During his tenure as chairman, Alan Greenspan has resisted the temptation to let the Federal Reserve Board pursue its own form of irrational exuberance. He has charted a prudential course, steering away from too great or too frequent rate adjustments.

Partly as a result of his skills as a helmsman, we are enjoying an unparalleled period of economic expansion. This legacy makes his views about financial reform all the more puzzling.

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