Mr Greenspan was a partisan Republican, who worked more closely with the Democrats under Bill Clinton than with either of the Bush administrations. He was a disciple of Ayn Rand’s libertarian ideology, but his forte was the mastering of data. He was a believer in the gold standard, but became the foremost exponent of discretionary monetary policy. The former central banker condemned the creation of the Fed as a disaster, but he became its most dominant chairman. He was a believer in free markets, but participated enthusiastically in bail-outs of failed institutions and crisis-hit countries. He knew the dangers of moral hazard, yet offered the support for markets labelled the “Greenspan put”.