Talk:Alan Greenspan/Archive 2

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American Jew

Alan Greenspan (born March 6, 1926) is an American Jew & economist and was Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006.

declaring that Alan Greenspan is an American Jew as the very first description is the sillyest thing i've ever read. Jkister 07:46, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Well I see it as fit. That is after all where age, profession, background, or achievements etc. would be listed. I hope it isn't because you have anything against him for being Jewish. He was a fine Fed chairman. Bridarshy 02:25, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
It has no place in the opening sentance. Look at Ruth Ginsburg or Albert Einstein. do they shout "Ruth Ginsburg is an American Jew and Justice" or "Einstein is a Jew and Mathmetician" ? Of course not. because it belongs in a more appropriate setting. and insinuating that i'm antisemitic is completely premature -- what do you know about me? Jkister 08:00, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Take it easy. --Iriseyes 19:53, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
What are you talking about? Are you saying I'm attacking someone? or are you saying that "what do you know about me" is an attack ? LOL Jkister 05:48, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Jkister, you'd be hard pressed to find another entry for a Jewish economist which mentions their religion/ethnicity in the opening paragraph. Have a look at the pages for any of these Jewish economists: Akerlof, Arrow, Becker, Bernanke (*the current fed reserve chair*), Friedman, Harsanyi, Krugman, Sachs, Samuelson, Stiglitz, Summers. None of these pages mention being a Jew in the first sentence, it is usually discussed in relation to family or upbringing in the biography section.Edwin s 15:38, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Much better now. Labeling him Jewish in the opening sentence is as inappropriate as "Alan Greenspan is white and an economist". That's a good analogy, actually.Jkister 05:35, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Yay he is a white economist. White Jewish economist. Funny you don't want the world to realize the Jews run everything. 18:45, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Antisemitism is probably one of the mindsets you don't want to express on wikipedia, --Iriseyes 19:53, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
You just don't get it. perhaps a few more years of life will help. Jkister 05:48, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
the relevant issue for an encyclopedia is notability: Greenspan's heritage is not notable enough for the introduction - he is notable as an economist, chairman of the fed, and so forth. Blablablob (talk) 18:16, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree when the economy was in "rock and roll", then we could talk about the "Jewish-ness" as it would be notable and relevant. Echopapa (talk) 22:50, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Fixed by deleting "Jewish." His religion is unknown. His heritage is Jewish and has no bearing on his economics. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:59, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Questionable Uncited Text

I removed the uncited text about Greenspan being a "well-known Zionist" because I'm not aware that this is accurate at all, much less well-known and I think it is a loaded term. DanielM 15:52, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Final Sentence of Introduction

The word "nonetheless" in the following is an incoherent transition from the previous paragraph: "Greenspan was nonetheless still generally considered during that time to be the leading authority on American domestic economic and monetary policy, and his active influence continues to this day."

In addition, the references do not cite Greenspan as the "leading authority on American domestic and monetary policy." Instead they indicate that he speaks with great authority on the economy. The end of the sentence should be changed to: "the nation's leading authority on the state of the American economy." Haberstr 04:20, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Improve it if you like. That's the idea of Wikipedia. The word "nonetheless" comes in because the paragraph is critical and points out his housing bubble-leading policies, but says he was still the authority. The last point you make sounds good to me. The text should track the reference. DanielM 22:33, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Later career

In this section several of Mr. Greenspan's comments regarding former presidents are cited. However, missing are any comments about Ronald Reagan. I have added one comment from "The Age of Turbulence." On page 87, Greenspan writes "What attracted me to Reagan was the clarity of his conservatism." This comment should provide for a more complete compilation of comments by Mr. Greenspan concerning past presidents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Patrick Henry 1776 (talkcontribs) 05:37, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

The other quotes were cited in various articles about the book - would be better to use such 3rd party quotes, I think, for consistency and to avoid original synthesis. Tvoz |talk 08:10, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Religious background

I am adding his religious background as Jewish. Graham Wellington (talk) 21:22, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

The fact that he is Jewish has been in the article for over two years - see first sentence of Biography section. I don't see its relevance or necessity in the infobox. Tvoz |talk 22:00, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Only more one question on that. Is the original spelling of the surname Grynszpan, as that of Herschel Grynszpan? --Xareu bs (talk) 08:35, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Jewish economist?

