Rational Utterance? Fed Chairman Greenspan Discovers Internet Stocks

Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan may have read his first issue of
Internet Stock Report or Internet World magazine. Maybe he saw
You’ve Got
Mail
and signed up for AOL. Or built a Web site at GeoCities, started a
free email account at HotMail, dialed into Earthlink.


How about bought a
book at Amazon, traded a Beanie Baby on eBay, read a URL on a newspaper
masthead or magazine cover, saw a reference to the Web on TV, a bus,
billboard?


Perhaps he sat in a movie theater and was bombarded by movie URLs,
booked a flight on Preview Travel, downloaded a copy of G2 from
RealNetworks, ICQed his family, chatted with fellow economists on AOL, got
his stock quotes at Stockpoint, scheduled Fed Reserve meetings via Yahoo
calendar, read personalized news from My Excite, bought a car through
Microsoft’s CarPoint, researched the history of Dow Jones on DowJones.com,
listened to a college sports game on Broadcast.com, scanned international
finance at FT.com?


Maybe he found a S-1 on the SEC’s Edgar, traded stocks
on E*TRADE, checked his balance at his bank on the Web, read the Starr
Report on Lycos.com, bought a really cool techno-gadget on
SharperImage.com, sent an e-card from hallmark.com, got a weather chart at
weather.com, acquired a CyberCash wallet, played online bingo at
Uproar.com.


And more.


Why Greenspan, why the above? The stalewart money
supply czar made comments to the Senate yesterday that sounded very
favorable to Internet stocks. Is he suffering from “rational exuberance,”
to paraphrase his now famous remark last year about the overall market
rise.

More importantly, Greenspan for the first time ever said the “I”
word in public, “Internet” and completed the thought with the word
“stocks,” making this a historical utterance that even the money man
acknowledges that the Internet is changing business, changing the U.S.
economy.


Greenspan’s remarks on Internet stocks and valuations came
before the Senate where he mentioned that some Internet stocks in general
may not be overvalued. Some may be, some may not. Is this the same Alan
Greenspan who last year spooked the entire market globally by saying the
rise and bubble for the broad market was perhaps a result of “irrational
exuberance?”


Or maybe it was Greenspan who left that “chat-cronym”
drifting across a strip of fiber running through PSINet, IMHO.

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