International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Greenspan Effect: A Retrospective Analysis of Alan Greenspan’s Speeches
Duane B. Graddy, Charles F. Beauchamp

Sicilia and Cruikshank (2000) contend that Alan Greenspan’s speeches, particularly his Congressional testimonies, had a unique impact on financial market participants and the general public. In addition, according to Sicilia and Cruikshank (2000), Greenspan’s speeches filled a void created by a lack of presidential leadership during financial crises. Moreover, Sicilia and Cruikshank seem to agree that the rhetorical structure of his speeches and testimonies was important in triggering the Greenspan Effect, so certain words may have had an atypical effect on public perceptions. The purpose of this paper is to develop a rhetorical profile of the speeches and testimonies presented by Chairman Greenspan over the period 1987-2002. In a rhetorical context, the best evidence for the Greenspan effect occurred in his crisis speeches. These speeches exuded economic leadership and the strength of the Federal Reserve System to overcome adversity. On the other hand, his non-crisis speeches and testimonies followed the rhetorical structure of general financial commentaries with little of the furor and centrality of the crisis speeches.

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