Any reason why we have the first sentence of his article say "jewish economist?" yes, he's jewish. yes, he's an economist. Does it particular matter he's the two together? most importantly, does it matter in the first sentence that we have to mention that he's jewish. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree: in Greenspan's memoir I'm pretty sure he mentions the word "Jewish" once so I doubt he would be amused. I think it is a bit disrespectful to classify him by religion (irrelevant) rather than his accomplishments (relevant). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:58, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Bias regarding The Age of Turbulence

Greenspan's recent book, The Age of Turbulence, is broken up into two sections. The first section is both autobiographical and historical, incorporating synopses of economic affairs from the Nixon administration to present. The second section discusses the current world (China, Latin America, Russia, US health care and social security, global warming, etc., and concludes with predictions for the US and world economies in 2030. The 500-or-so page book is not Bush-bashing liberal propaganda. Only one of the twenty-five chapters in the book relates to the presidency of George W. Bush. Greenspan does not "rail against" Bush; he disagrees with the lack of fiscal conservatism (and therefore inability to pay debt) during Bush's presidency. My issue with this section of the Wikipedia article is that it portrays The Age of Turbulence as being Anti-Bush propaganda. I question the allegedly unbiased opinions in the article. The 500-page, 25-chapter book only mentions in passing that Greenspan disagrees with one of Bush's policies. Too much people want to pick one line out of context and make it political (especially lately since many people disagree with George W. Bush). Wikipedia should not display the memoir as a "railing against Bush," it should display it as a piece of literature incorporating biography, economic history, and economic forecasting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:54, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Furthermore, Greenspan does not praise Clinton above all others. He praises Clinton's fiscal conservatism (along with the Congree during Clinton's years as president), while acknowledging the fact that economic growth of the 90s made fiscal conservatism easier. Greenspan praises Gerald Ford throughout the book. He does say that Clinton and Nixon are the most intelligent presidents he's met. However, he spends much more time praising Ford. It seems very clear that left-leaning political views are apparent in the "Later Career" section of this article. It essentially says Greenspan hates Bush and loves Clinton. False and inappropriate for an encyclopedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:06, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I didn't write any of that section's text,, but the sentence where it says "rails against" is sourced to a Reuters article that says "sharply criticized" and also gives specific examples of rather stern criticism. "Rails against" is not a warped characterization of the comments expressed in that article, but sure it might be possible to find a better way to say that part. I think Greenspan disagrees with more than one little bit of Bush's policies in that book though; I think there were more quotes than that in the article alone. In general that overall section needs to be organized better and cleaned up some, but I don't read it at all as a "loves Clinton, hates Bush" thing. DanielM (talk) 00:41, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I see truth in what both of you are saying. However, I see a subtle yet important difference between `rails` and `sharp criticism`. `Rails` is the domain of politicians and position pieces - which is just not Greenspan's style. Blablablob (talk) 19:20, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Money Supply Growth figures

What is the point of an article on former head of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan that contains no money supply growth figures for his term? Someone could read the entire article and still not know how much any of the various measures of money supply grow over the period that Alan Greenspan was at the Fed. (talk) 19:09, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

As speaker

Greenspan must have spoken in many places after leaving the Fed..I added the 2008 Jeddah Economic Forum. Where else has he spoken? Abo 3adel (talk) 07:10, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

- I don't know what happened here...I just added one sentence about him speaking at the Jeddah Economic Forum and the whole page goes crazy...!!!! I tried to fix it but I couldn't....can someone check the history and show me how to add it so that it doesn't look like I'm trying to vandalize the page......................! Abo 3adel (talk) 07:34, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Don't know exactly what happened so I restored the most recent page before your edits, then copy-pasted your addition after that. I think it is okay now. It may have had something to do with the reference formating. In order to make the references appear nice and neat and informative at the bottom, we have to use the special formating instead of just brackets around the reference URL. It's a bit harder. I didn't do that part, which is needed on other text besides your addition. Right now the reference styles in the last section don't match, but it's okay as an intermediate fix IMO. DanielM (talk) 13:13, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much DanielM. Maybe I should experiment with it a little in the sandbox :D Abo 3adel (talk) 14:45, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

update needed

"He currently works as a private advisor, making speeches and providing consulting for firms through his company, Greenspan Associates LLC." he died 1/31/2006 Anubis1055 (talk) 21:30, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Birth Year

