Greenspan to Stephanopoulos: This is ‘By Far’ the Worst Economic Crisis He’s Seen in His Career

By Arnab Datta

Sep 14, 2008 11:07am

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Reports: Former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan said this morning that this is "by far" the worst economic crisis he has ever seen. "There’s no question that this is in the process of outstripping anything I’ve seen, and it still is not resolved and it still has a way to go," he said in an exclusive "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" interview.

Greenspan also noted, "let’s recognize that this is a once-in-a-half-century, probably once-in-a-century type of event."

Looking ahead, Greenspan changed a previous prediction on whether the economy is headed towards a recession. When asked if the chances of escaping a recession were greater than 50 percent, Greenspan responded "no, I think it is less than 50 percent." But in a "This Week" interview last December, Greenspan predicted "that the probabilities of a recession have moved up close to 50 percent, whether it’s above or below is really extraordinarily difficult to tell. I think it’s correct.

On the fate of investment bank Lehman Brothers, Greenspan said he did not know enough of the details to comment on whether the government should step in and help. However, when asked if we will see the failure of more financial institutions, Greenspan affirmed "I suspect we will."

"But in and of itself that does not need to be a problem," he explained. "It depends on how it is handled and how the liquidations take place.  And indeed we shouldn’t try to protect every single institution.  The ordinary course of financial change has winners and losers."

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