The Browns really pushed the boat out for Alan Greenspan when he came to London to promote his new book, The Age of Turbulence (see review, p33). Breakfast and lunch in Downing Street, and even the much-maligned Chequers was opened up and dusted down for a Sunday roast. Not surprising, perhaps, as Greenspan is very kind about Brown's economic record and thinks Britain is well placed to prosper in the 21st century.
He took time out of this love-in to visit the LSE and answer questions from me and the students. Since I have been at the school I don't think I've ever heard of a student being seen in a lecture theatre or a classroom at 6am, unless they were sleeping off a particularly heavy night. But there were queues around the block at that time of the morning for tickets to hear him speak, which went on sale at 8am at the attractive low price of nothing.
In box-office terms, he is right up there with Led Zeppelin and the recently reunited Spice Girls. At 81, he may be marginally less sprightly than the girl band, but his exposition of econo-mic and market trends is as sinuous and closely argued as ever.