1926 is listed as his birth year in beginning of article, 1936 in the biography. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:09, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Savings and Loan (S&L) crisis

As stated in his autobiography, The Age of Turbulence, Alan Greenspan was closely involved in the Savings and Loan Crisis.Townsend-Greenspan accepted a request to conduct a review of the Lincoln Savings and Loan which was headed by Charles Keating. The report was extremely positive, describing the management as "seasoned and expert" and having a "record of outstanding success in making sound and profitable direct investments". This report was of critical importance as it was cited by Senator John McCain, one of the Keating Five, in his defence when responding to the United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics.
Dean Armond 12:10, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Simplistic POV introduction

There is some soapboxing in the introduction over the dot-com bubble and the George W. Bush administration.

The dot-com boom existed within the 1990's economic expansion - it was not the expansion itself. Further, a balanced discussion of that material would cover "irrational exuberance". This material should be scaled back to be less misleading. It can be covered in detail in the body of the article.

His support of the G. W. Bush administration is also overstated, and misleading. Weasel words are used to imply something not quite true.

These touch on larger issues: is it the fed's place to pop bubbles, or merely to watch over the economy as a whole? Regarding words as tools of the fed: Greenspan indicated that many companies were overvalued, and he was quickly, vociferously attacked for it. On the other hand, if the Fed were to intervene in bubbles through interest rates for example, that would slow down the rest of the economy - making the rest of the economy, prudent people and businesses, suffer for the irrational exuberance of others. The Fed mandate is to control inflation and unemployment, and their involvement in specific meltdowns is along the lines of containment. Blablablob (talk) 19:07, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Black monday

I removed this from the article: it needs to be cleaned up or left out. (is this just two politically motivated, offhand comments? or are they relevant and notable - e.g. are these mainstream, accepted interpretations?) Blablablob (talk) 19:04, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

His terse statement, "the Fed stands ready to provide all necessary liquidity" [citation needed] is seen as having been effective in controlling the damage from that crash. (Others believe that his statement "...that the dollar would be devalued..." just days before was a primary factor in the crash.) Another famous example of the effect of his closely parsed comments was his December 5 1996 remark about "irrational exuberance and unduly escalating stock prices" that led Japanese stocks to fall 3.2%.[1]

Fed Speak

I removed this from the article: it needs to be cleaned up.

"Greenspan was famous for his ability to give technical and confusing speeches. U.S. News & World Report reported that, "Few can confuse Wall Street as thoroughly as Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan can."[2] Greenspan was sometimes so hard to understand that the Motley Fool radio show included a game called "What Did the Fed Chief Say?", where contestants were challenged to interpret snippets of Greenspan's speeches.[3] Greenspan mocked his own speaking style in 1988 when he said, "I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I said." To a central banker, being unclear is often an advantage since it grants more flexibility: if he is too predictable, markets are more willing to speculate in his future actions, and any move he makes will already be potentially priced into the economy. During his period at the Fed, Greenspan never publicly commented what algorithms or inflation and unemployment targets the Fed used in setting the interest rate. Despite this, over the years he built credibility in the financial markets that he was willing to fight inflation. The flexibility permitted him to affect the economy by, say, lowering interest rates in order to fight a recession while his credibility made it possible to do this without shocking the bond market."

As is, this is an un-encyclopedic start, followed by a rebuttal. Fed speak deserves it's own (sub)section. Blablablob (talk) 19:05, 16 September 2008 (UTC)


I removed the following from the section: chairman of the fed.

