|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: CHRISTI HARLAN|
|Wednesday, January 26, 2000||202-224-0894|
Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, made the following statement today at the committee's hearing on the nomination of Alan Greenspan to a fourth term as chairman of the Federal Reserve:
"As I read down the list of those who have held the office of the chairman of the Federal Reserve, that list is made up of the some of the most distinguished people in financial and economic circles in our nation's history: William McChesney Martin, Arthur Burns, Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan.
"I think that I speak for a consensus in saying that of all the great men who have held this position, and of all those who have performed the function of central banker – whether it was the Second Bank of the United States under Nicholas Biddle, or the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan – I believe that the opinion is that no one has ever had a more distinguished record as chairman of the Federal Reserve than our chairman who is before us today.
"I think it is literally true that millions of people who don't know that there is a Federal Reserve, much less that you're chairman of it, owe you a deep debt of gratitude for your leadership and for doing more than probably any one else on the planet to help produce the strong economy we have today.
"If you were forced to try to narrow down the credit for the golden age that we find ourselves living in, I think there are many people who would be due credit and there are more who would claim credit. But of those who currently are in a position of authority, I think your name would have to be at the top of the list.
"I have believed and still believe that the genius of our system is that the founders set up a system of checks and balances to limit our dependence on great leaders. And the strength of the American economic system is in ordinary people doing extraordinary things because of freedom. And that by and large does not require that we have great Senators or great members of the House or great presidents or great chairmen of the Federal Reserve.
"I think your experience proves that a good man with a very keen mind and a clear definition of what he's trying to achieve can have an effect on the American people and the system and our country.
"I'm very proud of the record you've established. I'm very proud to have you before our committee. I'm going to vigorously support your nomination to be chairman. I want to thank you for all you've done for this country and all you've done for our economy and the benefits that that has produced in more and better jobs – an economy where equity values have soared, literally giving financial security to millions of people, creating a situation where Americans who never dreamed that they would ever be substantial owners of the American economy have through their retirement programs, through their savings programs, actually accumulated significant amounts of wealth.
"So I want to thank you for all you've done. Obviously we're looking forward to four more years of that kind of leadership."