William Greider

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William Greider
William Harold Greider

(1936-08-06)August 6, 1936
DiedDecember 25, 2019(2019-12-25) (aged 83)
EducationPrinceton University (B.A., 1958)
OccupationJournalist, author
Known forauthor of Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country
Linda Furry Greider
(m. 1961)
Websitewilliamgreider.com (archived 2014)

William Harold Greider (August 6, 1936 – December 25, 2019) was an American journalist and author who wrote primarily about economics.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Greider was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on August 6, 1936 to Harold William Greider, a chemist, and Gladys (McClure) Greider, a writer, and raised in Wyoming, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb.[2] William Greider went on to study at Princeton University, receiving a B.A. in 1958.[2][3]

Career and works[edit]

After college, Greider began his reporting career as a reporter for the Daily Journal, a newspaper in Wheaton, Illinois.[1] It was at that newspaper where he met his future wife, Linda Furry, a fellow reporter.[1]

Greider then worked for the Louisville Times, and was sent to Washington, D.C. in 1966 to cover Washington for the Times and for the Louisville Courier-Journal.[1] He moved to the Washington Post in 1968, where he was a national correspondent, an assistant managing editor for national news and a columnist.[1]

In 1982, Greider moved to Rolling Stone magazine, where he worked from 1982 until 1999.[1]

His 2009 book was Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (And Redeeming Promise) Of Our Country.[citation needed] Before that he published The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy, which explores the basis and history of the corporation, the existence of employee-ownership as an alternative form of corporate governance, environmental issues, and how important people's contributions are to make the economy a humane one. Given its anticipation of the issues raised by the 2008 securities crisis, Occupy Wall St., and works with a similar theme by Gar Alperovitz, Richard Wolff, Michael Moore, Noreena Hertz,[4] and Marjorie Kelly,[5] it can be considered an underrecognized work. He was national affairs correspondent for The Nation,[6] a progressive political weekly. Prior to his work at The Nation, he wrote for Rolling Stone magazine during the 1980s and 1990s, and worked as an on-air correspondent for Frontline on PBS.

Greider also wrote a book on globalization – One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism (1997) – which suggested vulnerabilities and inequities of the global economy. The credibility of this work was heavily criticized by economist Paul Krugman, who claimed that Greider ignored the fallacies of composition that run rampant in the work, misinterpreted facts (some of which were incorrect), and misled readers with false assumptions – all possibly due to his lack of consultation with economists.[7]

Greider's most well-known, powerful and far-reaching work is Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country (1987), which chronicles the history of the Federal Reserve, and especially from 1979 to 1987 under the chairmanship of Paul Volcker, during the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

A former reporter and editor at the Washington Post, Greider is credited with coining the term "Nader's Raiders" in a Post article dated November 13, 1968.[8] During an October 1, 2008 broadcast interview[9] on the impending passage of the "Wall Street bailout" despite widespread public opposition. Greider observed:

"(T)his is a very revealing moment in American democracy. We’re seeing the real deformities and power alignments that govern issues like this, particularly the financial system. (A)ll of the power centers in politics and finance and business are discredited by these events. (W)e had this moment Monday (September 29, 2008) when, for complicated political reasons, a majority in the House rose up and said no. (O)f course...the broad public...regards this bailout as a swindle and backwards. (The public wonders 'w)hy are you giving all this money to the people who caused this crisis and taking the money from the public assets of the victims?'"[10]

On January 29, 2009, in an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, Greider commented regarding the United States' financial system's financial crisis:

"I’ve been writing for some months, the system is not just broken and not just injured; it is collapsed. And as long as the government continues to play putting Humpty Dumpty back together again, I think it will fail. That's not an ideological statement. It's just—I think it's the reality."[11]

Personal life[edit]

William Greider was married to Linda Furry Greider and they had two children.[2] They resided in Washington, D.C.[2] He died at his home in Washington from congestive heart failure on December 25, 2019.[12]

Cultural references[edit]

  • The R.E.M. song "Departure" on the album New Adventures in Hi-Fi contains the lyric "Win a eulogy from William Greider".
  • In the Swedish comedy show Varan-TV on SVT, a character named William Greider is featured in the segment ”Dictators Workshop”, in episode 01 season 02 1998. According to the character, he’s currently working for Albanian secret service, but his goal is to become a full time dictator.

Selected works[edit]


  • The Education of David Stockman and Other Americans, Dutton (New York, NY), 1982. The original December 1981 Atlantic article on Reaganomics can be found here [13]
  • Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1987.
  • The Trouble with Money: A Prescription for America's Financial Fever, illustrated by Jeffrey Smith, with photographs by George Lange and charts by Genigraphics Corp., Whittle Direct Books (Knoxville, TN), 1989.
  • Who Will Tell the People?: The Betrayal of American Democracy, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1992.
  • One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1997.
  • Fortress America: The American Military and the Consequences of Peace, PublicAffairs, 1998.
  • The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Seelye, Katherine (December 26, 2019). "William Greider, Journalist Who Focused on Economy, Dies at 83". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bio: William Greider", encyclopedia.com
  3. ^ "A moment with ... William Greider '58", Princeton Alumni Weekly, May 13, 2009. Retrieved 2015-08-06.
  4. ^ Hertz, Noreena, "Hertz – From Gucci to Co-op Capitalism", The Daily Beast excerpt via noreena.com, February 23rd, 2009. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  5. ^ "Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution", marjoriekelly.com book page, no date. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  6. ^ "William Greider: National Affairs Correspondent", The Nation. Retrieved 2015-08-06.
  7. ^ Krugman, Paul (January 24, 1997). "The Accidental Theorist". Slate Magazine.
  8. ^ "History of the Center for Responsive Law", csrl.org, no date. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  9. ^ "As Senate Prepares to Vote on Revised Wall St. Bailout, Critics See Only Slight Changes Following Widespread Public Opposition". Democracy Now!.
  10. ^ "The Center Is Missing", democruptcy.com.'
  11. ^ Greider, William, interviewed by Amy Goodman (transcript), "Economic Stimulus Moves to Senate Following House Approval", democracynow.org, January 29, 2009. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
  12. ^ Seelye, Katharine Q. (December 26, 2019). "William Greider, Journalist Who Focused on Economy, Dies at 83" – via NYTimes.com.
  13. ^ Greider, William (January 12, 1981). "The Education of David Stockman". The Atlantic.

External links[edit]