"He does disagree with Greenspan on the question of "inflation targeting," a practice in which the Fed makes public a projected inflation rate, effecting a greater transparency in likely Fed moves to raise or lower short-term interest rates. Inflation targeting arguably reduces certain forms of economic volatility.[4] Bernanke is for a targeted minimum level of inflation, Greenspan against."

should this be somewhere else? such as in a section about differing views between the two, or ... in Bernanke's article? Blablablob (talk) 19:06, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Political Punching Bag

This article has been a political punching bag - divert that energy more productively: blogs, political websites and position pieces. Blablablob (talk) 19:03, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Criticism and Controversy

I see the need and utility of both sections. Controversy followed by critism, just before the tail of the article (e.g. external links &c)

I moved critical content into the newly created criticism section, but have not yet re-ordered the sections. Blablablob (talk) 19:16, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

The entire section just contained his alleged political views, so I changed the title of it to reflect that. --Gloriamarie (talk) 19:07, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Alan Greenspan

Everybody and their dog are citing Alan Greenspan as the problem for our economic meltdown we're having now, why the hell isn't this mentioned? Fourtyearswhat (talk) 04:15, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Blablablob took reference to the housing bubble out of the introduction, as well as reference to charges of politicization. The latter wasn't weasel-worded really; it was part active voice and part passive voice, expounded on in the article body. DanielM (talk) 11:00, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, Fourtyearswhat, I put in a bit (in the intro) about those assigning responsibility for the current meltdown to AG. You might want to add to it with those others you mention, or at a minimum keep an eye on it. DanielM (talk) 11:55, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Original Research

An anonymous IP recently cut out the "hence" sentence in the following, stating that it represented original research (see WP:NOR) but I think it is an elementary observation, not constituting OR, that is appropriate for the article. Have a look: "In a speech in February 2004, [1] Greenspan suggested that more homeowners should consider taking out Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) where the interest rate adjusts itself to the current interest in the market.[5] The fed own funds rate was at an all-time-low of 1%. A few months after his recommendation, Greenspan began raising interest rate, in a series of rate hikes that would bring the funds rate to 5.25% about two years later.[6] Hence, Greenspan's recommendation came at a time when interest rates bottomed out making it a particularly bad time to take out an ARM. A triggering factor in the 2007 subprime mortgage financial crisis is believed to be the many subprime ARMs that reset at much higher interest rates than what the borrower paid during the first few years of the mortgage." Opinions? DanielM (talk) 09:26, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

American Banker article

I put the American Banker article back because it's been commented on by several independent sources so a short blurb seemed appropriate. I did try to remove the self-advertising POV of the original author. Padillah (talk) 14:43, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

From User_talk:Padillah

Please see Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Legal_Threat_in_9_Feb_DRV, the linked DRV, and Special:Contributions/Naegele. This user is using Wikipedia to promote himself by adding his own articles. Just because somebody says something doesn't make it true or appropriate for inclusion in an article, especially not when it is part of a spam campaign. Calling Greenspan worse than Obama is a potential libel and sourcing it with a column by a non-notable lawyer doesn't come close to meeting the threshold of sourcing. "Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material about living persons—whether the material is negative, positive, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion." --B (talk) 14:50, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

That particular incident is what got me poking around that particular users contributions. I Googled the article and it has gotten mention in other, secondary sources. I agree the initial entry was about as self-serving as they come, but I tried to remove any author-centric POV I could while retaining the reference. The quote is there, it's real, it's sourced - it has nothing to do with us, or even the referenced article. It's a real quote. (And, for what it's worth, the quote says he hurt America almost as bad as Osama. It makes no judgment call on his worth.) If you had read the entry you would see it had nothing to do with the authors self-promotion. If you had read the quote you would see it was not comparing the worth of one person against another but the harm they had done. And since this is a content dispute I'd like to move it to the article talkpage where it belongs. Padillah (talk) 15:51, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Just being a "real quote" doesn't make it appropriate to use. Just because something is "sourced" doesn't mean it belongs in an article. There are many quotes from every newspaper in the country about Alan Greenspan. Wikipedia exercises editorial discretion in deciding which ones to use. Unless you can find multiple people with this opinion about Greenspan (including, preferably, at least one who doesn't think Wikipedia is free advertising), it is an extreme minority view and has no place in the article, especially not a biography of a living person. --B (talk) 16:01, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Since you aparently refuse to read the entry I suppose I'll have to spoonfeed it to you. There is no mention of the author of the article, the article's mention is not the self-serving tripe it once was. And the quote is not from the article author, it's from Giulio Tremonti, Italy's Minister of Economy and Finance. And the quote does not compare Greenspans worth as better or worse than Osama, it questions his impact on America and says he is second to Osama (in other words, Osama is still the worst) in the amount of hurt he has caused America. Given the tenor of the other articles in this section I don't think it's out of line to think there are some that believe Greenspan made some bad choices for the American economy. It may be an extreme viewpoint, but I don't think it's too far out there. Padillah (talk) 16:10, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be of the impression that just because somebody says something, it's acceptable to have in an article. It isn't. --B (talk) 17:09, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be under the impression that just because you don't like it you can take it out. It's a valid quote from a significant person. I think we need to get more eyes on this, I'm gonna open a 3O issue. Padillah (talk) 17:52, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

