the first place.

Peter Hooper, Deutsche’s chief US economist and a former colleague of Greenspan at the Fed, clinched the deal. He’s delighted with it, even though his former boss is no longer held in such high and unqualified regard across the entire market.

"He does get those questions and he has answers. When a central bank is facing the threat of deflation it pulls out all the stops."

In his first two weeks on the Deutsche payroll, Greenspan spoke at a couple of functions for senior management and top clients. Hooper reports: "I have seen very senior people paying rapt attention to what he has to say and that is heightened by the current circumstances. Amid such uncertainty, anyone who can put things in perspective and help you understand them better can be reassuring."

By late August, Deutsche had not yet agreed a schedule for Greenspan at the annual IMF/World Bank meetings, but he will deliver the Per Jacobsson lecture, on October 21.

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