Ampersand

The Church of Fiscal Conservatism

By B. Deutsch

This article is from the March/April 2010 issue of Dollars & Sense: Real World Economics, available at http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0310toon.html


issue 287 cover

This article is from the March/April 2010 issue of Dollars & Sense magazine.

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This cartoon is from the March/April 2010 issue of Dollars & Sense: Real World Economics available at http://www.dollarsandsense.org

Ampersand cartoon on the deficit


The Other Greenspan Bubble

By Jill Mazzetta

Now that Alan Greenspan has admitted that the economic crisis proved his core economic theories to be wrong, it’s hard to remember the near-mystical aura that once surrounded him. Just ask erstwhile worshippers like Brian McAnaney, who now hides his giant, hand-painted portrait of Greenspan in his closet.

During Greenspan’s heyday, an artist named Erin Crowe discovered she had a knack for painting his portrait. Her paintings soared in popularity; eager patrons paid up to $150,000 to hang Greenspan’s likeness in their homes and offices.

But after the housing bubble burst, the portraits lost much of their appeal. In an eerie parallel to the subprime debacle, owners now hide the portraits away, unable to find any buyers. “They were painted in a bubble economy, and Erin’s paintings were bubbles,” McAnaney told the Wall Street Journal recently.

These paintings of Greenspan are a little creepy, and not just the thought of hanging one of them on your bedroom wall. They’re a perfect symbol of the cult-like following Greenspan used to enjoy—and that, alas, the notion of the unfettered free market still enjoys in some quarters.

Barry Deutsch is a cartoonist living in Portland, Ore. An original "Ampersand" cartoon appears in every issue of D&S. See more of his work at amptoons.com.

Jill Mazzetta is a Dollars & Sense intern and a student at Emerson College.

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