Thumbs up, Alan.

Position:Brief Article

This from the front page of The Wall Street Journal, a newspaper I number among the best:

"Alan Greenspan thumbed his nose at 'market expectations' this week when he cut short-term interest rates by only one-half percentage point instead of the three-quarters that the spectators on Wall Street wanted."

Writer David Wessel, the Journal's chief economics correspondent, must have meant speculators, not spectators.

Wessel ended his column on Greenspan that day -- Thursday, March 22, two days after the Fed lowered rates -- suggesting that the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board shouldn't allow "market expectations" to rule his judgment of what's best for the economy.

Despite my respect for the Journal as a newspaper, I would guess it wasn't only market expectations that the elderly Fed chairman was thumbing his nose at, if he is still wont to engage in such thumbing.

It was also the financial press.

Read back a few issues in the Journal, and you find its reporters writing on the previous Friday, after a devastating week for stocks, that "hopes grew among Wall Street traders for a turbo-charged cut of three-quarters of a percentage point, rather than just half."

Their Monday story reported that the "federal funds market ... still handicapped a three-quarter-point reduction at a 70 percent likelihood."

On Tuesday, the day the Fed met to consider a rate cut, the Journal's leadoff brief on the front page said, "Financial markets expect the Fed to cut its target for the key federal-funds...

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