So, since when has Alan Greenspan set himself up as spokesdude for
the J. Random Powerful Pinstriped Guy Ministry of Agricultural
Production System Expertise?
This appeared in today's /SF Chronicle/. Notice that his touted
"characteristic ambiguity" doesn't include his advice to farmers.
Efficiency...productivity...latest technology. Keep saying it. Sooner
or later my eyes are bound to glaze over.
------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Greenspan Says World Troubles Hurt U.S. Farmers
Fed chairman sees technology as means to increase
Sam Zuckerman, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 17, 1999
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan came to San Francisco
yesterday to speak just hours after the Dow Jones industrial average
briefly crashed through the 10,000 barrier for the first time ever.
But the Fed chairman didn't utter a word about the market because
high finance wasn't on his mind.
Greenspan, who has frequently voiced his worries about speculation in
stocks and coined the phrase ``irrational exuberance'' several
thousand Dow points back, chose the occasion to speak about the U.S.
While the overall U.S. economy experiences a remarkable mix of robust
growth, low unemployment and low inflation, ``agriculture has been one
of the more notable soft spots,'' Greenspan noted, hurt by worldwide
weakness in commodity prices.
Greenspan's choice of San Francisco as a venue to speak about farming
wasn't as odd as it seemed at first glance. His audience at the
Moscone Center consisted of more than 2,000 community bankers in town
for a convention of the Independent Bankers Association of America,
many from small-town banks that specialize in loans to farmers.
The Fed chief's outlook for the broader economy was, as usual,
ambiguous and delivered in his characteristic on-the-one-hand,
on-the- other-hand style.
The healthy U.S. economy ``is partly the result of influences that
may prove transitory, but a number of fundamental strengths imply
more lasting benefits,'' he said.
Greenspan noted that, after eight years of economic growth, ``the
economy appears stretched in a number of dimensions, implying
considerable upside and downside risks to the economic outlook.''
Weakness in farm prices reflects the sick economies of key trading
partners such as Japan and Russia, which have cut back their imports
of U.S. agricultural products. Farmers won't see better times until
troubled economies overseas recover, he warned.
To survive under these conditions, farmers must keep on making
themselves more efficient and more productive by using the latest
technology, Greenspan said.
c1999 San Francisco Chronicle Page B1
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