Source: CNN Business

Alan Greenspan says the party’s over on Wall Street. The former Federal Reserve chairman who famously warned more than two decades ago about “irrational exuberance” in the stock market doesn’t see equity prices going any higher than they are now. He added that markets could still go up further — but warned investors that the correction would be painful: “At the end of that run, run for cover.” Markets have staggered in recent weeks, with spooked investors selling over mixed messages coming from the White House concerning the status of trade negotiations with China and growing fears of a global economic slowdown…”The volatility is a function of how we speak, think and feel — and it’s variable,” he said. “Unless you can somehow radically change human nature and how we respond, this is what you’ll always get and have been getting. You have to count on it, if you’re going to understand how the market functions.” President Donald Trump has in recent weeks taken repeated aim at current Fed chairman Jerome Powell…The President, a close market-watcher who has staked his presidency on the state of the economy, has accused Powell of trying to undercut him politically by slowing the economy down. He blamed the Fed for the market rout in October, calling the Fed “out of control” and suggesting Powell seemed to enjoy raising rates. He also later called the Fed a “much bigger problem than China,” referring to a trade war between the two countries. One White House official said that Trump continues to privately express anxiety about the markets, even as he publicly insists the economy is strong…But Greenspan, who was first appointed to the Fed by President Ronald Reagan and became the longest-serving chairman, remaining in his role into the George W. Bush administration, said a key driving factor in the market’s volatility has been the “pronounced rise in real long-term interest rates.” The former chairman also warned that the United States may be poised for a period of stagflation, “a toxic mix” when the economy suffers from high inflation and high unemployment. The last time the country experienced such an episode was in the 1970s and early 1980s…Greenspan…dismissed the idea that the Fed might cave to political pressure by the President…”We listen — sometimes respectfully, sometimes not,” he said. “But do we change policy? ‘No.'”

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