American Banker and "Osama" quote

There is a current dispute regarding the inclusion of the following content:

On October 17, 2008 an article in the American Banker entitled, "Greenspan's Fingerprints All Over Enduring Mess", argued that Greenspan's actions and inactions triggered the economic crisis of 2008. The author asserts that Greenspan is the architect of the enormous economic "bubble" that burst globally. The author cites Giulio Tremonti, Italy's Minister of Economy and Finance, who said: "Greenspan was considered a master. Now we must ask ourselves whether he is not, after [Osama] bin Laden, the man who hurt America the most."ref See and</ref>

The issue is whether this violates BLP or not. The article is real. The quote is real. It is not out of line with the other comments in the section except for the allusion to Osama bin Laden. Padillah (talk) 17:59, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I'd say UNDUE at least. One magazine, one article? Hardly a view which received any real traction, and clearly highly critical. I'd say on the edge of BLP and violates UNDUE. KillerChihuahua?!? 19:57, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
    If you Google "Giulio Tremonti Greenspan" you should find that more than one article reported on the quote. But I don't want to push any further, I don't want to give it any more weight, there's plenty of representation regarding his impact on the current economic issues. Stay or go should be your guys' choice. Padillah (talk) 21:10, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
    It's not just one magazine article. How about the L.A. Times? This also let's us drop the spam from the prior guy and focus on preserving the quote. Padillah (talk) 12:34, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Third opinion I think the quote can stay. BLP is not a license to remove all negative content. The Italian Minister of Economy and Finance is a notable individual. Ngchen (talk) 14:49, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm not comfortable with something this reactive only being given the nod by one editor. How do we get more eyes on this? Do I start an RfC? Padillah (talk) 15:13, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Previously uninvolved RFC comment: seems like extreme WP:UNDUE weight. We would summarize this in one sentence without the sensationalistic comparison to Osama. Cool Hand Luke 04:36, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
    You can't summarize a quote. There's simply no such thing. Quotes are used because they are what people actually said. If you summarize that, it's no longer a quote. Padillah (talk) 12:30, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment I fail to see what the fuss is about. Reading the artcile lots of people have criticised Greenspan, A comment by a finace minister would seem to be relevant to me. Jezhotwells (talk) 19:08, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Third opinion Remove the quote. It's needlessly incendiary and tells us little about Greenspan, other than the fact that he has important critics. If thats what your trying to communicate, there has to be a better way to do so. Ask yourself, "what does the reader get from this quote?". My opinion, anyway. Bonewah (talk) 15:54, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
    This is what's at the heart of my not fighting harder. As valid (as in "it really is a quote") and notable (as in "the guy who said it wasn't just some schlub") as this is there's nothing said that the other criticisms presented don't cover. I never could get fully behind it but I thought I'd give it a try. It's been discussed and dropped. Thanks for the input everyone. Padillah (talk) 16:37, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Securities aren't derivatives

A sentence in the article reads "Ultimately, it was the collapse of a specific kind of derivative, the mortgage-backed security, that triggered the economic crisis of 2008." The sentence is written in the context of a discussion of Greenspan's opposition to the regulation of derivatives. I have two problems with this statement. First, it is unsupported. Second, it is wrong. MBS aren't derivatives, they're securities, and as securities they're already fully regulated by the SEC. Unless somebody make a sound argument otherwise, I am going to delete it. Bond Head (talk) 22:00, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Joke text

