Greenspan: Third-party candidate coming
Former Federal Reserve chairman predicts arrival of a well-financed independent presidential hopeful from America's political center.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Recently retired Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan believes that there will be a major independent candidate for president from the nation's political center, according to a published report.
In an interview with The New York Times about his post-Fed activities, Greenspan said he makes that prediction in a memoir, for which he recently got an estimated $8.5 million advance from Penguin Press, a unit of British publishing concern Pearson (Research).
Greenspan told the Times he plans to argue that the current "ideological divide" separating conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats leaves "a vast untended center from which a well-financed independent presidential candidate is likely to emerge in 2008 or, if not then, in 2012."
He also told the newspaper the book will focus on "the forces that will determine how the next decades are likely to unfold." Among his conclusions are that "global competitive pressures are likely in the years ahead to bias most market-oriented economies toward the U.S. model."
Greenspan is working about 10 hours a day since chairing his last Fed meeting Jan. 31, the newspaper reports, with most of his time spent working on his book.
The Fed chairman, well known for his dense prose in testimony during his 18 years as head of the nation's central bank, said the book would not be all economic or political analysis.
He told the newspaper he plans to write some of his early life history, including the influence of his mentor, the author and novelist Ayn Rand, who shaped him as a young man into a libertarian. And he promised the newspaper he also will describe his "encounters with, and impressions of" numerous politicians, cabinet members, presidents and world leaders.
Greenspan has made a number of speeches since leaving office. The Times quotes an industry executive as estimating his pay at $90,000 to $150,000. But Greenspan said he has been careful to "stay closely to statements I've made previously either in speeches or in testimony.
"Ben Bernanke has a tough enough job as it is," Greenspan told the newspaper, referring his successor. "Having his predecessor speak out on monetary policy or on the short-term business outlook is not helpful."
For more on the post-Fed opportunities available to Greenspan, click here.