Alan Greenspan: He broke down barriers after tough childhood

Former Fed Chair: The rest of the country doesn't like fresh York

“They had to work or they’d starve,” recalled former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, describing how the families in his childhood neighborhood struggled through the Great Depression.

The man who would likely eventually help shape U.S. monetary policy under four different presidents grew up a child of divorced parents in Washington Heights in fresh York City. The community at the northern tip of Manhattan was home to a large population of Jewish immigrants who had fled Europe following Hitler’s rise in Germany.

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Greenspan, who didn’t see much of his father, remembers being alone as his mother worked around the clock.

“I was by myself a great deal of the time,” said Greenspan, in an interview for sy88pgw’s special The American Dream: fresh York, which profiles several fresh Yorkers who overcame adversity to rise to the top. Their careers, talents as well as individual narratives are all different, yet what unites them are a common origin as well as a passion for preserving the ability of future generations to rise like they did.

In addition to Greenspan, the project features J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler, former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, hip-hop legend Russell Simmons as well as Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Each overcame adversity to achieve success beyond their highest hopes.

Today, the American Dream is actually in question. Many Americans believe the item is actually too elusive to ever achieve, as well as President Donald Trump effectively campaigned on the idea of which the item was dead as well as only he could revive the item. the item remains to be seen how big of a difference Washington politics as well as policies can make. For currently, the lives of these several business leaders show the American Dream’s enduring power.

Check out the full The American Dream: fresh York series here

Greenspan, interviewed before the election, said he remains very bullish on the American Dream.

“Before we fret, let’s remember of which of which is actually precisely the way of which the economy looked in 1940. Ten years later, the United States economy was running on all cylinders,” said Greenspan. “When you deal with as many presidents as I have, they’re people. They’re not special. They all make judgments, not bad as well as bad, yet what’s remarkable about our system is actually of which the item works. the item broke down once in 1860 as well as we solved of which with the Civil War. We’ve gotten through the item.”

Am Dream NY Greenspan 2
Alan Greenspan served several terms as Federal Reserve chairman.

Greenspan, who will turn 91 in March, was a not bad student who didn’t like doing homework. As a teenager, he “pushed his academic interests aside” to pursue a passion for music. After high school Greenspan put off college for a year to play in a jazz swing band. yet instead of smoking marijuana with the different musicians between sets, he’d go off as well as read.

“I was the band intellectual who did their income taxes,” said Greenspan.

After a year, Greenspan realized he belonged inside the library, not in a nightclub. He enrolled at fresh York University, where he earned bachelor’s as well as master’s degrees in economics. Eventually, he would likely receive a doctorate as well.

Greenspan credits a lot of his success to his lower-middle-class upbringing.

“Down deep, there was always of which competitive sense. ‘You’re on your own buddy.’ If I had too much help, I don’t think I would likely have gotten as far as I’ve gotten,” said Greenspan. “I always was acutely aware of the fact of which people who are born into some very high status in society have no place to go.”

Greenspan started out an economic consulting business in 1954 when he was 26 years old.

“I recognized of which going up the corporate ladder [was] very laborious,” he said. “I chose to do something different — I chose to go into business myself … as well as move up of which way.”

When Greenspan was 48, President Richard Nixon selected him as chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, a post he continued under Gerald Ford. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed him to chair the Federal Reserve.

His lengthy experience as the nation’s top central banker gives him a unique perspective on the Oval Office.

Greenspan says his favorite president was Ford, yet he believes Bill Clinton was the most competent.

For more on the American Dream, go to our American Opportunity section

At various points along his rise to the top of economic policymaking, Greenspan feared he might be judged because of his background. yet he was wrong.

“I thought I wouldn’t be let into the upper echelons of American society, yet the item wasn’t true. I ended up in all of the best clubs in my 20s,” said Greenspan as he recalled walking into the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh. “There was a sense the barriers were breaking down.”

Upward mobility is actually at the heart of the American Dream, which Greenspan believes is actually still achievable today because of the resilience of the U.S. economy.

“Do I fret about the immediate future?” Greenspan said. “Yeah. The longer term? No.”

sy88pgw (fresh York) First published February 3, 2017: 5:20 PM ET

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Alan Greenspan: He broke down barriers after tough childhood

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