Citation 24 (Weekly Standard 7/6/09) is almost certainly a spoof. The date and circumnstances of Greenspan's first meeting with Ayn Rand conflict with every other account. Read the article. It's essentially an intentional joke. (talk) 18:55, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

You're absolutely right. This material was just inserted yesterday. I've removed the joke and returned the previous accurate description. --RL0919 (talk) 19:10, 25 June 2009 (UTC)


Please don't add poorly sourced or Op-ed criticism in the lead. Scribner (talk) 22:08, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. Scribner (talk) 22:28, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree with everything the above user is saying. While there did seem to be a bit of undue weight to the criticism, I don't think it's hard to find lots of well sourced criticism of Greenspan for his role in the financial crisis, and it seems important enough to at least get some mention in the first paragraph.Nwlaw63 (talk) 23:59, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
The lead is now fairly glowing, as all critical in it was deleted by Scribner, who said commented his changes that the criticism was "op-ed" and "weasel-worded." I don't understand exactly how he means "op-ed" or that Wikipedia has policy regarding "op-ed" not being in the lead. I disagree that the criticism was weasel-worded, it said "some Congressional leaders and others criticized" him and the reference lead to Pelosi and Reid doing just that. Weasel-wording would be saying "he has been criticized" and not sourcing it, at least that is my understanding. I think Scribner's edits should be partially or fully reverted. DanielM (talk) 00:50, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Correct, don't use Op-ed criticism or praise material in the lead. WP:BLP Factual RS content only in the lead. Scribner (talk) 07:33, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
I just want to make sure that those tracking this discussion understand that you just referred us to Wikipedia policy (WP:BLP) that *you yourself modified*[2] to add the sentence" "Opinion editorial sourced criticism should never be used in the article lead." So what appears to have happened, based on the time stamps, is that you made the deletions to the Greenspan introduction commenting them in part as "op-ed" and then a little more than a half hour later, went and edited the Wikipedia policy to include the 'no op-ed in lead' text, that you now refer us to. I find this a bit Orwellian, are you sure what you're doing comports with Wikipedia editorial standards? DanielM (talk) 12:20, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it DanielM, nice catch but this lack of policy clarification was presenting a problem in more that one article. It didn't start here. Op-ed material that criticizes or praises is problematic anywhere in a BLP and should only be used in limited manner to balance what normally should be a neutral article. But, if it can't be stated as fact, it doesn't belong in the lead. In this case, it was one or two person's opinions and the subject disagreeing with their claim. That argument or debate belongs in the article, not in the article summary. Scribner (talk) 14:47, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Any other editors want to comment on this?DanielM (talk) 12:20, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I find it curious that the lead paragraph is a brief skeleton, while the following paragraph, the first of the biography, talks about how Greenspan actually anticipates the housing bubble. While this is balanced by criticisms later in the article, the early part of the article appears to be promoting an overly fond view of Greenspan vis-a-vis the real estate bubble.Nwlaw63 (talk) 17:56, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Nwlaw63, this article, like a lot of Wikipedia articles about which people have strong views, exhibits markings of an adversarial editorial process. That is to say editor A comes in and writes "Greenspan did this great thing," and then editor B comes along and writes "Greenspan did this terrible thing." This is not a good way to do things but IMO it is possible that a useful article can result. We just had a huge debate about the intro which concluded with all negative and all positive being stripped from the intro. That was the best we could do. If you identify a shortcoming of the article, I hope you have time to improve it. DanielM (talk) 23:44, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
One obvious thought I had is that the sentences about Greenspan's dissertation should be removed. They stick out oddly in the biography section, as if they were the only surviving vestiges of an old argument.Nwlaw63 (talk) 03:31, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
My thought is that when the subject is as prominent as Alan Greenspan, then if the criticism is widespread and comes from noteworthy sources, it should be possible find a regular news source (not op-ed) that discusses the fact that such criticism has occurred. That's what should be used as the source, not op-ed articles making the criticism. If no such non-op-ed news coverage of the criticism exists, then presumably it is not worthy of placement in the lead. --RL0919 (talk) 16:13, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Please comment here regarding policy changes that advise against Op-ed criticism or praise in the lead. Scribner (talk) 17:51, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

part 2


More recently, Greenspan has been criticized for his actions preventing the regulation of derivatives beginning in 1994, and for halting efforts to regulate derivatives in 1998 by Brooksley Born, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In testimony before Congress on the causes of the subprime crisis, Greenspan said that he was "partially" wrong in failing to sufficiently regulate, telling members, "[t]hose of us who have looked to self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder's equity – myself especially – are in a state of shocked disbelief."[3][4][5]

