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  • 21st Feb, 2005 at 7:52 PM

My economically minded friends will enjoy reading this article from the Globe and Mail about the Kyoto protocol. And how investors are demanding to see the true cost of greenhouse gas emissions.

Also in Saturday's paper was an article about ‘Conundrum’ forces investors to break out Greenspan Translation Devices by Derek DeCloet. Here are some choice words which idolise the most powerful man in the United States:

“‘I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope….’ U.S. political consultant James Carville once said. ‘But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everyone.’”

Even Alan Greenspan, it appears.

A little more than eight years ago, Mr. Greenspan uttered a now-famous phrase — “irrational exuberance” — and threw into question rising equity prices. Global stock markets began to fall almost immediately.

This week, the sage of the U.S. economy needed only one word — “conundrum” — to express his surprise at buoyant bond values, and by week's end investors were paring those back, too. He may be 78, but he is as efficient as ever.

It's a good thing, in one sense, that Mr. Greenspan is so particular with the English language. As things stand, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board chairman supports an entire industry of economists, strategists, analysts, prognosticators, futurists, journalists and etymologists, each dedicated to dissecting his every grunt and syllable. Think of the economic dislocation if he were to start speaking in a way that people could understand. Thousands of pink slips would rain down on Wall Street.