WASHINGTON -- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan Tuesday brushed back critics who contend that easy monetary policy fueled the housing bubble and ensuing bust, saying, "I respectfully disagree; they're wrong."
Mr. Greenspan was asked after a speech to a National Association of Realtors conference whether, in hindsight, he thought interest rates should have risen more when he was chairman earlier this decade.
According to The Wall Street Journal, he responded that housing activity is driven by long-term rates, and not the overnight rates set by the Fed. The housing boom, he added, actually began in 2000, one year before the Fed started cutting interest rates in 2001.
"I think there is a recalibration of financial history that I find very puzzling," Mr. Greenspan said.
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