After 2001, then-Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, then-House Minority Leader Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and others criticized Greenspan [6][7] for statements they saw as overly supportive of the policies of President George W. Bush. In 2004 Business Week Magazine criticized his policies as leading to a housing bubble.[8][9] Greenspan has denied blame for the late 2000s recession.[10][11]

Has nine citations to support it, that seems a bit excessive to me, also these comments are small details and should not be given undue weight by having them in the lede. Also the word criticised appears three times and shows you what the comments are about. Off2riorob (talk) 16:09, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Opinion statements should be removed from the lead. Having a "he said, she said" situation in the lead in which the subject denies is poor form. I'm fresh out of reverts but I definitely support removal. Scribner (talk) 16:45, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

I must say, Off2RioRob, that in three-some years of editing Wikipedia, that is the first time I've seen that some portion of text has been faulted on the basis that it has too many references. I disagree, believing that more reliable sources is better for confidence in the accuracy of the material, and has a further advantage that if one link fails, another remains to support the text. If they were worthless or inapplicable references that would be different, but you're not saying that. The focus on Brooksley Born is curious and I guess could be reasonably viewed as a small detail because one might ask "who is she" etc. However Reid and Pelosi are well-known and their comments about Greenspan were very unusual and notably harsh. I think those comments are weighty and easily notable enough to put in the lede, Greenspan did something sufficient to occasion the Senate minority leader to call him a "political hack," an absolutely unprecedented attack I think by a top Congressional leader on a Fed chairperson, a position that is supposed to be apolitical. It's extremely notable, as much so as the uncited weasel text "he was lauded..." (however I personally don't quarrel with that because I believe it happens to be true). Your last point, that the word "criticize" is a little stale and overused is accurate, perhaps a careful rewrite could retain the information but say it without using that word so much. DanielM (talk) 17:11, 15 August 2009 (UTC) PS: Scribner means above that he supports the removal of my edit, the second paragraph you quoted, not the one that he substantially authored, the first paragraph you quoted. Happy to help out.

I have complained about it before, I find that where excessive citations are added, they are there to push a position. Like saying, see all these citations, it must be correct. This individual critisism from individuals are given undue weight by having them in the lede. Off2riorob (talk) 17:17, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
I would (and did) take them both out. The situations are covered in the body of the article so that is already fine. Off2riorob (talk) 17:20, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Off2riorob, you said "I find that where excessive citations are added, they are there to push a position." But that's your personal take, it's not mine, and I don't think it's accurate. There are many non-suspicious reasons to have multiple sources, like the ones I mentioned above. Honestly this seems to me somewhat bizarre, you're making the case that multiple references signifies POV, when the opposite is more likely true. DanielM (talk) 17:29, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

