(p. C12) Effective public policy requires getting good ideas and putting them into practice. There is no better account of the world where economic ideas emerge as economic policy than Sebastian Mallaby’s thoroughly researched (there are 1,625 endnotes) “The Man Who Knew,” which takes up Alan Greenspan’s long career. Mr. Greenspan knew the ideas, Mr. Mallaby first argues, and then tells story after story of how the economist worked them into policy in Washington. Mr. Greenspan approved President Ford’s questionable stimulus package in order to implement ideas on spending control; he skillfully drove reform ideas as chair of the Social Security commission; he implemented a successful rule-based monetary policy at the Fed with careful data analysis for many years, but ran into difficulties when the data gave mixed messages toward the end of his term.
For Taylor’s full book recommendations, see:
John Taylor. “12 Months of Reading.” The Wall Street Journal (Sat., December 10, 2016): C12.
(Note: the online version of the review has the date Dec. 7, 2016, and has the title “John Taylor on Alan Greenspan.”)
The book recommended, is:
Mallaby, Sebastian. The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan. New York: Penguin Press, 2016.