I got some guff for suggesting that, because Alan Greenspan is an Ayn Rand disciple, that this recession might be caused by Objectivism.
Newsweek interviews Dr. Yaron Brook, the head of the Ayn Rand Institute about that same issue. Brook basically blames the whole thing on the Federal Reserve, which for a very long time was headed by, uh, Alan Greenspan.
What we need to do is really make the case to the American people—and I think it's an easy case to make—that this is not a failure of free markets, this is not a failure of capitalism, but this is a failure of the exact opposite. It's a failure of the regulatory state. It's a failure of all the government policies of the last eight years. Actually, the last 95 years.
Why do you say the last 95 years?
I believe that the No. 1 cause of the current crisis is Federal Reserve policy. [The Federal Reserve was created in 1913.] The Federal Reserve, by necessity, creates economic problems; no matter how good a Federal Reserve chairman is, he's going to create cycles of booms and busts.
How did the Federal Reserve create today's mess?
The current crisis was caused by the housing bubble, and the primary cause of the housing bubble was the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates at 1 percent in 2003. They were asking people to borrow money, basically begging them. The financial problem we face today was a problem of overleverage, of too much debt—but that's exactly what Federal Reserve policy encouraged.
And then he turns on Greenspan in a big way.
But during that time, the head of the Federal Reserve was Alan Greenspan, a close friend of Ayn Rand and the world's most famous Objectivist.
Yes. Alan Greenspan was quite close to Ayn Rand in the 1960s and 1970s. But from pretty early on, Greenspan was a part of economic policies that I don't think Ayn Rand would have approved of. Yes, he wanted less regulation, but he never talked about rolling back regulation. He never talked about significantly meaningful ways to cut spending, cut taxes. I believe he sold his soul to the devil. Power corrupts, and absolute power—which I think is what you have at the Federal Reserve—corrupts absolutely.
This is almost as delicious as that nasty Republican Sarah Palin blame game that went around right after the election.