You say all those citations are a good thing. I am happy to disagree with you over that, it is my opinion not policy as far as I know, I feel that we are not a linking station to all manner of worthless opinionated press writings, we should keep citations slim and trim. I don't know your personal opinion about this greenspam guy, all I know is that you are insisting on keeping this ctitisism of him in the lede. Off2riorob (talk) 17:38, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Off2riorob, well you're demonstrably incorrect to categorize, for examples, the transcript of a televised interview of a Congressional leader or what looks like about a 1200-word Business Week Magazine article as "worthless opinionated press writings." Those are among the sources here, and they're not the only two good ones by any means. I think you're wrong about that, and I don't see how any other editor could think you're right. DanielM (talk) 17:51, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Ok, keep that one and remove some of the worthless opinionated press writings. There is a citation farm going on in that section. Off2riorob (talk) 17:57, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
edit conflict..
I see you have altered it Daniel, I think when we try to change things sometimes they can get messy.... I was goiing to alter it but I try never to alter any text that I actually want to remove..this is better in my opinion than your...they harshly faulted him......After 2001, then-Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, then-House Minority Leader Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and others disagreed with Greenspan [6][7] over statements they saw as overly supportive of the policies of President George W. Bush.
The crical comments from nancy ans harry are almost a total copy of the comments from the body of the article where they make up the first hallf of this section...
Political views and alleged politicization of office .. Once is more than enough for this individual critisism, and not in the lede. Do you think that these comments should be or are in the lede of harry and nancy's bios? No because even in their life the comments about greenspan are not worth insertion in the lede. Off2riorob (talk) 18:03, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Have a look at the lede of Nancy_Pelosi that is an example of a good lede. Off2riorob (talk) 18:05, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Poor old greenspan doesn't even get a mention in nancy's biography and she is in greenspans lede and in the body of the article as well, that is unfair. isn't it? Off2riorob (talk) 18:09, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
What about Harry_Reid lets have a look, very nice clean lede. Not a mention there either of poor old greenspan, I think it is undue weight to have mention of this minor individual critical comments in the lede and also in the body of this article that don't even get a mention on the complainants biographies Off2riorob (talk) 18:11, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Okay, Off2riorob, you said "Ok, keep that one and remove some of the worthless opinionated press writings." But I actually pointed you to *two* of the several quality references. It makes me think you're not really reading my good faith contributions to the discussion. Additionally, I wonder whether you've read the references you characterize as trash. Other than generally calling them rubbish, you haven't specifically criticized any or linked your objections back to policy. The criticism by Scribner and you of the paragraph (the one that includes Pelosi and Reid) has tended to migrate, first it was "op-ed" and "weasel-worded," then not "common sense," then "POV," and I think some other things along the way. But it is and was none of those things, as a fair reading will show. Lately, one of you has said "undue weight," but I explained above why I believe it to be important and weighty enough for the intro. We're in the midst of the worst economic crisis in 75 years, I don't see why, for example, the fact that Business Week faulted Greenspan's policies should be ripped out of the intro. We could really use some other editors commenting on this matter. DanielM (talk) 20:42, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

I am just saying that there is a sockfarm there, 9 cites to support a couple of points, some of then will be stronger than others agreed, I have not looked at all of them, thank god. We are here to write the simple life story of this greenspan guy, not to link to hundreds of external sites, some of which are better than others.
Of course people have criticized him, thousands of people but it doesn't warrant excessive coverage in the lede, it is well covered in the body of the article. Have you looked at nancy and harry's bios where the ledes are tidy and greenspan isn't even mentioned at all? Off2riorob (talk) 20:51, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

There is no reciprocity rule that says if person A is mentioned in person B's article, then person B must or should be mentioned in person A's article. There are many reasons why that's often not going to be the case. This is another of your personal beliefs like where you said excessive citations are suspicious. I don't agree with it and it's not Wikipedia policy. DanielM (talk) 21:06, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

It is not policy, not a written rule, many of the policies here are more like guidelines and then discussion form how it is implemented. You saw the ledes in those two articles, very nice they are indeed. I wanted you to think about how fantastically important is it to have this comment in the lede here when greenspan doesn't even merit a single mention in those other articles at all? This comment that you are insisting has got to be in the lede is well covered in the body of the article, I suggest that is more than enough.I'll ask for a comment .Off2riorob (talk) 21:14, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

POV tag

Tagged POV for this edit. This is nothing more than a partisan smear based on opinion, not fact. This is particularly troublesome in the lead since the subject denies these accusations. WP:NPOV and WP:UNDUE.

I have removed it, it is being given far too much weight by its insertion in the lede, it is already in the more or less exact same form in the body of the article. Off2riorob (talk) 18:32, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Tag removed. Scribner (talk) 18:48, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
User Daniel has again replaced it, with this edit summary..? ..undo, have discussed why info is important, opposing editors raise dubious claims like "excessive citations")
strange edit summary as no one has removed any thing due to excessive cites?? Off2riorob (talk) 19:43, 15 August 2009 (UTC)