Like others who write for money, I immediately started calculating author Alan Greenspan’s word rate. He is writing an $8 million book. Suppose it’s 500 pages long: That’s $16,000 a page. If the computer is set properly, he will earn $500 a word. This calculation is not made in envy but for vicarious pleasure. Imagine sitting at the keyboard, you type a word–ka-ching–another $500 richer.
But is Greenspan really worth the money? Adulation can have a short shelf life for public officials, especially for a former Federal Reserve chairman. I imagine the editors at Penguin getting a little nervous about what they purchased, especially when they read the first draft of Greenspan double-talk.
Alan, can you touch it up a bit? Maybe a little personal warmth that makes you sound, well, human? Tell us if Bush is as clueless as he seems. Or give an anecdote or two that reveals that unknown towering intellect. Or Bill Clinton: How did you charm him into dumping his working-class constituents and embracing your bond-market economics? Did he cry when you won the argument? Stuff like that.
A Greenspan memoir will do fine in the marketplace. It is the kind of Important Book daughters buy for father’s birthday. In the unlikely event Greenspan tells the truth, it would be a sensational bestseller.