The mt diary: Howard Davies

After Greenspan, who?; Gallic gloom; prepare to tighten belts; cost of Iraq threat to PM.

On a long car journey, the Davies family were talking, as you do, about the people we regard as heroes and villains in the world today. The Aussies did well in the villain stakes; heroes were harder to find. I made a few suggestions but prevaricated.

My eldest son forced me off the fence. 'Who is really your number one hero - is it Alan Greenspan or Eric Clapton?'

It's a tough one and getting tougher as the Fedmeister approaches retirement at last. (There is no statutory retirement age for guitarists, which is lucky for Keith Richards.) Greenspan's record has been quite outstanding on inflation and growth, though some argue that he sat back while the bubble inflated, and others believe that the US is on the verge of another dangerous expansion, stimulated by an over-loose monetary policy.

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