As the Dow Jones Industrial Average passes 10,000, the most powerful man in the financial world is worried again — and not just about irrational exuberance. Notwithstanding media depictions of Alan Greenspan’s unwavering enthusiasm for continuation of a largely unregulated derivatives market, the Federal Reserve chairman is actually running scared from this most sophisticatedregion of the financial world.”

In an important speech to the Futures Industry Association in late March, he tossed a few sound-bite platitudes to the media lauding the growth in derivatives, those financial instruments whose value is derived from other assets (they include options, futures, swaps, and other more complex instruments). He cooed about how derivatives have allowed us to reduce risks and create wealth.

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